Thursday 25 April 2019

ARIEL by Sylvia Plath

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoy throwing a bit of poetry into my reading routine, and my daughter (who studied Plath during her HSC) recommended this one.

The thing about poetry is how well words are used to paint an honest picture able to capture the heart of the emotions the poet feels at the time. Or how different situations and experiences have affected them. It might start out fine and simple, before devolving into a rage-filled experience, one drenched with misery, or even steeped in love.

Whatever the emotion, a poet is able to use words and phrases in such a way that the inner meaning gets across.

Every poem in this collection does just that.

Although this is my first Sylvia Plath book (I have The Bell Jar on my Paperwhite), I know quite a bit about her. And it sounds like Plath had a lot of problems in her life. She seemed to be at odds with what was expected of women, and what she personally wanted to be. She also obviously struggled with her feelings towards the men in her life: her father and husband. She definitely harboured some animosity towards both, and didn't seem to be much of a fan of marriage either.

All the poems paint clear imagery, and most venture into their own dark places. My favouries were: Sheep in Fog, Lady Lazarus, Cut, Ariel, The Hanging Man, Contusion, and of course, Words--which is the perfect way to end the collection.

Also, her obsession with suicide definitely comes across, which makes every word so much sadder.

I found this to be a confronting and raw book, full of the problems and truths a very complicated woman suffered through during her life. Also, how hard she found it to deal with being a daughter, wife and mother.

Putting mental health aside for just a moment, it always makes me sad (and angry) when I think about how awful women have been treated throughout history. Always trying to push their worth aside, making them feel as if their hopes, dreams and aspirations didn't matter as much as serving the bullshit position the patriarchy created for them. For us.

Yep. Society has always made it very hard for the women who tried to fit into the confines forced on them and struggled because they wanted to be so much more. Then forced them to become victims of their own strength. Tragic.

I really enjoyed this poetry collection.

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