Sylvia Plath Quotes

Sylvia Plath, an American poet, novelist, and author of short stories, is acknowledged for her pioneering contributions to confessional poetry. Her prominence in the literary world primarily revolves around two of her published collections. Wikipedia

“I feel outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“How frail the human heart must be―a mirrored pool of thought.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If I have not the power to put myself in the place of other people, but must be continually burrowing inward, I shall never be the magnanimous creative person I wish to be. Yet I am hypnotized by the workings of the individual, alone, and am continually using myself as a specimen.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I have room in me for love. And forever so many little lives.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallower’s sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I have a call.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I need more than anything right now what is, of course, most impossible, someone to love me, to be with me at night when I wake up in shuddering horror and fear of the cement tunnels leading down to the shock room, to comfort me with an assurance that no psychiatrist can quite manage to convey.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Writing, then, was a substitute for myself. If you don’t love me, love my writing and love me for my writing. It is also much more, a way of ordering and reordering the chaos of experience.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“My world falls apart, crumbles. ‘The centre cannot hold.’ There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“How could I write about life when I’d never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I write only because there is a voice within me, that will not be still.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I have stitched life into me like a rare organ.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. I lift my eyes and all is born again.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say, ‘I’ll go take a hot bath.’” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god, where are you? I want you, need you. The belief in you and love and mankind.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“When they asked me what I wanted to be, I said I didn’t know.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over-dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I remember that as I was writing a poem on ‘Snow’ when I was eight, I said aloud, I wish I could have the ability to write down the feelings I have now when I am little, because when I grow up, I will know how to write, but I “will have forgotten what being little feels like.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream mother-goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“How can you be so many women to so many strange people, oh you strange girl?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I’d never seen before in my life.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“He was always saying how his mother said, ‘What a man wants is a mate and what a woman wants is infinite security?’” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“My mother had taught shorthand and typing to support us since my father died, and secretly she hated it and hated him for dying and leaving no money because he didn’t trust life insurance salesmen.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about, if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Ever since I was small I loved feeling somebody comb my hair. It made me go all sleepy and peaceful.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I can never read all the books I want. I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I must get my soul back from you, I am killing my flesh without it.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“My mother’s face floated to mind, a pale, reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her. Still, she had obviously decided to forgive me.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“How we need that security. How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I buried my head under the darkness of the pillow and pretended it was night. I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If I tried to describe my personality, I’d start to gush about living by the ocean half my life and being brought up on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and believing in magic for years and years.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I don’t believe that the meek will inherit the earth. The meek get ignored and trampled.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I hadn’t, at the last moment, felt like washing off the two diagonal lines of dried blood that marked my cheeks. They seemed touching, and rather spectacular, and I thought I would carry them around with me, like the relic of a dead lover, till they wore off of their own accord.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am a writer. I am a genius of a writer, I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life, they will make my name.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless, well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Life has been a combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If they substituted the word ‘lust’ for ‘love’ in the popular songs it would come nearer to the truth.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I desire the things which will destroy me in the end.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“What I fear most, I think, is the death of imagination. When the sky outside is merely pink, and the rooftops merely black, that photographic mind which paradoxically tells the truth, but the worthless truth, about the world.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which fits best and is more becoming?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through, I dream of what it may go through.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Perhaps someday I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can’t start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralyzed cavern, a pit of hell, mimicking nothingness. I never thought. I never wrote, I never suffered.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“That is how it stiffens, my vision of that seaside childhood. My father died, we moved inland. Whereon those nine first years of my life sealed themselves off like a ship in a bottle, beautiful, inaccessible, obsolete: a fine, white, flying myth.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I am still so naïve. I know pretty much what I like and dislike, but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“When you are insane, you are busy being insane all the time. When I was crazy, that was all I was.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Every woman adores a Fascist.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that—I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much—so very much to learn.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“At this rate, I’d be lucky if I wrote a page a day. Then I knew what the problem was. I needed experience.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“And I sit here without identity, faceless. My head aches.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Of course, I didn’t believe in life after death or the virgin birth or the inquisition or the infallibility of that little monkey-faced Pope or anything, but I didn’t have to let the priest see this, I could just concentrate on my sin, and he would help me repent.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Love is a desperate artifice to take the place of those two original parents who turned out not to be omnisciently right gods.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It’s like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction—every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it’s really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Is there no way out of the mind?” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I was supposed to be having the time of my life.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The more hopeless you were, the further away they hid you.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I felt wise and cynical as all hell.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Go out and do something. It isn’t your room that’s a prison, it’s yourself.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I guess I should have reacted the way most of the other girls were, but I couldn’t get myself to react. I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I wanted to tell her that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything. I only burrowed down further in the bed.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents—joyous positive and despairing negative—whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Mother believed that I should have an enormous amount of sleep, and so I was never really tired when I went to bed. This was the best time of day, when I could lie in the vague twilight, drifting off to sleep, making up dreams inside my head the way they should go.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I do not love. I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Yes, there is joy, fulfillment, and companionship—but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I began to see why woman-haters could make such fools of women. Woman-haters were like God, invulnerable and chock full of power. They descended, and then they disappeared. You could never catch one.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Tomorrow I will curse the dawn, but there will be other, earlier nights, and the dawns will be no longer hell laid out in alarms and raw bells and sirens.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a fourth of July rocket.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Since my woman’s world is perceived greatly through the emotions and the senses, I treat it that way in my writing and am often overweighted with heavy descriptive passages and a kaleidoscope of similes.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you for so long.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“‘If you love her,’ I said, ‘you’ll love somebody else someday.’” ~ Sylvia Plath

“You have to be able to make a real creative life for yourself, before you can expect anyone else to provide one ready-made for you.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Arrogant, I think, I have written lines which qualify me to be ‘The Poetess of America’ as Ted will be ‘The Poet of England’ and her dominions.” ~ Sylvia Plath

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