Sujith's Reviews > Ariel: The Restored Edition

Ariel by Sylvia Plath
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Reading Sylvia Plath is an experience, turbulent is an understatement. Her poems show her wild and repressed thrashing against her circumstances and on one occasion, I was moved to an extent that I had a nightmare - I cannot remember the last time I had a nightmare - and on many other occasions to pen my own (bad) poetry.

I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.


I knew nothing of her, her life, her work, her suicide at an age I find myself in now, and I took disproportionate interest in learning more of her. And each subsequent poem was another step downwards at night into a deep step-well, a well with some promise of water at its furthest. There is water at the bottom, yes; murky and unstill and with unrepentant poison.

The poison first came into view with the 'The Jailer':

He his been burning me with cigarettes,
Pretending I am a negress with pink paws.


As revulsed I was by the word, I was disgusted as I interpreted the dehumanising sense in the use of the word, almost to the extent of denying that very excruciating physical pain she felt to another human - a person of colour.

This was matched by many other lines, some as hard to digest for me as the one I quote above. Here is what I ask myself - how do I feel for a person who I know , if given a chance, would not do the same for me? In this case, because of a certain property of my skin.

There came a point where my mind switched from flailing with her - a fellow human - in her pains to being apathetic observer, almost sadistic. I suppose she is as much a 'product of her times' - the defense raised by her ardents - as I am of mine.
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Reading Progress

October 5, 2020 – Started Reading
October 5, 2020 – Shelved
October 5, 2020 –
20.0%
October 6, 2020 –
30.0%
October 8, 2020 –
50.0%
October 20, 2020 – Finished Reading

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