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Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
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Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
On a bleak February day in 1963 a young American poet died by her own hand, and passed into a myth that has since imprinted itself on the hearts and minds of millions. She was and is Sylvia Plath and Your Own, Sylvia is a portrait of her life, told in poems.

With photos and an extensive list of facts and sources to round out the reading experience, Your Own, Sylvia is a gre
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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I don't feel like this book is deserving of Printz Honor. To write about a poet's life in a form of a series of poems from POV's of people around Sylvia is an interesting exercise, but the final product itself is not satisfying. Stephanie Hemphill is just not that great of a poet. Her best poems in this book are those that are direct imitations of Plath's own works. I caught myself wanting to read Sylvia's poetry rather than Hemphill's. Other poems are written in free verse with no rhythm or rhy ...more
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is extraordinary. I have limited shelf space and even when I love a book, it usually goes right out the door as a gift to someone else when I'm done reading. For example - recently I adored THE HUNGER GAMES, gave it five stars here, raved about it... but as I compare my reaction to that book with my reaction to this one, well, I happily gave HUNGER GAMES away upon completion, but YOUR OWN, SYLVIA, I will keep and reread. And the book is also going to send me right back to Sylvia Plath' ...more
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Faith
So good. So, so, so good. I thought I would be at a disadvantage because (shame on me BA English, MS Library Science) all I knew about Sylvia Plath was that she wrote poetry, wrote something called The Bell Jar which I was fairly certain (now confirmed) was depressing, and that she killed herself. This book, however, is a great introduction into the world of Sylvia Plath.

The author took true events from Sylvia's life and wrote fictionalized accounts of them in verse (it makes sense when you see
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being an avid reader of online discussions, articles, and interviews regarding feminism, I stumbled upon the name "Sylvia Plath" several times. Because of this, I picked up The Bell Jar as I wanted to find out more about this ever-important authoress of the 20th century. Unfortunately, I did not get far ahead into the book (I hope to be able to read it next year).
When we were assigned to read a novel written in verse in my Independent Reading Class, I noticed "Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait
Written in the style of Plath's most notable work, Hemphill creates a series of original poems influenced by and chronicling the Pulitzer prize-winning poet's childhood until her untimely suicide in 1963.

Thorough research - as illustrated by the use of footnotes - illuminates the various themes and issues which arose in Plath's poetry. Hemphill avoids turning the work into a stale biography by using various individuals' point of view - those who were closest to Sylvia - as the voice for half of
Kate Stericker
The element of Your Own, Sylvia which I appreciated the most was its accessibility. Each poem is contextualized with a date and narrator at the beginning and followed by an author's note explaining details of Plath's life relevant to the poem. Particularly after reading Wintering, a prose novel about Sylvia Plath which relies on the reader to interpret complex allusions based on their previous knowledge of her life, it was refreshing to have the author guide me through this collection. It also g ...more
Interesting and creative. Not my favorite poems, but they still painted a picture about Sylvia Plath and I learned a bit more about her.
I found nothing impressive in this collection. I'll admit that I learned stuff about Sylvia Plath and her family, but those things I read in the lengthy footnotes which explain every little thing so that every ounce of ambiguity would be flushed down the toilet. This isn't a poetry collection or even an insightful point of view--it's an essay written by a die-hard fan.

The poems themselves are dull, uncreative, and contrived. They were all one style save for the poems that are "imagining Sylvia
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, ya
An interesting and engaging exploration of the life of Sylvia Plath. I did not find the Hemphill's verse sparkled as much in this as in some of her other work, but it was readable and interesting. A good example is "Sylvia", spoken by Assia Wevill, Ted Hughes's mistress for the last part of Ted and Sylvia's marriage:
She is poetry,
that mother of language,
and I am a Gypsy,
wandering, thieving what I fancy.

She is cunning
like an old watchdog,
she sees the scene
without being present.
I am experienced.
I have loved Sylvia Plath since I read Ariel and The Bell Jar in high school. This book of poems illustrates Sylvia's short life from various perspectives - her mother, brother, and husband, as well as various ex-boyfriends, roommates, friends, neighbors, therapists, and more. It gave a totally different image of Sylvia than I had imagined, but I suppose I imagined her in more of a psychoanalytic light and never imagined that others might have viewed her as some kind of beautiful celebrity in he ...more
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Stephanie Hemphill's first novel in poems, Things Left Unsaid, was published by Hyperion in 2005 and was awarded the 2006 Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Excellence in Poetry by the Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Her second novel, a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath, Your Own, Sylvia was published by Knopf in March 2007. A third novel in verse for teens, Wicked Girls, a verse st
More about Stephanie Hemphill...
“I fret for Sylvia.
She appears anchored

to the idea of sinking,
which is silly when she so clearly

soars above almost everyone.”
“She said the night was March and black
and that the hill where he kissed her
and enveloped her in his arms
was a sea of grass and she rooted
to the ground like a sapling,
like it was natural and yet
all created for her moment of romance.”
More quotes…