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Quotes of the day: Sylvia Plath

Published Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 9:39 PM EDT
Oct 26 2014

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College 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 England, and had two children, Frieda and Nicholas. Plath suffered from depression for much of her adult life, and in 1963 she committed suicide. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man can see by starlight, if he takes the time.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I am made, crudely, for success.

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.

I desire the things which will destroy me in the end.

I talk to God, but the sky is empty.

If I didn't think, I'd be much happier; if I didn't have any sex organs, I wouldn't waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell.

If they substituted the word 'Lust' for 'Love' in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

Is there no way out of the mind?

Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.

Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state.

The abstract kills, the concrete saves.

The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.

There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room.

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

They understood things of the spirit in Japan. They disemboweled themselves when anything went wrong.

What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.

When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn't want it, you cannot take it back. It's gone forever.

Why can't I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?

Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and- cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?


(October 27 is also the birthday of Erasmus and John Cleese.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Sylvia Plath


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