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Showing posts from April, 2014

Sylvia Plath: Three Women, The Journals

A small note in the Journals of Sylvia Plath indicates that the 1962 journals that form Appendix 15 were "arranged thematically by the editor as SP did not indicate a specific order" (703). They date by and large to the period after the birth of Nicholas Farrar Hughes on 17 January 1962 and continue to early July 1962, just after Percy Key's funeral. In this space of time, Plath wrote her long dramatic poem for three voices "Three Women", and a host of other "Ariel"-voice poems such as "Elm", "Little Fugue", "The Rabbit Catcher" and "Berck-Plage" as well as beautiful poems like "Pheasant" and "Among the Narcissi". When reading these journals, you can see the cross-over between the capturing of private experience in her journals and the reshaping of it in the art of her poetry, particularly in "Among the Narcissi" and "Berck-Plage" which both feature Court Green cottage nei

Dating Sylvia Plath's Journals

On pages 56-57 of the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath (2000), there is an undated entry. Right now reading it, one can only roughly date it to late March/early April 1951. Plath unfortunately (and frustratingly) did not date many of her early journal entries as freshman at Smith College. In this particular entry, Plath has taken "Notes on an experimental film" which was, as Karen V. Kukil points out in her extensive notes to the edition, Un Chien Andalou directed by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí Un Chien Andalou (1929) ( Vimeo , YouTube ) is a sixteen minute silent surrealist short film produced in France by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. That semester in the spring of 1951, Plath was taking Art 13. The prior entry to her "Notes on an experimental film" can be dated to late March; and the subsequent entry is her poem "April 18" (untitled in the journal, but it appears under that title in her Collected Poems ). Hard to

Sylvia Plath's Passport: Part Three

This is the third post on Plath's passport. Read the first one here and the second posting here . Sylvia Plath received a new passport issued by the Department of State Passport Agency in Boston in 1959. The date of issue was 8 September 1959. This passport is held by Emory University in the subseries of Plath papers in the larger Hughes papers (collection number 644) . Plath's occupation on the document is "Writer". There are far fewer stamps in this passport than in her first one, which I posted about on 22 March 2014 . 14 December 1959: Arrival stamp: Southampton, England 28 June 1961: Departure stamp: Dover, England 28 June 1961: Arrival stamp: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France 14 July 1961: Departure stamp: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France 14 July 1961: Arrival stamp: Dover That's it! No stamps for either her July 1962 trip to Wales or her September 1962 trip to Ireland. Domestic responsibilities including the care of her baby/babies precluded other trips, such a

Sylvia Plath: American Muse

The Estate of Sylvia Plath, HarperCollins, and Hormel Foods, the makers of SPAM, have joined together for National Poetry Month and released a special, limited edition SPAM with lines from Plath's poetry branded on the product. A special chemical added to the product will commit that poem to the memory of the consumer in five languages: English, French, German, American, and XML. The precooked meat has also been re-packaged with SPAM serving as an acronym for S ylvia P lath A merican M use. These can be found in grocery and convenience stores across the United States. While this may seem random, but Plath was familiar with SPAM. Plath wrote a letter to her mother on 15 August 1952 about a lunch that her then kind-of-still boyfriend Richard Norton made for her down in Cape Cod. She writes that he was adorable and was very insistent that he made a lunch salad which consisted of cantaloupe, melon, cheese and spam. She described it as artistic. The letter is unpublished. Th