08 December 2012

Seven Days of Sylvia Plath Gifts

For the next seven days, I am going to suggest a perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - er, Holiday - gifts by or about Sylvia Plath. These are perfect gift ideas for friends, lovers, acquaintances, or enemies.

On the first day of Plathmas my true love gave to me:
A CD of rare recordings....

Day 1 - The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath (British Library Publishing, 2010)
(Order from British Library) (Order from University of Chicago Press)

The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath, with an introduction by - ahem - Peter K Steinberg, is the perfect gift for the holidays. Offering a range of rare Plath recordings, The Spoken Word is an instruction audio compilation. As you listens to Plath's speaking voice, you learn how to read those poems: the meter, the stresses, the line breaks, etc. The interviews add a human dimension to Plath, and Ted Hughes, too. The "Two of a Kind" recording is worth the price of the CD alone, offering glimpses at the poetic ideology of the 20th century's most famous literary couple, at a time just before Plath's full voice matured. The interview conducted in January 1961, precedes Plath's miscarriage and appendectomy by weeks, as well as the composition of "Tulips" (also on the CD) and The Bell Jar. Hearing Plath's introductions to several poems, also, informs how we can approach the works based on these authorial comments. The last track was recorded just a month before Plath's death and shows her at her critical best, astutely reviewing Donald Hall's book Contemporary American Poetry. Plath was excluded from the anthology, but a fun game to play (for children aged 14 and higher, only) is: how many of her own poems can you spot that she references in her review? A truly unique gift item that is a gift that keeps on giving. Order now! That's an order!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Such a good idea, Peter. Happy Plathmas all round!

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