Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. Born in Boston,  she studied  at the University of Cambridge, before receiving acclaim as a poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956; they lived together in the United States and then the United Kingdom, and had two children.  Sylvia was clinically depressed for most of her adult life.

Sylvia is best known for her two published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems, and Ariel. In 1982, she won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

Sylvia had described the quality of her despair as “owl’s talons clenching my heart. She tried several times to take her own life.  On August 24, 1953 she overdosed on pills in the cellar of her mother’s home. In June, 1962 she drove her car off the side of the road, into a river. When questioned about the incident by police she admitted to trying to take her own life.  In 1963 Sylvia died  of carbon monoxide poisoning with her head in the oven, having sealed the rooms between her and her sleeping children with wet towels and cloths.

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