Ariel

Ariel

"In these poems...Sylvia Plath becomes herself, becomes something imaginary, newly, wildly and subtly created." -- From the Introduction by Robert Lowell...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Ariel
Author:Sylvia Plath
Rating:
ISBN:0060931728
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:105 pages

Ariel Reviews

  • Paul Bryant
    Sep 27, 2007

    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately -

    . 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 ENGLISH

    ELM.

    Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritati

    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately -

    . 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 ENGLISH

    ELM.

    Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritating.

    THE RABBIT CATCHER

    I went out with this guy once and then I found out he liked to catch rabbits. So he was toast. I should have dimed the bastard.

    BERCK-PLAGE

    I went on holiday. Every single person in the whole hotel was talking about me behind my back. I don't like bikinis. Don't even get me started on nude beaches.

    THE OTHER

    I have something dead in my handbag. Tee hee. Also, I scratched myself and made myself bleed. I don't really recommend marriage.

    A BIRTHDAY PRESENT

    I got a present. But I was thinking that if I unwrapped it, it would bite my face off. So I didn't. Hah.

    THE BEE MEETING

    I thought I'd like to join in village life and get involved with local societies and all that. So I went to the bee keepers' meeting. It was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock. I liked it.

    STINGS

    Now I'm a real bee keeper. I get blase about stings. It's like a metaphor.

    THE SWARM

    Bees are kind of like Nazis. Or the French. I can't decide.

    WINTERING

    Country life can suck. I wish I was a bee. No, I don't really. That would be silly. I think it would be silly. Maybe it wouldn't be silly.

    A SECRET

    Men are like big babies that drink beer and want you to wear high class lingerie. Okay, that's not much of a secret.

    THE APPLICANT

    I got this job as a temp. So I was filing and I knew I could destroy them if I chose, just like that, but I didn't choose to that day.

    DADDY

    When I was little and my dad used to dress up in his SS uniform I used to think he looked so smart and handsome. Of course, later, the penny dropped.

    LESBOS

    You really shouldn't have taken the kittens and given them to the neighbours without a by-your-leave. I think I am going to pour sulphuric acid on your head while you are sleeping. I'll do it tonight. Yes.

    FEVER 103

    I got one of those 48 hour bugs. That's why he's still alive. If I had any strength in my limbs I would have sulphuric-acided his head last night.

    CUT

    I nearly cut my fucking thumb off when I was making a casserole for a man. I jumped about swearing. I could have cut off something useful, like his member, but no, it had to be my thumb.

    POPPIES IN OCTOBER

    Have you noticed that everything is slowly dying of carbon-monoxide poisoning?

    LADY LAZARUS

    I like to commit suicide like some people like to visit their grandparents. You really don't want to, it's kind of a drag and there's nothing to do there, but you just feel you have to because you're a good person.

    LETTER IN NOVEMBER

    Dear Ted - Fuck you - Sylvia

    DEATH & CO

    Cheer up, things could be worse, I could be dead. Oh no, wait a minute - this is worse, that would be better. Hmm.

    SHEEP IN FOG

    Well, you know sheep aren't that bright to begin with. So when you mix 'em up with a thick fog, the results are hilarious.

  • Manny
    Nov 28, 2008

    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

    which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

    So what's this g

    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

    which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

    So what's this got to do with

    ? I was trying to figure out why I like it so much (it's been one of my absolute favorite pieces of poetry since I first came across it as a teenager), and it struck me that maybe I admired it for similar reasons. Sylvia Plath went on an expedition to a sort of emotional Antarctica, a place most people have heard of but never visited, where you experience love so intensely that it ends up killing you. Before that happened, however, she managed to send back detailed reports of what she'd found there. Perhaps another reason why I associate her and the brave Captain Scott is that she died during the English winter of 1963. I was five at the time, and some of my first memories are of the bitter cold, and of how incredibly deep the snow was. I remember that we were snowed in, and that my father shovelled a path to the house next door, so that we could at least visit them. The snow was much higher than his head. A few hundred miles away, Sylvia had left her husband, and was living in London with her two children. She killed herself on February 11.

    Here are some of the passages from

    that I think of most often. I have always assumed that the title poem is about having sex with Ted Hughes, though I found out recently that it's also about her horse. It ends like this:

    The beginning of

    is another of my favourite passages, which expresses better than anything else I can think of just how painful love can be. I remember once showing it to a friend who's had a rather difficult life (we'd been having some discussion about poetry). She seemed almost physically affected; I remember she turned pale, and couldn't finish reading it. I wished I'd had more sense:

    And I love the end of

    , which she apparently wrote to her son, two years old at the time:

    I was so shocked when I read earlier this year that he had also killed himself. But when someone's written a poem like this about you, you're as immortal as the unnamed subject of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII.

    By the way, most people have been very dismissive of the movie with Gwynneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. I seem to be one of the rare exceptions; the script was nothing special, but I thought Paltrow had done a fine job of capturing her personality on screen.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Jul 28, 2010

    Ariel, Sylvia Plath

    غنولن: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات

    آینه

    نقره ام، دقیقم، بی هیچ نقش پیشین

    هرچه میبینم بی درنگ میبلعم

    همان گونه که هست، نیالوده به عشق یا نفرت

    بی رحم نیستم، فقط راستگو هستم

    چشمان خدایی کوچک، چهار گوشه

    اغلب به دیوار رو به رو میاندیشم

    صورتی ست و لکه دار

    آنقدر به آن نگاه کرده ام که فکر میکنم

    پاره ی دل من است

    ولی پیدا و ناپیدا میشود

    صورت ها و تاریکی بارها ما را از هم جدا میکنند

    حالا دریاچه ام

    زنی روبرویم خم شده است

    برای شناختن خود سرا پای مرا میکاود

    آنگاه به شمع ها یا ماه ، این دروغگویان، باز میگردد

    پش

    Ariel, Sylvia Plath

    غنولن: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات

    آینه

    نقره ام، دقیقم، بی هیچ نقش پیشین

    هرچه میبینم بی درنگ میبلعم

    همان گونه که هست، نیالوده به عشق یا نفرت

    بی رحم نیستم، فقط راستگو هستم

    چشمان خدایی کوچک، چهار گوشه

    اغلب به دیوار رو به رو میاندیشم

    صورتی ست و لکه دار

    آنقدر به آن نگاه کرده ام که فکر میکنم

    پاره ی دل من است

    ولی پیدا و ناپیدا میشود

    صورت ها و تاریکی بارها ما را از هم جدا میکنند

    حالا دریاچه ام

    زنی روبرویم خم شده است

    برای شناختن خود سرا پای مرا میکاود

    آنگاه به شمع ها یا ماه ، این دروغگویان، باز میگردد

    پشت او را میبینم و همانگونه که هست منعکس میکنم

    زن با اشک و تکان دادن دست پاداشم میدهد

    برای او اهمیت دارم، میآید و میرود

    این صورت اوست که هر صبح جانشین تاریکی میشود

    درمن دختری را غرق کرده است

    ودر من زنی سالخورده هر روز به جستجوی او

    مثل ماهی هولناکی برمیخیزد

    در مقدمه ی «آریل» اثر سیلویا پلات که دو سال پیش از خودکشی شاعر، در لندن چاپ شد، رابرت لاول شاعر معاصر آمریکا نوشت: «در این اشعار پلات با خودش یکی میشود، خویشتنی که با طراوت، ظرافت و شقاوت آفریده شد؛ یکی از آن قهرمان ابرواقعی و سحرآمیزِ بزرگ کلاسیک. لاول راست میگوید که پلات در شعرهای آخرش با خود یکی میشود؛ بخصوص در اشعار دفاتر «گذر از آب» و «آریل» که خودی یکدست، اما مشترک را به وجود میآورد. در این مجموعه به ویژه در دفتر اخیر، تجربه های روزمره را با اکسیر اسطوره به احساس و اشتراک عام مبدل میکند

  • Samadrita
    Feb 08, 2013

    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote

    during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of

    . 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 took me a while to get through this book not only

    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote

    during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of

    . 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 took me a while to get through this book not only because you cannot breeze through poetry as if it were a piece of fiction. But because my obsession with

    and

    got in the way of my progress with the remaining poems.

    I think I have read the 3 at least 20 times each since the day I picked up Ariel.

    Merely trying to imagine the ways, in which this lady could have further overwhelmed the literary world had she lived a full life, gives me goosebumps.

    Who would have thought that cutting your thumb on a chopping board could transform into exquisite poetry?

    A million stars.

  • Dolors
    Feb 07, 2014

    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

    , 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 to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images

    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

    , 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 to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images flood the still pond of my mind, I feel faint visualizing drops of blood soaking weaved carpets of fluffy snowflakes drawing impossibly flowery forms on shimmering innocence, red tulips opening their moist petals aroused by treacherous dew at dawn, warmth bitterly frozen in morbid colors.

    Sylvia’s brushstrokes combine the diluted shades of Manet with the impressionist aggressiveness and stunning tones of Pollock. Vulnerability and firm willpower are both present in form and content in this collection of poems. I encounter unapologetic Sylvia in her

    bewitching me with her defiant assertion:

    And I force myself not to think of her tragic suicide and her mental condition when she wrote these verses. I choose to concentrate on the writer, on the genius, on the creativity which enables suffering to become universal works of art that offer comfort and redemption, on the flowing current of feeling rather than on the scabrous speculations hiding behind Sylvia’s supposed products of madness. Truth is I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsought, some things need to be sensed rather than known, so I decide to surrender to Sylvia’s acidic voice and let the walls of this cage dissolve away and for the briefest of moments, I taste the undistinguishable flavor of exhilarating freedom.

    Let the poems speak for themselves. They probe unfalteringly with sardonic disdain, they delve deep in scavenger spirit, pecking unmercifully at their own creator’s flesh, they are abrupt, sarcastic, even deceitful. Sylvia’s virulent words become everlasting vessels, carriers of existential vision, ships of meaning that will perpetually sail the wintry dark waters of countless readers breaking through their foggy minds and dormant hearts.

    I thirstily swallow these 43 naked poems trying not to choke on their rawness and I unexpectedly find myself dragged by the powerful force of this kaleidoscopic river of white pure waters, red sensual nooks and black nihilist crannies. I am lost in this world of barren landscapes and atrocious celestial bodies, of endless inner wars and abandoned children and abused fathers. But I don’t want to be found.

    Sylvia’s use of colloquial language and her disdainful tone puncture the balloon of comfort and challenge the reader, her assonant and imperfect rhymes structured in free verse blend with myth and natural imagery creating a surreal and hypnotic hum that soothes and strikes back like a cobra, drawing honest blood and recognition.

    Sylvia’s choice of words and expressions pungently resonate in this age of gender conflict, broken families and economic inequalities, the bottled rage that derives from continuous betrayal and disappointment can be softened through Plath’s bitter yet courageous individuality.

    Some exotic birds aren’t meant to be caged. It would be a sin not to allow their colorful feathers to be spread and fly away. Sylvia escaped from a colorless world to soar the skies of eternity, tingeing them with burning bright celestial pathways that enlighten the firmament of those who, from time to time, dare to look up to the floors of heaven and allow themselves to be consumed by the flames of blazing and immortal art.

  • Connie
    Dec 23, 2014

    The restored edition of

    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

    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

    are brilliant and powerful, but often sad,

    The restored edition of

    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

    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

    are brilliant and powerful, but often sad, since they were written at a devastating time in Plath's life. Plath had suffered from depression for years, but she was at her lowest point after her husband became involved with another woman, and her marriage dissolved. Plath had some near-death experiences in her life--an accidental near-drowning at age 10 and a suicide attempt at age 20. Close to her 30th birthday, she wrote "Lady Lazarus" which begins:

    "I have done it again.

    One year in every ten

    I manage it--"

    She compares her marriage to the constriction of a snare in "The Rabbit Catcher":

    "And we, too, had a relationship--

    Tight wires between us,

    Pegs too deep to uproot, and a mind like a ring

    Sliding shut on some quick thing,

    The constriction killing me also."

    The poems are not all angry or depressing. The love she feels for her children is especially evident in "Nick and the Candlestick". She is holding her infant in the night, imagining the room as a mine lit by a candle:

    "Love, love,

    I have hung our cave with roses.

    With soft rugs--"

    As dawn is breaking, a visit to her newborn daughter in "Morning Song" brings these tender words:

    "All night your moth-breath

    Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:

    A far sea moves in my ear."

    Plath wrote early in the morning as the sun was rising, before her children awoke. Ariel, the name of her horse, has been compared to the writer's muse. The ending lines of the title poem "Ariel" are exquisite:

    "The child's cry

    Melts in the wall.

    And I

    Am the arrow,

    The dew that flies

    Suicidal, at one with the drive

    Into the red

    Eye, the cauldron of morning."

  • Lotte
    Oct 13, 2015

    My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.

  • Asghar Abbas
    Dec 17, 2015

    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 too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.

    R

    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 too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.

    Read it.

    Addendum : as I was reading this it dawned on me her poems are undeniably Gothic, weird this didn't occur to me before.

    Her every poem makes me suck in my breath. It is hardly breaking news that she was a good poet but such terrific words, I don't even want to imagine the insides of her terrible terrible mind.

  • Steven  Godin
    Aug 03, 2016

    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
    Aug 22, 2016

    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 that she wanted to die.

    Although I didn't grasp most

    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 that she wanted to die.

    Although I didn't grasp most of the poems in this collection, I did really enjoy a few: Sheep in the Fog, Lady Lazarus, Tulips, and The Rival.

    I was a much bigger fan of The Bell Jar than I am her poetry.