The Best Sylvia Plath quotes

Sylvia Plath quotes thumbnail

Sylvia Plath was one of the most well-known poets of her time. She was born in 1932 and committed suicide at the age of 30. Though she had a difficult life, her poetry is celebrated for its dark and introspective nature. In this quotes compilation, we’ll explore the life of Sylvia Plath and why she is such an important figure in poetry.

Here are the deepest Feelings, Time, Writing, Life, World, Heart quotes from Sylvia Plath, and much more.


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About Sylvia Plath

birth of the author

October 27, 1932

death of the author

February 11, 1963

occupation of the author

Poet, Short Story Writer

college of the author

Alma Mater:
Smith College Newnham College, Cambridge

date of the author


genre of the author

Poetry, Fiction, Short Story

movement of the author

Literary Movement:
Confessional Poetry

award of the author

Notable Works:
The Bell Jar And Ariel

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Fulbright Scholarship, Glascock Prize 1955 Two Lovers And A Beachcomber By The Real Sea, Pulitzer Prize For Poetry 1982 The Collected Poems

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Fulbright Scholarship, Glascock Prize 1955 Two Lovers And A Beachcomber By The Real Sea


There was a beautiful time… — 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

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. — Sylvia Plath

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time. — Sylvia Plath

there was a beautiful time Sylvia Plath quote

I was supposed to be having the time of my life. — Sylvia Plath

You cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time… — Sylvia Plath

Every day is precious and I feel infinitely sad at this time melting away from me. — Sylvia Plath

If I have a dry spell … I wait and live harder, eyes, ears, and heart open, and when the productive time comes, it is that much richer. — Sylvia Plath

I may have made a straight A in physics, but I was panic–struck. Physics made me sick the whole time I learned it. — Sylvia Plath

i was supposed to be having the time of my life Sylvia Plath quote

I’m not afraid of being lost. We all wander off from time to time. It’s the fear of never quite finding myself that keeps me up at night. — 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

Let me not be sentimental, let the distance in time give me humor and irony and a shrewd, if loving, eye. — Sylvia Plath

What I didn’t say was that each time I picked up a German dictionary or a German book, the very sight of those dense, black, barbed–wire letters made my mind shut like a clam. — Sylvia Plath

Beating time along the edge of thought. — Sylvia Plath

you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time Sylvia Plath quote

I felt dumb and subdued. Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently. — Sylvia Plath

Do I like to write? Why? About what? Will I give up and say, ‘Living and feeding a man’s insatiable guts and begetting children occupies my whole life. Don’t have time to write’? — Sylvia Plath

What I want back is what I was Before the bed, before the knife, Before the brooch–pin and the salve Fixed me in this parenthesis; Horses fluent in the wind, A place, a time gone out of mind. — Sylvia Plath

Why is Sylvia Plath important?

Sylvia Plath was an American writer whose best-known works, including the poems “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus” and the novel The Bell Jar, starkly express a sense of alienation and self-destruction that has resonated with many readers since the mid-20th century


I am dead to them, even though I once flowered. — Sylvia Plath


O heart, such disorganization! — Sylvia Plath

o heart such disorganization Sylvia Plath quote

I hurl my heart to halt his pace. — Sylvia Plath

Yet I liked him too much… way too much, and I ripped him out of my heart so it wouldn’t get to hurt me more than it did. — 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

How frail the human heart must be–a mirrored pool of thought. — Sylvia Plath

Let me sit in a flowerpot, The spiders won’t notice. My heart is a stopped geranium. — Sylvia Plath

i hurl my heart to halt his pace Sylvia Plath quote

It is a terrible thing to be so open: it is as if my heart put on a face and walked into the world. — Sylvia Plath

The storerooms are full of hearts. This is the city of spare parts. — Sylvia Plath

There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart––It really goes. — Sylvia Plath

Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. — Sylvia Plath

Poets and novelists and playwrights make themselves, against terrible resistances, give over what the rest of us keep safely locked within our hearts. — Janet Malcolm

how frail the human heart must be a mirrored pool of thought Sylvia Plath quote

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

My bones hold a stillness, the far Fields melt my heart. — Sylvia Plath

Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled ‘enemy? — Sylvia Plath


We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you. — Sylvia Plath

What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid. — Sylvia Plath

we should meet in another life we should meet in air me and you Sylvia Plath quote

I find that in a novel I can get more of life, perhaps not such intense life, but certainly more of life than in poetry. — Sylvia Plath

The artist’s life nourishes itself on the particular, the concrete. — Sylvia Plath

I have to live my life, and it is the only one I’ll ever have. — Sylvia Plath

Life happens so hard and fast I sometimes wonder who is me… — Sylvia Plath

As a poet, one lives a bit on air. I always like someone who can teach me something practical. — Sylvia Plath

what is my life for and what am i going to do with it i don t know and i m afraid Sylvia Plath quote

See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks. I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life. — Sylvia Plath

Hour by hour, day by day, life becomes possible. — Sylvia Plath

There is history to read–centuries to comprehend before I sleep, millions of lives to assimilate before breakfast tomorrow. — Sylvia Plath

The claw of the magnolia, drunk on its own scents, asks nothing of life. — Sylvia Plath

A terrible depression yesterday. Visions of my life petering out into a kind of soft–brained stupor from lack of use. — Sylvia Plath

the artist s life nourishes itself on the particular the concrete Sylvia Plath quote

Wear your heart on your skin in this life. — Sylvia Plath

I love the people,’ I said. ‘I have room in me for love, and for ever so many little lives. — Sylvia Plath

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

The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life. — Sylvia Plath

Life, of course, never gets anyone’s entire attention. Death always remains interesting, pulls us, draws us. — Janet Malcolm

i have to live my life and it is the only one i ll ever have Sylvia Plath quote

My life is a discipline, a prison: I live for my own work, without which I am nothing. — Sylvia Plath

So learn about life. Cut yourself a big slice with the silver server, a big slice of pie. Open your eyes. Let life happen. — Sylvia Plath

What was Sylvia Plath’s early life like?

Sylvia Plath published her first poem at age eight. She entered and won many literary contests.

She first sold a poem, to The Christian Science Monitor, and first sold a short story, to Seventeen magazine, while still in high school. < br>

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

Love life day by day, color by color, touch by touch. — Sylvia Plath

Cheers for spring; for life; for a growing soul. — Sylvia Plath

life happens so hard and fast i sometimes wonder who is me Sylvia Plath quote

We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine. — Sylvia Plath


I felt wise and cynical as all hell. — Sylvia Plath

Redundant Thematics

In Sylvia Plath Statements


I felt the first man I slept with must be intelligent, so I could respect him. — Sylvia Plath

The only thing I could think of was turkey neck and turkey gizzards and I felt very depressed. — Sylvia Plath

I felt like a racehorse in a world without racetracks. — Sylvia Plath

i felt wise and cynical as all hell Sylvia Plath quote

I felt dull and flat and full of shattered visions. — Sylvia Plath

I felt overstuffed and dull and disappointed, the way I always do the day after Christmas. — Sylvia Plath

Be stoic when necessary and write–you have seen a lot, felt deeply, and your problems are universal enough to be made meaningful–WRITE. — Sylvia Plath

I felt dreadfully inadequate. The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it. — Sylvia Plath

You felt no reality. Only a weariness, a longing for a shoulder to sleep on, a pair of arms to curl up in–and a lack of that now. — Sylvia Plath

i felt the first man i slept with must be intelligent so i could respect him Sylvia Plath quote

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

I don’t know how long I kept at it… I felt reasonably safe, streched out on the floor, and lay quite still. It didn’t seem to be summer any more — Sylvia Plath

I have felt great advances in my poetry, the main one being a growing victory over word nuances and a superfluity of adjectives. — Sylvia Plath

I felt the mask crumple, the great poisonous store of corrosive ashes begin to spew out of my mouth. — Sylvia Plath

Where did Sylvia Plath study?

Sylvia Plath entered Smith College on a scholarship in 1951.

She achieved considerable artistic, academic, and social success, but she also suffered from severe depression, attempted suicide, and underwent a period of psychiatric hospitalization.

She graduated from Smith with highest honours in 1955 and went on to Newnham College, Cambridge, on a Fulbright fellowship. .

As I lay on my back in bed staring up at the blank, white ceiling the stillness seemed to grow bigger and bigger until I felt my eardrums would burst with it. — Sylvia Plath

i felt like a racehorse in a world without racetracks Sylvia Plath quote

As from a star I saw, coldly and soberly, the separateness of everything. I felt the wall of my skin; I am I. That stone is a stone. My beautiful fusion with the things of this world was over. — Sylvia Plath

All the heat and fear had purged itself. I felt surprisingly at peace. The bell jar hung suspended a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air. — Sylvia Plath

I felt sorry when I came to the last page. I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print the way you crawl through a fence. — Sylvia Plath

I felt myself shrink to a small black dot against all those red and white rugs and that pine paneling. I felt like a hole in the ground. — Sylvia Plath

A baby! I hated babies. I, who for two and a half years had been the center of a tender universe, felt the axis wrench and a polar chill immobilize my bones. I would be a bystander, a museum mammoth. — 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

I felt limp and betrayed, like the skin shed by a terrible animal. It was a relief to be free of the animal, but it seemed to have taken my spirit with it, and everything else it could lay its paws on. — Sylvia Plath


But writing poems and letters doesn’t seem to do much good. — Sylvia Plath

I’ve got to have something. I want to stop it all, the whole monumental grotesque joke, before it’s too late. But writing poems and letters doesn’t seem to do much good. — Sylvia Plath

For me, poetry is an evasion of the real job of writing prose. — Sylvia Plath

but writing poems and letters doesn t seem to do much good Sylvia Plath quote

I feel terribly vulnerable and ‘not–myself’ when I’m not writing. — Sylvia Plath

I’m happier writing about doctors than I would have been being one. — Sylvia Plath

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing. — Sylvia Plath

And I identify too closely with my reading, with my writing. — 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

for me poetry is an evasion of the real job of writing prose Sylvia Plath quote

Secretly, in studies and attics and schoolrooms all over America, people must be writing. — Sylvia Plath

What awards did Sylvia Plath win?

The Collected Poems, which included many previously unpublished poems, appeared in 1981 and received the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, which made Sylvia Plath the first to receive the honour posthumously


Then I decided I would spend the summer writing a novel. That would fix a lot of people. — Sylvia Plath

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

The reason I haven’t been writing in this book for so long is partly that I haven’t had one decent coherent thought to put down. — Sylvia Plath

I hated the very idea of the eighteenth century, with all those smug men writing tight little couplets and being so dead keen on reason. — Sylvia Plath

i feel terribly vulnerable and not myself when i m not writing Sylvia Plath quote

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

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing, which remark I guess shows I still don’t have a pure motive (O it’s–such–fun–I–just–can’t–stop–who–cares–if–it’s–published–or–read) about writing. — Sylvia Plath


Doing all the little tricky things it takes to grow up, step by step, into an anxious and unsettling world. — Sylvia Plath

I need not to be more with others, but to be more & more deeply, richly alone. Recreating worlds. — Sylvia Plath

To annihilate the world by annihilation of oneself is the deluded height of desperate egoism. — Sylvia Plath

i must be lean write make worlds beside this to live in Sylvia Plath quote

I must be lean & write & make worlds beside this to live in. — Sylvia Plath

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow. — Sylvia Plath

I am too pure for you or anyone. Your body Hurts me as the world hurts God — Sylvia Plath

If every soldier refused to take arms … there would be no wars; but no one has the courage to be the first to live according to Christ and Socrates, because in a world of opportunists they would be martyred. — Sylvia Plath

To the person in the bell jar, blank and sTopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. — Sylvia Plath

i thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow Sylvia Plath quote

A man’s world is different from a woman’s world and a man’s emotions are different from a woman’s emotions and only marriage can bring the two different sets of emotions together properly. — Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again. — Sylvia Plath

I should have loved a thunderbird instead; At least when spring comes they roar back again. I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. (I think I made you up inside my head.) — Sylvia Plath

What I hate is the thought of being under a man’s thumb,’ I had told Doctor Nolan. ‘A man doesn’t have a worry in the world, while I’ve got a baby hanging over my head like a big stick, to keep me in line. — Sylvia Plath

I want to force myself again and again to leave the warmth and security of static situations and move into the world of growth and suffering where the real books are people’s minds and souls. — Sylvia Plath

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