Ariel by Sylvia Plath


Sylvia Plath's celebrated collection.When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. Her husband, Ted Hughes, brought the collection to life in 1966, and its publication garnered worldwide acclaim. This collection showcases the beloved poet’s brilliant, provoking, and always moving poems, including "Ariel" and once again shows why readers have fallen in love with her work th...

Details Ariel

Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherHarper Perennial Modern Classics
GenrePoetry, Classics, Feminism, Fiction

Reviews Ariel

  • Paul Bryant
    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately - I have to steal that idea. So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.ARIEL TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISHELM.Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way...
  • Manny
    When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's Erobreren which contrasts the English and Norw...
  • Dolors
    Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems Ariel, which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail t...
  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    Haunting and honest - a scalpel that cuts so deep and quick you don't even feel it.
  • Duane
    What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you ...
  • 7jane
    A collection released two years after her death, written in a grand burst of creativity just before death... I had to get this mainly because of the cover, but I can say that though I have the 'all poems' book, having this separately was worth it....And I a smiling womanI am only thirty.And like that cat I have nine times to die...(from "Lady Lazarus")There are so many themes I could get from here: colors (red, white, black, etc.), moods (uncerta...
  • Tara
    “Cold glass, how you insert yourselfBetween myself and myself.I scratch like a cat.” These poems are jagged, visceral, and very, very raw. They’re angry and bruised, “extravagant, like torture.” And they are frequently charged with a dark, mirthless laughter. After all, “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Or so Camus once said.As a total poetry novice, I might be way off base with some of my impressions—I didn...
  • Samadrita
    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote Mad Girl's Love Song during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of Ariel. There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are. It...
  • Asghar Abbas
    I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them. What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today. Sublime work.I wish she had written more novels t...
  • Steven Godin
    Stunned.Destroyed.Took the wind out of my sails,and the light out of my eyes.Not wanting to curse but fuck me! could she write! As for "Daddy" what heart crushing despair.
  • Whitney Atkinson
    I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head. I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact tha...
  • Lotte
    My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.
  • Sara
    This was very up and down. A lot of the poems went right over my head, but a few I enjoyed, including Lady Lazarus, The Rival and The Moon and the Yew Tree. Of them all, I think Lady Lazarus had the most ‘pull’ in that it’s quite deeply emotive in its portrayal of wanting to be dead and the mixture of emotions that comes with this. It was very personal, and there’s no doubt Sylvia Plath has a way with words. For that poem alone, I pulled ...
  • Ammar
    Definitely contain some of the best poems by Sylvia Plath. The one I most enjoyed was Lady Lazarus.
  • Connie G
    The restored edition of Ariel is the group of poems that Sylvia Plath left as a manuscript at the time of her death by suicide in 1963. The originally published Ariel was edited by her former husband, Ted Hughes, who substituted some of her other poems written in the last months of her life. The forward by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each grouping of poems, trying to be fair to each parent.The poems in...
  • Renee Godding
    "I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root: It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there..." 5/5 stars Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the cou...
  • Edward
    Sylvia Plath had a way of rendering things mysterious and disturbing, compelling you to read each poem again and again to unlock the meaning. Compared to The Colossus, Ariel feels a little more mature, a little less concerned with the world, and a lot more fixated on death, specifically, suicide. These beautiful poems are sometimes difficult to read.
  • Magdalen
    DyingIs 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've a call. The most accurate thing about Ariel has been said "In these poems Plath becomes herself" I fear that I cannot be objective when I am writing (or talking) about Sylvia Plath because she speaks directly to my heart. I can relate to her poems, I can feel them. Sylvia Plath is raw, brutal and bit...
  • GTF
    A groundbreaking collection of poetry that showcases Plath's breathtaking expression and imagination. Although dark in subject matter, Plath does not repel the reader's interest, but rather appeals to the morbid curiosity using immensely vivid imagery, with words and sentences arranged almost melodically. It is easy to see why 'Ariel' became one of the most popular and talked about poetry collections of the twentieth century.
  • Zanna
    (gorgeous, like 6 stars of gorgeous2 stars lost for outrageously gratuitous use of racial slur and wtf use of the holocaust as symbolic of personal family relationship)
  • Mary
    This is Sylvia. Purging.Hushed and frantic and brutal.Written during the last months of her life…her peak was so so beautiful. Tragic.
  • Michael
    It feels like Sylvia Plath’s life overshadowed her literary value; her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was like a confessional and people tend to read it for all the juicy bits. Ariel is a collection of poems published posthumously, just a few years after her suicide. It is true that we have Plath to think for advancing the confessional poetry form and exploring topics previously taboo like suicide, mental illness and domestic abuse.I would...
  • Chris_P
    I am inhabited by a cry.Nightly, it flaps outLooking, with its hooks, for something to love I opened it just to get a glimpse, only an idea of Sylvia Plath's poetry and man, was I hooked! Her words grabbed me by the neck and dragged me all the way, intoxicating me with bitterness, irony and hard-boiled truth. At times I'd get this feeling of "age", this smell of a time before the 20th century, and then I'd come across a poem like Lesbos and recei...
  • Satyajeet
    The short length of the book and seeming simplicity - a woman rides her horse through the countryside - is belied by the incredible amount of attention given to it. For it explores far more than a simple daybreak ride. The use of dazzling imagery, vivid emotional resonance, historical and biblical allusions, and a breathtaking sense of movement, explores several different subjects, including - poetic creativity; sexuality; animism; suicide and de...
  • Vanessa
    3.5 stars I find poetry hard to review. I'm not much of a poet myself: I dabble now and again but I wouldn't call myself one. I don't feel like I have enough knowledge of the craft to fully appreciate poetry, and so I can't really comment on how good it is. Sylvia Plath is a poet I do like, but I don't love all of her poems. This collection in particular was a little bit of a mixed bag, but I feel like I'll appreciate it more and more on subseque...
  • April
    Plath astonishes with her grasp on words. What more can I say about her? I've already filled plenty of spaces praising this wondrous woman. Each poem is a breath of fresh air.'Your handful of notes; / The clear vowels rise like balloons.''My bones hold a stillness, the / Fields melt my heart.' 'They threaten / To let me through to a haven / Starless and fatherless, a dark water.''A living doll, everywhere you look. / It can sew, it can cook / It ...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Sylvia Plath was a truly gifted author, as reflected in each one of these evocative poems. Though my favorite book of hers is still The Bell Jar, Ariel is still a great one.
  • Nicky
    I feel like a bad person only rating this collection 3*. I found it dark and depressing which I guess is not really surprising since most of the poems were written not long before her suicide.Overall I greatly appreciated these poems but that was the thing, I appreciated them a lot more than I liked them.
  • averybird
    O God, I am not like youIn your vacuous black,Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.Eternity bores me,I never wanted it.- from Years Extraordinary, isn’t she? I was captivated by the poems in Ariel and am in agreement with others who view this collection as a masterpiece. For even when I came across a poem I didn’t fully understand, I could still sense the power within the words of Sylvia Plath which are precise, explosive, darkly beau...
  • Harley
    4.5 Stars.Poetry isn't really my thing. I've barely ever willingly read poetry but after The Bell Jar, I had to read this.So far, my experience with Sylvia Plath is an odd one; she seems to send me into a state of dazed delirium, I could be handed anything written by her and even if the context makes no sense to me, her writing alone just pulls me under in such a unique way. Some of these poems I understood and clicked with, others went over my h...