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Winter Trees

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,484 ratings  ·  143 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'. ...more
Unknown Binding, 55 pages
Published 1975 by Not Avail (first published September 1st 1972)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  1,484 ratings  ·  143 reviews


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Steven
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 poe ...more
Eliza
The imagery is fantastic! But the beginning half has better poems, in my opinion.
Mariel
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Theresa
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Sylvia Plath's poems are so vivid, haunting, and absolutely gorgeous. *goosebumps* ...more
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. ...more
saïd
May 15, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poésie, plath
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.
Best
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2017-reads
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.
Mattea Gernentz
Aug 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"All night I carpenter / A space for the thing I am given, / A love" (31).

Even as I'm in the midst of dissertation burnout, reading Plath makes me fantasize about doing a whole other postgraduate degree in Women, Writing, and Gender so I can devote an entire dissertation to analyzing her work. 😭

There are so many fascinating interwoven motifs in Winter Trees on mirrors, eyes, maternity, and doubling. Written in the last nine months of her life, there's an element of underlying personal desperatio
...more
Casey
Sep 26, 2022 added it
I prefer her prose to her poems.
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
Clémentine
I AM VERTICAL

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odours.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly ressemble them -
Thoughts gone dim.
Utskor
Jan 16, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesía
Where are you going
That you suck breath like mileage?

Sulphurous adulteries grieve in a dream
Cold glass, how you insert yourself

Between myself and myself.
I scratch like a cat.

The blood that runs is dark fruit-
An effect, a cosmetic.

You smile.
No, it is not fatal.
Robin Brown
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Women, Child, Lesbos.
Dina Rahajaharison
"It is more natural to me, lying down. / Then the sky and I are in open conversation, / And I shall be useful when I lie down finally: / Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me." ...more
P.
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
Demi
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favoriet! Eentje om te laten tatoeëren 😝 (I FUCKING DID TODAY)

'And there is no end, no end of it.
I shall never grow old. New oysters
Shriek in the sea and I
Glitter like Fountainbleau'

'The air is a mill of hooks - - -
Questions without answer,
Glittering and drunk as flies
Whose kiss stings unbearably
In the fetid wombs of black air under pines in summer.'

'But right now you are dumb.
And I love your stupidity,
The blind mirror of it. I look in
And find no face but my own, and you think that's funny.
It i
...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
Amanda
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, vintage
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.
Heather Bell
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Winter Trees is so personal and raw that I almost feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to read it. Plath toyed with darker themes and morbid concepts in her earlier works but everything was still slightly suppressed. This collection feels like Plath is no longer writing for anyone other than her self. The words are genuine. The pain is palpable. This is Plath’s Magnum Opus.
Ambie
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down until I finished every word.
Konstantin R.
[rating = B]
Sylvia Plath is very popular in certain circles and, also, in general (for different reasons of course). Although I admire her bravery and her unique voice, I also disliked her inclination towards metaphor (especially as it is usually expansive). There were poems here that really moved me and others that lost me. I will say, she has a wonderful sense of self, but can disguise it rather well. The last long poem (in the voices of three women who give birth, all with different thoughts
...more
Olivia
Favorites: "Child", "Gigolo", "Three Women". From "Lesbos"- "We should meet in another life, we should meet in air / Me and you,". From "Three Women"- "I am slow as the world", "They have too many colours, too much life. They are not quiet, / Quiet, like the little emptiness I carry", "I am a mountain now, among mountainy women", "She is the vampire of us all. So she supports us, / Fattens us, is kind. Her mouth is red, / I know her. I know her intimately- / Old winter-face, old barren one, old ...more
Laura Spaulding
Aug 26, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I love poems that make me think and feel deeply and I definitely don’t mind having to work a little to get there, but this poetry collection was a bit too deep and too dark for me. Even though I was often unsure about exactly what Plath was trying to say, there was no doubt about the hopelessness and resentment that permeated these poems written the last ten months of her life. I am curious to visit some of her earlier work to see if this is perhaps unique to the writing she did in this particul ...more
Heidi Sellers
Jun 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
‘There are the clothes of a fat woman I do not know.
There is my comb and brush. There is an emptiness.
I am so vulnerable suddenly.
I am a wound walking out of hospital.
I am a wound they are letting go.
I leave my health behind. I leave someone
Who would adhere to me: I undo her fingers like bandages: I go.’
Daniel Polansky
Bitter and engaging.
Rociocestmoi
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three women 💔
anfal
genuinely speechless. wow.
feedesmots
Dec 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one does it like Her.
Alice Deligny
Feb 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very beautiful collections
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
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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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“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.”
7 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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