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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  21 reviews
By Sylvia Plath
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean gre
3 pages
Published (first published 1965)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  252 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Hossein Sharifi
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
in this poem Sylvia Plath used some metaphors and imagery to show how she was a victim of her father or perhaps her husband.
by using some German words the speaker is showing that her German father is like a Nazi and therefore she is a Jew. At the end of this poem, the metaphor for the speaker's father and husband, and potentially all men, shifts from Nazis to vampires.The vampire has sucked the narrator's blood for seven years, probably the length of their marriage. This is a vivid metaphor for
Aditya Mallya
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The audacity of using Holocaust metaphors to describe your personal life - holy smokes, what a brilliant poem.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I'm reading Plath with full dedication and it blew me away. A poem which ranges from innocent child-talk to dark, disturbing Holocaust images leaves you emotionally drained, and rightly so. Such is the passion and brutal honestly which comes across. Plath does not shy away from wrapping the whole poem in a blanket of somberness, leaving you no way to escape. You feel the weight of her love, hatred, and helplessness as your own. A gem of a poem. ...more
Diya Waghmare
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS. Please listen to Sylvia Plath recite it if you ever read it.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
an incredibly beautiful, yet heart-wrecking tale of fear, hatred and release.
Sylvia Plath tries in this marvellous poem to forgive her father for what he has, or has not, been for her...
He died when she was 10, but she still remembers his figure, the fear he used to instill in her, so much so that she would never learn German, her mother tongue, because when he spoke it, it meant that something bad was going to happen.
But fear is not the only sentiment this poem arouses. Anger and hatred are d
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This is one of the many Plath poems I studied in my final year of high school, and undoubtedly one of my favourites. Every time I re-read it, I find new meaning and symbolism, which I absolutely love in poetry. I was inspired to pick this up again after watching a documentary about the life of Ted Hughes, in which Plath is heavily featured.

The running metaphor of comparing her father/husband to vampires is brilliant.

"If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And d
Miguel Vega
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this poem. It paints a hierarchal authority figure in her life that casts a shadow over her. Throughout her life, Plath has had to struggle on her own and like "Lady Lazarus", she comes out in a state of power, "You bastard, I'm through".

Update: I have read this poem just again and I love it even more; it is the poem I read the most to the point where I am on the verge of cementing it to memory.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
"I’m through." ...more
Dunya F. Bouzidi
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time.."
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue."
Rawabi Alqahtani
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this millions of times. And every time i read it feels like the first time.. Sylvia just brought me to tears When i listened to it by her voice. omg.. If u haven't listened to it please do!! idk what to say. I really dont. Crying off my face again. I wish Sylvia was here so I could tell her: " i feel u Sylvia. I immensely DO...." ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
it's ok. eh ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shocking and incredible. I like it.
Adrián Biháry
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019, poetry
čítal som to v slovenčine a fuuuu dosť silné
Nou Jed
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The poet is angry with the destructive forces symbolized by her daddy and the male.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poems
Slightly disturbing poem about Sylvia's father. Sounds like he abused her, esp since she committed suicide at the age of 30. ...more
Marybeth Buskirk
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Read for English Class
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
American Literature II is a class that I am currently taking. During this class we are required to read novels, poems, and short stories that we might not have ever read otherwise. Some are good and some are bad; however, all are legendary and useful for the overall growth of literature everywhere.
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2015-reads
4.75 stars
Rachel Holtzclaw
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
yes i'm logging this to cheat my goodreads goal but it's important that you listen to sylvia read this herself if you haven't it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE ...more
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Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot parall ...more

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