Home Quotes 35 Inspiring Sylvia Plath Quotes: Love, Life, Death And Beyond
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35 Inspiring Sylvia Plath Quotes: Love, Life, Death And Beyond

by Gloria Louden
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The 20th century witnessed one of the most dynamic poets of all time – Sylvia Plath. Often autobiographical in nature, Plath expressed her anguish and distress through her work. She was never one to shy away from portraying her feelings in a raw, unveiled manner. She makes her pain visible by inducing mental images in her readers’ minds. Find some of the most famous Sylvia Plath quotes below!

35 Sylvia Plath Quotes That Left the World Reeling

Sylvia Plath Quotes on Love

#1. “But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.” – Sylvia Plath

#2. “If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression. Of something beautiful, but annihilating.” – Sylvia Plath, The Rival Poem

#3. “What did my fingers do before they held him.” – Sylvia Plath

#4. “It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative – whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.” – Sylvia Plath

#5. “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.” – Sylvia Plath

#6. “I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” – Sylvia Plath, Journals of Sylvia Plath

#7. “How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.” – Sylvia Plath

#8. “And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

#9. “I am too pure for you or anyone.” – Sylvia Plath

#10. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath Quotes on Sadness and Death

#11. “I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.” – Sylvia Plath

#12. “Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I have a call.” – Sylvia Plath

#13. “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” – Sylvia Plath

#14. “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.” – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath Quotes on Poetry

#15. “Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.” – Sylvia Plath

#16. “I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.” – Sylvia Plath

#17. “Arrogant, I think I have written lines which qualify me to be The Poetess of America.” – Sylvia Plath

#18. “Didn’t you know I’m going to be the greatest, most entertaining author and artist in the world? Well, don’t feel badly, I didn’t either!” – Sylvia Plath

#19. “I am a writer… I am a genius of a writer; I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life; they will make my name.” – Sylvia Plath

#20. “The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.” – Sylvia Plath, Kindness

#21. “Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath

#22. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath, Journals Of Sylvia Plath

#23. “Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.” – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath Quotes on Life

#24. “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

#25. “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.” – Sylvia Plath

#26. “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.” – Sylvia Plath

#27. “God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of “parties” with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship – but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” – Sylvia Plath

Other Sylvia Plath Quotes

#28. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

#29. “If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

#30. “Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

#31. “What I want back is what I was.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

#32. “Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.” – Sylvia Plath, The Munich Mannequins

#33. “But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.” – Sylvia Plath

#34. “I talk to God but the sky is empty.” – Sylvia Plath, The Letters of Sylvia Plath

#35. “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.” – Sylvia Plath, Journals of Sylvia Plath

Sadly, Sylvia Plath took her own life when she was 30 years old. To date, she continues to make a massive impact on readers of all ages. Several authors of her time and after her time hail her work as revolutionary art that should never be censored.


Image source: Sylvia Plath photo by Shaunta Grimes

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