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-- 16 October, 2004 --

Sylvia Plath journals

Whenever we go into Borders for coffee, one of us ends up walking out with a new book or a magazine. It seems almost unthinkable to sit in the big comfy black armchairs in the coffee shop without something to read. Of course it is possible to pick up something that the previous occupants of the chairs have left scattered around but I have these little pangs of guilt about reading something that I haven't paid for. I wonder if that sounds a bit like an excuse.

The Poet is usually the one who ends up in the rapidly diminishing poetry section, looking for inspiration, but on our last visit I picked up a copy of the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath in that section. I had it in the back of my mind that Plath was too esoteric for me but, after leafing through a few pages of her journals, I am in awe of her command of the English language. She makes the record of a simple day sing. I read an entry that she wrote in August of 1950, when she was only 18 years old, in which she describes getting ready for an evening out with a new young man. It is possible to imagine the girl that she was preening herself in front of her bedroom mirror as she anticipates what will happen during the date. She ‘sees’ so much. Her sentences are full of images and colours and the rhythm of her words are like poetry even when she writes prose.

I bought the book and have been carrying it around with me since, so that when I have a moment I can dip into it and enjoy the words.

Biography of Sylvia Plath

Posted by robynls at October 16, 2004 8:29 PM


I read your post on everyday matters and I say your new blog look is time well spent! It made me want to ready Sylvia Plathe's diary!!

Posted by: Zura at October 16, 2004 9:24 PM

Wow, Robyn! I just got that same Sylvia Plath book recently, and also am loving it! What a coincidence! Of all the books in all the world! There is something about her that draws me in... she lived near here, only a few miles south of Salem along the coast, and she spent some time in my home town of Marblehead when she was young. I know she's buried in Yorkshire, my soul's home, and there is just something about her story that is so mysterious and enthralling.

Posted by: Bex at October 16, 2004 11:00 PM

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