01 August 2018

David's Sylvia Plath Table

Two days ago, a piece written by poet, editor, and writer David Trinidad was published on the Poetry Foundation website. Entitled "Sylvia's Table", it recounts his rather exciting and unique experience with the Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes auction held by Bonhams in March. The story of how he came to acquire it is wonderful and I hope you all read it.

The table in the auction room.
Photograph ©Gail Crowther
The timing worked out brilliantly in the end as he received it just a few days prior to my arrival in Chicago for a talk at Columbia College, where David teaches. After checking into my hotel, walking around for a while and going over the final pages of the proof for the second volume of The Letters of Sylvia Plath I met David outside his building on S. Michigan Avenue and we drove to his place so I could see the table first hand.

Table with Plath books.
Photograph ©Peter K. Steinberg
He had it set up with Plath's Collected Poems and Ariel on top, along with the January 1963 issue of London Magazine, which published Plath's poems "The Applicant" and "Stopped Dead". We both like to imagine, I'm sure, that Plath's own copy of London Magazine rested on this very table in her living room in Fitzroy Road.

The base of the table.
Photograph ©Peter K. Steinberg
Seeing the table in person was a wonderful experience and set the few days I was in Chicago going on a strong Plathian note like a fat smartwatch.

Photograph of table from the auction house ©Gail Crowther and used with her permission. All other photographs ©Peter K. Steinberg.

All links accessed: 1 August 2018

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Of course I read the piece by poet, editor and writer David Trinidad! And i've also enjoyed it very much and I also left a message to him on Twitter yesterday. I never miss anything written by you here on your blog and on twitter, or written by other people, I read everything every day and keep myself always updated with your pieces and when I can't read them that very day when published because I'm busy or away from home(aka away from/without my wifi) then I read them when I can. And I've enjoyed this piece about the purchase of the table so much, I can try to imagine how thrilling it must have been for both of you, for Prof.Trinidad to receive it to his house and for u to see it and to touch it and to touch something Sylvia herself owned and touched and used. So sincerely glad for Prof.Trinidad to own such a precious item from Sylvia. Now his coffee and reading moments will be more enjoyable.

My best greetings, thank u very much for another very interesting and thrilling post and thank u for having shared yours and Prof. Trinidad's emotions on receiving and seeing the table and thank u for the pictures of it! Have a nice day, all my best,

xo Alina

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.

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