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Winter Trees

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  868 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The poems in this collection were all written in the last nine months of Sylvia Plath's life, and form part of the group from which the 'Ariel' poems were chosen. Her radio play 'Three Women', also included here, was written slightly earlier, in the transitional period between 'The Colossus' and 'Ariel'.
Unknown Binding, 55 pages
Published 1975 by Not Avail (first published 1971)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  868 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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Steven Godin
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, poetry
A short collection of nineteen poems, which were all but one, written in the months leading up to Plath's untimely death. Most are darkly exquisite, and sit alongside some of her other collections in terms of quality. Only a couple were weak, but that's no big deal. Some poems had a disturbingly strong vibe, like that of those in both 'Collosus' & 'Ariel', whilst the title poem 'Winter Trees, is a fight between the dark and the light. 'Child' (featured below), make of it what you will, was a ...more
Mariel
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the rabbit catcher
Recommended to Mariel by: Sean
And so I stand, a little sightless. So I walk
Away on wheels, instead of legs, they serve as well.
And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue.
The body is resourceful.
The body of a starfish can grow back its arms
And newts are prodigal in legs. And may I be
As prodigal in what lacks me.


The second voice is beautiful, not hopeless....
The third voice is a wound. She leaves behind, the white skin after a bandage. Hospital beds, pats on back. Self administered and administration. Ministrations
...more
Harley
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars.

I didn't love this as much as the last Sylvia Plath work I read, which was Crossing the Water but, of course, her writing is still stunning and her poems still amazing. This collection just has not stuck to me quite like her other.

Obviously, still read this; I know I will be again.
Zeynep
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
sylvia yaşamının son dokuz ayında can vermiş bu şiirlere, ben de kış bitmeye yüz tutmuşken elime aldım: ''the sun blooms, it is a geranium. / the heart has not stopped.''
Theresa
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sylvia Plath's poems are so vivid, haunting, and absolutely gorgeous. *goosebumps*
Eve Kay
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Many of these I had already come across somewhere and still love Plath dearly. Three Women, of course, is a work of a mastermind. I need to read all her work again at some point and I know I'll find new aspects, new opinions, new ideas. I'll learn something new again.
Marily SV
J’ai mis plusieurs mois à lire La Traversée et Arbres d’hiver et ce n’est pas pour rien: Sylvia Plath a une plume qui fait mal et ses excellents poèmes sont souvent assez perturbants. Sa façon de mélanger des thèmes plus ou moins légers et des rimes faciles à des sujets sombres et lourds (la trahison, le suicide, le regret d’avoir des enfants, la médiocrité de dieu et de la vie, etc.) rend la lecture… douloureuse. Des mois à alterner entre « aouch » et « wow ».

Je n’ai pas particulièrement appré
...more
Best
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads, poetry
I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets.
See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks.
I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life.
Nathalie (keepreadingbooks)
My go-to poet (and frankly, my spirit animal) is usually Mary Oliver. Her poetry is - in lack of words that convey the meaning but have more gravitas - simple and accessible. Sylvia Plath’s poetry is no such thing. It took me a couple of days to read the entire collection just because my mind had to work so hard at each poem. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think I prefer to understand poetry a little quicker than I did these. A nice middle ground is the collection The Wild Gods by Ma ...more
Amanda
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry

Excerpt from Three Women

I have had my chances. I have tried and tried.
I have stitched life into me like a rare organ.
And walked carefully, precariously, like something rare.
I have tried not to think too hard. I have tried to be natural.
I have tried to be blind in love, like other women,
Blind in my bed, with my dear blind sweet one,
Not looking, through the thick dark, for the face of another.

Zee
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: booksread2010, poetry
This slim collection contains poems by the late Sylvia Plath which were written during the last nine months of her life. They are hailed to be the most revealing and enigmatic of her works which document the simultaneous mourning and celebration of the human condition.

It is hard to read a Plath poem without taking her life into consideration. While most poets write with pen and ink, you get a sense that Plath went one step further and wrote from the blood. Plath had a dark gift, a way of tapping
...more
Kirsty
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read Sylvia Plath's beautiful Winter Trees several times, and picked it up again over the Easter holidays. These poems were all written within the last nine months of her life. As always with poetry collections, I have collected together a few of my favourite excerpts or fragments from some of these stunning poems.

- From 'The Rabbit Catcher':
'I tasted the malignity of the gorse,
Its black spikes,
The extreme unction of its yellow candle-flowers.
They had an efficiency, a great beauty,
And wer
...more
Amberlee
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down until I finished every word.
Kaguya
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesía
«Y soy un río de leche.
Soy un monte tibio.»

Tres mujeres es maravilloso.
Kristin
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe that these poems were not included in the Ariel collection, rather printed here in Winter Trees, although they were written at the same time. Each time I read any of these poems I am reminded of moments as a lover, a mother, and a female friend that I have felt emotions that are not easily admitted to. Not easily admitted to, and often difficult to put words to. Sylvia Plath puts words to these, sometimes clearly, directly, and sometimes in a watery, roundabout way. Winter Trees is an ...more
Marwa Abdeen
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
This review can also be found on my blog, Unapologetic Writer.

The musings that Sylvia Plath may have lived in a soul similar to mine have been a thought entertained for a while now. I have just finished my first read by her, and I’ve come to a few conclusions that I felt inclined to share.
1. Sylvia is a masterpiece of sadness and all its manifestations.

In case you didn’t know, Sylvia committed suicide after a long battle with depression after having been treated several times with electroconvul
...more
Ellie McKee
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Usually, when poetry is vague (intentionally or not) I find it difficult to enjoy let alone connect with and cherish. That wasn't the case here.
Here, in this book, I know that there are so many things going on underneath the surface of each word that I could never fully grasp, but my inability to grasp at such things hasn't taken away from my experience.
This poetry is beautifully written, because it's been deeply felt by its author and I think that's why I love it so much.
Tessa in Mid-Michigan
Dec 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awards-classics
Ick. Violent and disturbing, bitter words of women's angst, especially those who are fighting their own sexuality. She has talent, but unfortunately, it is turned to despair and paranoia and rejection.
Anna
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
'Three Women', and 'Lesbos' are standouts - perspective, building of a character in such short spaces...'Mary's Song' is haunting.
Rachel Coleman
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Safe to say I won't be trying Plath's poetry again.
Elke Sisco
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't understand half of her poems, and wonder how it is that I like her as a poet - and then I get to Three Women, and every single word is just perfect, and I GET IT.
Indi
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ça fait un petit moment que je voulais tenter Sylvia Plath et par le plus grand des hasards, une de mes meilleures amies a une édition bilingue et me l'a gracieusement prêtée :)
Encore novice en terme d'appréciation de poésie, je sais que j'ai loupé beaucoup de choses dans ce recueil de poèmes. Je dois avouer que pour une partie, je les ai tout simplement pas compris (que ce soit en anglais ou français haha). Mais j'ai quand même été touchée par la mélancolie de Sylvia Plath.

Quelques poèmes qui m
...more
Kike Ramos
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
English / Spanish

So this is a collection of poems by Sylvia Plath, and I gotta say it is an example of why I don't read a lot of poetry. It's not bad, but I'm not that good at getting metaphors in another language, so this was a hard read for me. I don't think I got the ideas she tried to transmit. The few poems that I understood were really smart, and you could feel the dark emotions she felt while writing them. It's a shame that I had a hard time reading it.

On the other side, the book had spa
...more
Madam J
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I am familiar with Plath's The Bell Jar and count it among my favourites. This was my first encounter with her poetry, and I wasn't thrilled. Except that one time I was.

The work is dark, reflective of the period leading up to her death, and at times feels disjointed. It's not unrelatable material, but it pushes the envelope of getting into the right headspace to appreciate it.

I liked enough of the pieces to warrant three stars. I disliked enough of the pieces that it barely warranted three stars
...more
Milja
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Bought this bilingual edition from France for a souvenir to improve my French, to get both versions to read side by side. "I am vertical" is my all time favourite... Some of her poems are so heavy - I can feel the gravity of her eyelids.
Brandon Montgomery
Perhaps Plath's most difficult volume.
Kat
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good
Isabelle
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't put into words how stunning this is.
Robert Welbourn
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All poems written in the last 9 months of Plath's life, and you can tell as you read them. They're tragic, beautiful, and unmissable.
Madelyn  Baker
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I'll be honest I couldn't completely comprehend what was going on a lot of the time but the last poem 'three women' really clicked with me.
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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 paralle
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“I shall move north. I shall move into a long blackness.
I see myself as a shadow, neither man nor woman,
Neither woman, happy to be like a man, nor a man
Blunt and flat enough to feel no lack. I feel a lack.
I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets.
See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks.
I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life.”
6 likes
“And so I stand, a little sightless. So I walk
Away on wheels, instead of legs, they serve as well.
And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue.
The body is resourceful.”
2 likes
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