Sylvia Plath is the author of such emotional classics such as The Bell Jar, and Ariel. She was known for her melancholic yet eye-opening sentiments which ring throughout her novels and poems. Here, I have compiled 11 of her most thought-provoking or insightful lines.
1. “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 my life. And I am horribly limited.” - The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
2. “Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”
3. “I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.” - The Bell Jar
4. “And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” - The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
5. “How frail the human heart must be―a mirrored pool of thought.” - Letters Home
6. "So much working, reading, thinking, living to do! A lifetime is not long enough.” - The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
7. “Is it the sea you hear in me? / Its dissatisfactions? / Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness? / Love is a shadow. / How you lie and cry after it.” - Ariel
8. “With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can't start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It's like quicksand... hopeless from the start. ” - The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
9. “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?” - The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
10. “I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next day had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.” - The Bell Jar
11. “Backward we traveled to reclaim the day / Before we fell, like Icarus, undone / All we find are altars in decay / And profane words scrawled black across the sun. - "Doom of the Exiles"