Sylvia Plath: Biography

Sylvia Plath

27 okt 1932

Sylvia Plath, an American Poet, novelist and short-story writer was interested in Poetry from a very young age. With a very good academic record, she excelled in English and was very keen in creative writing.

Sylvia Plath was born on 27th October 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts to Otto Emil Plath and Aurelia Schober Plath. Her first poem came in Boston Herald’s Children’s section when she was eight years old. Sylvia was interested in painting also.

Sylvia’s father died when she was eight years old. She joined Smith College. In her college days, she contributed to a journal and also wrote many poems. Sylvia even tried to publish her works in magazines but most of it got rejected.

Highly talented Sylvia often got depressed. Her depression went to such an extent that she tried to kill herself by consuming her mother’s sleeping pills. Since she repeated such behaviour Sylvia was hospitalized and underwent Psychiatric treatment. After recovery, she went back to college and passed out with flying colours. Sylvia also obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Newham College.

Sylvia Plath worked as a receptionist and a teacher. She married Ted Hughes, a fellow poet and had two children. Their life started off well in the beginning but taking care of the children and managing her career at the same time disturbed Sylvia. When she came to know of her husband’s infidelity, her depression took its form again.

Sylvia’s most important works like ‘Lady Lazarus’, ‘Daddy’, ‘Fever 103’, ‘Purdah’, ‘Poppies in July’ and ‘Ariel’ were written after her separation from Ted. Sylvia wished to start a new life and so she moved to Devon with her children. But the worst winter of that century made life miserable; this aggravated her depression and finally she committed suicide on Feb 11, 1963.

It is really sad that people with such great talent become victim for depression. Sylvia’s semi-biographical novel ‘The Bell Jar’ got published after her death. Pulitzer Prize was awarded for her work ‘The Collected Poems’.

Hundreds of people visit her gravesite in Yorkshire every year and pay homage. This symbolises the greatness of her work.