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A Biography of Sylvia Plath

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Silvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She was born on 27th October 1932, the eldest daughter of Otto and Aurelia Schoeber Plath. Due to the fact that both of her parents valued education led to her success and talent in literature.  Even though her father’s death perplexed her at some point, she was determined to carry on with her literary work. Plath studies at Smith College and Newnham College Cambridge before getting acclamation as a poet, novelist, and a writer. Later on in 1956, she got married to her fellow poet Ted Hughes whom they lived with in the U.S. and later moved to England. They were later blessed with two kids namely; Frieda and Nicholas. Due to a long period of suffering from trauma associated with marital separation, Plath died in 1963 after committing suicide (Alexander, 1991). In this biographical literature of Plath, we discuss her efforts and achievements as a poet, writer and a novelist who also wrote various journals that were later published by her husband.      

In the field of literature, Plath is attributed for advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is recognized for her two collections such as Ariel and The Collossus among other poems. She was named the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 posthumously for her poems. She also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel known as “The Bell Jar” which was published after she died (Alexander, 1991).

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According to (Malcolm, 1994), Plath began her poetry writing at the age of eight and at Smith College she majored in English and won all the prizes both in scholarship and writing. Upon her graduation in 1955, she ensured that she left after editing the college magazine. She also won the Glascock Prize. She also wrote for Varsity magazine at Newnham, Cambridge where she was shortlisted in the Yale Younger Poets book competition after her first poems were published in the UK in late 1960. She also signed a contract with The New Yorker after her poems in Colossus got printed in major British and United Kingdom journals.

Her poems in Colossus received largely positive UK reviews, thereby highlighting her voice as new and strong in the American History of poetry. Her literal work were referred to as “a real find” and “exhilarating to read” and filled with “clean, ease verse” by various people such as Peter Dickson. Her books were also referred to as an outstanding technical accomplishment accompanied with “virtuoso quality”. After several of her literal works being published, she rose to the scene of poetry and she became recognized by many. Her work was viewed as more derivative of other poets even though her skills and crafting of her work being praised (Malcolm, 1994).

Later on in life, her poem of Ariel marked a departure from her earlier work of literature and delved into a more personal arena of poetry. It is believed that most of Plath’s poetry work was influenced by the poetry works of Robert Lowell since in most of her work she cited Robert Lowell’s work as a sign of acknowledgement. She disclosed the above information slightly before she lay to rest. Posthumously published in 1966, the impact created by the Ariel was dramatic since it had a dark and potentially autobiographical description of mental disorder in the poem such as Lady Lazarus, Daddy, and Tulips. Generally, the works of Plath are usually viewed to hold the genre of confessional poetry accompanied by her style and work as well as other related confessional contemporaries such as Snodgrass and Robert Lowell (Alexander, 1991).

To conclude, it is vital to note that Plath’s case was a bit complicated since in her mature work, she deliberately applied the details of her daily life as raw materials to process her literal art. Even though Plath had a troubled relationship with Hughes, it is evident that she was a successful personality in her literal work.

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