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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  58,717 ratings  ·  2,118 reviews
Sylvia Plath's celebrated collection.

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. Her husband, Ted Hughes, brought the collection to life in 1966, and its publication garnered worldwide acclaim. This collection showcases the beloved poet’s brilliant, provoking, and always moving poems, including "Ari
Paperback, 105 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published January 1st 1966)
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Louisa Loli This is a Year 11 and 12 book for IB Literature, the language might be little complicated for young children.

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Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately - I have to steal that idea. So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.



Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritati
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ariel, Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for two of her published collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel, as well as The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death. In 1981 The Collected Poems were published, including many previously unpublished works.

Ariel was the second book of Sylvia Plath's poetry to be published. It was
When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's Erobreren which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

So what's this g
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Exotic Birds
Shelves: read-in-2014, poetry
Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems Ariel, which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images ...more
Jon Nakapalau
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Haunting and honest - a scalpel that cuts so deep and quick you don't even feel it. ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a fla ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Cold glass, how you insert yourself
Between myself and myself.
I scratch like a cat.”

These poems are jagged, visceral, and very, very raw. They’re angry and bruised, “extravagant, like torture.” And they are frequently charged with a dark, mirthless laughter. After all, “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Or so Camus once said.

As a total poetry novice, I might be way off base with some of my impressions—I didn’t even come close to understanding everything I read. But I do k
Steven Godin
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Took the wind out of my sails,

and the light out of my eyes.

Not wanting to curse but fuck me! could she write!

As for "Daddy" what heart crushing despair.
Whitney Atkinson
I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head.

I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die.
Although I didn't grasp most
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection released two years after her death, written in a grand burst of creativity just before death... I had to get this mainly because of the cover, but I can say that though I have the 'all poems' book, having this separately was worth it.

...And I a smiling woman
I am only thirty.
And like that cat I have nine times to die.
(from "Lady Lazarus")

There are so many themes I could get from here: colors (red, white, black, etc.), moods (uncertainty, calm, quiet joy, being distant), and subject
Asghar Abbas
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them.

What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness, she still exists today.

Sublime work.

I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.
It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote Mad Girl's Love Song during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of Ariel. There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are.
It took me a while to get through this book not only
Roman Clodia
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, no-one needs another review of Plath's raging, bitter, vengeful poems that batter us with image after startling, shattering image: the scarlet bloom of blood, claustrophobia and airlessness, the dissolution of the female body and voice, balanced by transcendental moments of renewal and rebirth.

But it's worth saying that this edition is based on the 1965 version 'edited' by Ted Hughes which took out poems which he considered too aggressive (presumably towards him?), and which reordered the po
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
You feel like you are dropped in a slightly macabre, uncaring countryside as reader of Ariel
People or stars
regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

Sheep in Fog

Cold and heavy scenes from the countryside
I could not run without having to run forever
The Bee Meeting

The sadness of being a mother in Morning Song, the darkness of mental illness and the Holocaust in Lady Lazarus.
Lesbos on being trapped in szyzophrenia and who you could be, if you would not be held back by baby crap.
A Birthday Present shows t
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A groundbreaking collection of poetry that showcases Plath's breathtaking expression and imagination. Although dark in subject matter, Plath does not repel the reader's interest, but rather appeals to the morbid curiosity by using vivid imagery, with words and sentences arranged melodically. It is easy to see why 'Ariel' became one of the most popular and talked about poetry collections of the twentieth century. ...more
Renee Godding
"I know the bottom, she says. I know it
with my great tap root:
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there..."

5/5 stars

Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the course of years now. However, this was my first time rea
Susan Budd
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God,
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.

In “The Moon and the Yew Tree” Sylvia Plath presents, not a vision of the picturesque English churchyard outside her bedroom window, but a mental landscape with more melancholy, more solemnity, more Gothic gloom than any representation of physical reality could ever have.

It is a scen
My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.
This was very up and down. A lot of the poems went right over my head, but a few I enjoyed, including Lady Lazarus, The Rival and The Moon and the Yew Tree. Of them all, I think Lady Lazarus had the most ‘pull’ in that it’s quite deeply emotive in its portrayal of wanting to be dead and the mixture of emotions that comes with this. It was very personal, and there’s no doubt Sylvia Plath has a way with words. For that poem alone, I pulled this up to three stars.

I’m just not sure that for the mos
Connie G
The restored edition of Ariel is the group of poems that Sylvia Plath left as a manuscript at the time of her death by suicide in 1963. The originally published Ariel was edited by her former husband, Ted Hughes, who substituted some of her other poems written in the last months of her life. The forward by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each grouping of poems, trying to be fair to each parent.

The poems in Ariel are brilliant and powerful, but often sad,
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

Bitter, brutal, intelligent and moving.

There is often a temptation to detect fanciful references that prefigure Plath’s suicide by asphyxiation (God knows, there’s enough mention of ‘carbon monoxide’), but to do so unfairly distils Ariel into autobiographical poetry. I prefer to read this as testament to Plath’s wonderfully morbid curiosity.

It’s a problematic collection on a number of levels; racial slurs are used fast and loose and on
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-authors
Definitely contain some of the best poems by Sylvia Plath. The one I most enjoyed was Lady Lazarus.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

The most accurate thing about Ariel has been said "In these poems Plath becomes herself"

I fear that I cannot be objective when I am writing (or talking) about Sylvia Plath because she speaks directly to my heart. I can relate to her poems, I can feel them.
Sylvia Plath is raw, brutal and bitter. That's a fact I suppose, right? But you see
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Sylvia Plath had a way of rendering things mysterious and disturbing, compelling you to read each poem again and again to unlock the meaning. Compared to The Colossus, Ariel feels a little more mature, a little less concerned with the world, and a lot more fixated on death, specifically, suicide. These beautiful poems are sometimes difficult to read.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of my favorites: The Rival, Cut, The Hanging Man, Balloons, and Poppies in July
"By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me.
I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet."

A posthumous collection of Sylvia Plath's poetry that I felt contained numerous works that exposed her inner demons before her death. I found that many poems created feelings of desperation, urgency, and hopelessness. Still, there are a few poems in this collection that I do not understand and can't interpret af
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I am the arrow, the dew that flies suicidal"
“I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.”

“And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die.”

Sylvia Path's poetry is truly remarkable and must be read by all, considering her tragic life!
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
(gorgeous, like 6 stars of gorgeous

2 stars lost for outrageously gratuitous use of racial slur and wtf use of the holocaust as symbolic of personal family relationship)
Paul E. Morph
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insight into a deeply troubled mind, all too familiar to those of us who also struggle with depression. I’ll be honest; I couldn’t say I enjoyed reading this book, I actually found it a rather miserable experience, but I can’t deny its power.

The Applicant

First, are you our sort of person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Alice (Married To Books)
A collection of poetry written by Plath before she took her own life, Ariel was at times a confusing yet interesting read. I have previously studied a few poems included here in my old English Literature class (Lady Lazarus/Daddy) critically yet wasn't sure whether I could read more of Plath's work. The overall mood was one of strong depression and after reading this, I did feel depressed for a while. Sometimes a little rambly, others a little heartbreaking. Very on the fence about this one. 3 s ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, poetry
This is Sylvia. Purging.

Hushed and frantic and brutal.

Written during the last months of her life…her peak was so so beautiful. Tragic.
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Read Women: Ariel by Sylvia Plath 32 67 Aug 29, 2019 07:05AM  
Non Fiction Book ...: July 17 - Ariel by Slyvia Plath 4 15 Jul 26, 2018 11:47AM  
Ariel 1 7 Apr 20, 2018 07:14AM  
Sylvia Plath Lovers: BEHEMOTHER 1 14 Apr 04, 2017 06:52AM  
All About Books: 1st December 2014 - 'Daddy' by Sylvia Plath 20 56 Dec 08, 2014 06:50AM  

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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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Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I have a call.”
“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free.”
More quotes…