Welcome to the Sylvia Plath Forum which began January 1998 following the surprise publication of Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters. The forum is moderated and maintained by Elaine Connell.
Poem Analysis

  • The Bee Meeting
  • Cut
  • Mirror
  • The Moon and the Yew Tree
  • Mystic
  • The Thin People
  • Tulips
  • Poems inspired by Sylvia

    Contributions: October-November 2000

    Since the traffic on the Forum doesn't seem very heavy at present, I'll hog some bandwidth to digress on Sylvia's "Yankee" vowels. Now there are people from all over the world reading this, many of whom may not have a clue what "Yankee" means, except maybe "American." So here we go with definitions of Yankee.

    To me, as a native New Englander, a Yankee is an old-time New Englander, often raised in the country but whose family might have moved to Boston years ago. This Yankee hates ostentation and maintains proudly that birth, marriage, and death are the only times one's name should appear in the newspaper. This Yankee is frugal and plain, a person of few words, a person who would prefer New England Boiled Dinner to escargots. One Yankee I know well has eaten hot oatmeal for breakfast every morning, winter and summer, for the last 75 years. One of the ultimate Yankees I have seen was an elderly dowager coming to Friday afternoon Boston Symphony (seats for the season are hereditary!). She pulled up to the front door in a chauffeur-driven, 30-year-old Ford sedan and emerged in her ancient fur wrap, leaning on her cane, grumbling about the ostentatious limousines pulling up ahead and behind to disgorge fashionable matrons from their lunch at the Chilton Club, or wherever. Another ultimate Yankee, scion of a wealthy and very large family in suburban Newton, so hated ostentation that he kept a fleet of stripped-down business-model Plymouths in his barn, bought at fleet discount of course, available for all to use without any outsider guessing that the family had more than one car.

    Speaking now as a Vermont expatriate from Massachusetts, here is my favorite definition of a Yankee. To people outside the United States, a Yankee is an American. To American southerners, a Yankee is someone from the despicable North. To a northerner or midwesterner, a Yankee is someone from New England. To a southern New Englander, a Yankee is someone from northern New England. To a Vermonter, though, a Yankee is someone who eats apple pie for breakfuhst.

    Jack Folsom
    Sharon, Vermont, USA
    Thursday, November 30, 2000

    The story "Fugue and the Fig Tree" is indeed in the book, "Best Short Stories of 1953", as I've recently purchased a copy. When reading the story, one can pick out certain references that Plath has included in her prose as well as in her poetry.

    Steve Gorrell
    Champaign, IL, USA
    Thursday, November 30, 2000

    Thanks for the explanation of Plath's accent, Jack. Having listened to the Radio 4 programme ,mentioned by John Hopkins, I was very struck by her accent. It seemed so British on one level, but the vowels were all American. I must say, though, what struck me most was what you also mention - how wonderful her voice sounds. She had such a lovely rich resonant voice - "Morning Song" sounded quite special as she read it. Her voice captured the warmth - and the quirkiness - of the poem. Accent is really secondary to this.

    Ann Hyland
    Wexford, Ireland
    Wednesday, November 29, 2000

    It's a fabulous site. I am a student of literature and its going to help me a lot. My best wishes. Thanking u. Surabhi...

    Surabhi Bhapal
    Rajkot, India
    Wednesday, November 29, 2000

    This question about the "fig tree story" was asked about two weeks ago, and I responded pretty much as follows: According to The Bell Jar, The book the people at "Lady's Day" gave the girls was called somehing like "30 best stories of the year". The year would have been 1953, the year of Plath's breakdown and the execution of the Rosenbergs. According to "The Short Story Index" there was, in the collection called "Best American Short Stories of 1953" as story entitled "Fugue of the Fig Tree" by one Stanley Sultan.

    Jim Long
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Wednesday, November 29, 2000

    In response to Ted's query about Sylvia's accent, let me say first that a)I grew up in a suburb of Boston, b)I have lived in England and listened to American expats there, and c)I used to teach American English dialects.

    That said, let's listen to Sylvia's 30 October 1962 BBC reading and interview with Peter Orr. In the interview especially, one can hear the nasal vowels (the open "rah'thuh" for "rather" and "paht" for "part," for example) usually associated with an educated eastern New England "Yankee" speaker rather than with the typical eastern Massachusetts suburban or Boston speaker, whose vowels are flatter and twangier(the tighter & more tense "reh'thuh," for example, and "feh'duh" for "father"). Sylvia's vowels are similar to her mother's, and we can assume that Aurelia fastidiously copied educated "Yankee" speech when she was perfecting her English as a second language. The accent I am trying to describe is no longer very common. One hears it mostly in the speech of educated older women in New England.

    The second part of Sylvia's sound patterns has to do with intonation. Sylvia has affected the intonation patterns of British English, which has a much higher pitch on stressed syllables in emphasized words and question words than most American English does. American English is almost monotonous by comparison, using stress variations more than pitch variations, although most American women speak with more "expression" than their male counterparts.

    All in all, I'd say that Sylvia speaks with an affected British accent, with a residue of vowels that only a Yank would produce. As we know, such imitation of English speech, long considered in America to be the prestige dialect, is very common among Americans living or even visiting in Britain. Most such imitators I have questioned have said that the sounds are infectious and imitated unconsciously rather than deliberately. The same people admit they often fall into southern speech when in the company of southerners. I think there's also a strong pressure to conform to the speech and mannerisms of one's peers, especially among young people. Most white American teenagers, for example, speak with, like, the same kinda, ya know, gnarly tone of voice, in which nearly every statement has the intonation of a question?

    And those of you who watch old 1930s Hollywood movies know that all the actors had to learn to speak with English accents because their small-town heartland twangs or gutteral Brooklynese sounded so atrocious on the primitive sound tracks of the day!
    No doubt, had she lived longer, Sylvia would have sounded veddy plummy Brittissh indeeed, but I shouldn't forget that on those late BBC recordings, it is the powerful intensity of Sylvia's voice that is most remarkable.

    Jack Folsom
    Sharon, Vermont, USA
    Monday, November 27, 2000

    I am teaching *The Bell Jar* to an American literature class at a Japanese university and am wondering whether Plath readers would be able to identify the story (title? author?) Esther Greenwood is referring to in Chapter 5: "I flipped through one story after another until I finally came to a story about a fig-tree ... This fig-tree grew on a green lawn between the house of a Jewish man and a convent, and the Jewish man and a beautiful dark nun kept meeting at the tree to pick the ripe figs, etc." Esther refers to this tree again in Chapter 7: "I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig-tree in the story". This is obviously a heavily symbol-laden tree, but has specific literary/cultural source been identified? I am also wondering what the letters "P.A.S."--here in context of Buddy Willard's stay in sanatorium and treatment for T.B. (chapter 8)--stand for. Many thanks in advance for all help.

    Denis Jonnes
    Fukuoka, Japan
    Monday, November 27, 2000

    I'm wondering if, now that Ted Hughes has gone to his reward and/or punishment, some photos of Sylvia will be available for purchase. Any idea if/when/how I can buy any? Thanks!

    David Hall
    Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA
    Monday, November 27, 2000

    I am just studying Plath, I do have a question as I grew up in Boston. As I listened to some of her poems I was struck by her accent. Did she affect a British accent? I know of no one in around here who even remotely comes close to that type of accent.

    Friday, November 24, 2000

    Hi Gloria - the only copies of SP's honors thesis that I have come across on the internet have been very expensive - in the $500 US area. Still, you might try Alibris - they have many titles, or auctions or Zshops - occasionally. Anyone else have any info? I too would like to read her thesis, but it seems to be inaccessible to the average person.

    Detroit, USA
    Friday, November 24, 2000

    On Radio 4 on Sunday there was a programme "Adventures in Poetry" which this week discussed Plath's "Morning Song". I missed most of it, but the programme is being repeated on Radio 4 next Saturday, 25th November at 11.30 p.m.

    John Hopkins
    Bridgend, S.Wales, UK
    Sunday, November 19, 2000

    I'm having trouble locating Sylvia Plath's thesis "The Magic Mirror: a study of the double in two of Dostoevsky's novels". I've been trying to locate this text on the internet since I live in Croatia and it's much easier for me to get an electronic copy of this manuscript, than hope to get a published version. If there is anyone who knows where I could get a copy of it, I would be very greatful for the information. Thanks in advance

    Zagreb, Croatia
    Sunday, November 19, 2000

    . I have recentlt finished reading The Bell Jar. I am deeply saddened by the life that Sylvia had lead. Although, at the same time I see myself in her writings, as I am sure a lot of us do. It is times like today that we, as people, need to take the time to look back on our lives and recollect the memories that we have stored inside our heads. After all, we, as Sylvia had, do not know if '...someday- atcollege, in Europe, somewhere anywhere- the bell jar,with its stifling distortions, wouldn't descend again[?]'

    We all need to look back at our lives and be thankful for what we have achieved, whether it be small or magnificently grande. If we don't, I am afraid, the exact same feelings of hopelessness and suffocation may come to haunt us all.

    Sylvia was a great poet and novelist. And to me, she is a heroine. It is as Ani Difranco once sang, "...every tool is weapon if you hold it right." It is just too sad that Sylvia's writings have become that tool- that we use in our everyday life, helping us get through the worst of times- merely because of her death.

    Please email me if you would like to further discuss this.

    Hall, USA
    Sunday, November 19, 2000

    Forgive me, but Judson Jerome seems to have become a sort of itch I have to scratch again. If you look at his book The Poet and the Poem, pg. 15-16, he has some comments about Plath (seems like he has a real bug up his nose about her, he's constantly mentioning her). He's warning the reader about such things as "inspiration" and "intensity". He pretty much comes right out and says he doesn't believe in "artistic sensibility". What he believes in is "turning out useful products". While it may be questionable whether "Ariel" can be "understood" by the average reader, by this time Plath was obviously not writing for the average reader. I should add that on pg. 366 he does describe Plath as "a talent as great as Emily Dickinson's" which seems to me a form of damning with faint praise. In "On being a poet" (pg. 126) he refers to her as "One of the most brilliant and talented poets of our century", and suggests that she was great in spite of her sickness, not because of it. This seems to me a cogent comment. But, what it boils down to, and why he resists poems like "Ariel", is that he is simply afraid of her madness, her "violent intensity", so he resists trying to understand it.

    Jim Long
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Friday, November 17, 2000

    Does anyone know where I can find Alan Williamson's "A Marriage Between Writers: Birthday Letters as Memoir & Poetry"? I don't know if it's an article or book, I'm thinking article though, as I didn't find it at amazon.

    Judson Jerome wrote the poetry column for a writer's magazine - I forget its name just now - and he was all for being clear and easy to understand, not dense and allusive, with multiple meanings. There is a strain of American criticism that wants literature to be easily understood, with proper nouns and verbs doing their jobs instead of being used in an alternate way, the language that, as Marianne Moore once said, dogs and cats can read. Plath could have written that way, but I think what she wanted to get across was the interior, as well as the exterior, of a situation - "Ariel" is a case where the two seem to merge, and Mr. Jerome is upset that this is regarded as high art. His comment on the madwoman's doodle is a mean sideswipe, but then he likely thinks all of her post-1960 work is evidence of mental illness.

    Lena Friesen
    Toronto, Canada
    Friday, November 17, 2000

    My own immediate reaction would be this; Ad hominem is not the same thing as criticism; neither ad feminem. Admittedly, part of Plath's inscrutable appeal lies precisely in being inscrutable; however, this is defensible in aligning her in her time; her approach abstract, Jackson-Pollock like--fifties "visual art" being a haven of disembodied forms. Of course, when one says "This does not make sense," implicit is the dependent clause, "to me"--to quote Man Ray fully. ("If I say it is art, it is art to me.")

    Also of course, to limit poetry only to that which "makes sense" would be to void out most of the catalog; with a rowley, powley, gammon and spinach, and the dish ran away with the spoon.

    --By the way, just who is Judson Jerome?

    Kenneth Jones
    San Francisco, USA
    Saturday, November 4, 2000

    Matt, Your quote from Judson Jerome's "Poet's Handbook" is exactly the reason I do not and will not select his book, or pretty much anything published by Writers' Digest, for our library (I am the selector in languages and literature for Hawaii State Library). Their approach to poetry is pedestrian and unimaginative. It's my opinion that Jerome wouldn't recognize a real poem if it landed on his nose and flashed neon. People who believe that because they don't understand the meaning of something it must not have a meaning are simply too pathetic to take seriously.

    Jim Long
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Friday, November 17, 2000

    Because 'Ariel' has been one of my favorite poems, recently I was mildly incensed while reading Judson Jerome's "The Poet's Handbook." As an example of meaningless poetry he reprints Ariel and writes, "...I am sure there is an explanation of 'Ariel' (the name of her favorite horse) in some academic critique. But I am also sure the poem makes no sense. One might study it, as a psychiatrist might analyze the doodling of a mental patient for insights into madness, for a better understanding of the woman. But its value as art for any sort of general audience is questionable."

    Any thoughts on this? Does his comment have any merit?

    Matt Paldy
    New York, USA
    Wednesday, November 15, 2000

    On Wednesday evening I & a friend went to the Boston Public Library to attend a poetry reading being given by one of Sylvia Plath's ex-boyfriends. Mr Peter Davison. He's had a very illustrious career as an editor, poet and memoir writer. He wrote a book called "The Fading Smile: Poets in Boston from Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath" (published in 1994) which are little memoirs about each poet. What a bloody exciting time the late 1950's must've been in Boston. It's actually, perhaps, the best book of his that I've ever read.

    History lesson: Plath and Davison had a relationship the summer of 1955, the summer before she sailed the Cambridge for her Fulbright Scholarship. But, before she sailed across the ocean, she dropped Davison like a New Year's resolution. And this is perhaps, it seems, the reason why he is appears still bitter. (Davison went on to marry one of Plath's Smith housemates Jane Truslow.) Davison was influential as he had been at Harvard University Press and recently (recent as of the time they met in 1955) appointed Editor at the highly respected Atlantic Monthly Press (AMP). For years after their break-up they were cordial enough in one another's company, but Plath could not publish, to save her life, at the Atlantic Monthly Press and in her Journals frequently wrote about him using words like 'snotty,' 'impotent,' and in a June 1959 entry talks about a "sense of something wrong" concerning Jane and Peter and a mistress that Peter had had.

    In Plath's lifetime she had only a number of poems published at the AMP. One in August 1955 (Circus in Three Rings), then one in 1957 (Pursuit) and then in 1960 (A Winter Ship & The Manor Garden) and then in 1961 (Words For A Nursery). Plath always suspected the Davison was somehow blocking her access to the AMP and very humourously sent poems to another editor there, Edward Weeks. From Plath's Journal 28 Sept 1959 "Sent, in spite of all, three stories to Atlantic today. A kind of game, for of course Peter D will reject me. I am sure he would not let Weeks publish a thing I wrote." End of lesson.

    What all this leads to is a poem in Davison's newest poetry collection called "Breathing Room". The poem is titled "Sorry (In Memory of Sylvia Plath)". For obvious reasons it is the most interesting poem in the collection and came as a surprise to see in print. The poem is spoken in Plath's voice where 'he' is Davison. This poem is one of a number composed whilst he was recently at Yaddo. In introducing the poem he said he had been "remembering things.: When he read the poem, especially towards the end, his voice and words became strained, almost sounding like a snarled-growl.

    Sorry (In Memory of Sylvia Plath)

    Lying in his arms I couldn't help
    myself when he kissed me and asked
    why I had done it.

    First I told him about my busy time in the city,
    and my return home, and the rebuff.
    Next how I couldn't

    sleep, no sleep for weeks--two
    months I told him--without a
    wink. I was surely cracking up.

    I had to plan. I could not permit
    myself to become a burden to
    Mother. He kissed me again.

    I told him about the swim, far out, but
    I couldn't get tired enough. And about
    the razor I couldn't press deep.

    About the pills I stole from Mother and added my own
    and wrote the note and crawled
    under the porch and slept at last.

    When I woke up my cheek was full of maggots.
    In the hospital they broke my head
    with lightning bolts. Everyone was so *kind*.

    Then I felt his body chill. He actually
    felt sorry for me. That bastard.
    *Sorry!* I could claw him.
    He understood nothing.

    An interesting poem where "The Bell Jar" is concerned. And also, since we don't have any Journals until after their relationship ended in 1955 we get an idea of what they talked about, what information regarding the first suicide attempt she was sharing with people at the time and that Davison 'understood' what Plath went through.

    Peter K Steinberg
    Brighton, Ma, USA
    Saturday, November 11, 2000

    For your interest: Sylvia Plath was born in the year of the monkey, her element is water (interesting in the contaxt of the Ocean stroy!), Ted Hughes was born in the year of the horse, his element is metal. Descriptions of these characters can be found for example at The monkey is said to be clever and quick-witted as well as successful in every endeavour, the horse is described as a wild spirit that falls in and our of love easily, needs independence and with his power of persuasion gets everything he wants. I am not sure when Sylvia learned about her Chinese Zodiac sign or if she uses any images from it in her poetry.

    Anja Beckmann
    Leipzig, Germany
    Saturday, November 11, 2000

    Hmmm, if Sylvia was born in the Chinese year of the Monkey, it's interesting to review "Ocean 1212-W" in that context. The simian talisman that she finds on the beach ushers her into a new identity phase in which she recognizes her separateness as a result of her brother's birth. From the sea she receives a signal of her own rebirth, as the baboon resurfaces wet and shining like a newborn: "A sign of what? A sign of election and specialness. A sign I was not forever to be cast out. And I did see a sign. Out of a pulp of kelp, still shining, with a wet, fresh smell, reached a small, brown hand. What could it be? What did I want it to be? A mermaid, a Spanish infanta? What it was, was a monkey."

    New Haven, USA
    Friday, November 10, 2000

    According to The Bell Jar, the book the editors of "Ladies Day" gave the girls was "The Thirty Best Short Stories of the Year". The year would have been 1953, since that was the year of Plath's suicide attempt. According to the Short Story Index, in the 1953 volume of Best American Short Stories, there was a story called "Fugue of the Fig Tree" by someone named Stanley Sultan. So far I haven't seen the story itself, but this seems to confirm Plath's account. Aloha.

    Jim Long
    Honolulu HI, USA
    Friday, November 10, 2000

    I found a 1964 poem by Hughes which might have something to do with the inscription on the gravestone as it evokes similar ideas. What do you think of it?

    O White Elite Lotus

    Sheer as a bomb - still you are all veins.
    Heart-muscle's moulded you.
    Rage of heart-muscle, which is the dead, too, with their revenge.

    Steel, glass - ghost
    Of a predator's mid-air body conjured
    Into a sort of bottle.

    Flimsy-light, like a squid's funeral bone.
    Or a surgical model
    Of the uterus of The Great Mother of The Gods.

    Out of this world! One more revelation
    From the purply, grumbling cloud
    And vulcanism of blood.

    The killer whale's avalanching emergence
    From the yawn
    Of boredom this time.

    Out of this world, and cruising at a hundred!
    But alive, as even in blueprint you were alive,
    Even as the little amoeba, flexing its lens,

    Ranging in along the death-ray, is alive
    With the eye that stares out through it.

    What eye stares out through you?

    You visor
    Of a nature whose very abandoned bones
    Will be an outpost of weapons.

    (first publ. Critical Quarterly, winter 1964)

    Anja Beckmann
    Leipzig, Germany
    Friday, November 10, 2000

    I am looking for a retrospective case study on Sylvia Plath by a psychoanalyst and was wondering if anyone knew of such an article. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    Sam Cole
    Dumfries, Scotland
    Friday, November 10, 2000

    Thanks for finding the complete quote and context of the inscription on Plath's headstone. Wasn't Monkey Plath's Chinese starsign (or whatever it is called in English), that would be very fitting, I am also reminded of the lines about her monkey-like fingers in Birthday Letters. In this context the quote seems to be about rebirth, a guidance to rebirth, as in the Bardo Todol, it is said to be about long life but I think it also applies to rebirth. Especially the last words:

    " the five elements
    compounded and transposed, and put to new use. When that is done,
    be which you please, Buddha or Immortal"

    I think it takes the agricultural ritual of planting the lotus after the ground has been cleansed with fire to illustrate the rebirth of the soul.

    Anja Beckmann
    Leipzig, Germany
    Tuesday, November 7, 2000

    A lengthy and rather pithy review by Joyce Carol Oates of the new American edition of the SP Journals appears today (5 November)in the Sunday NY Times Book section. It can be found online at If you do not already subscribe, it is easy to do so, and is free for recent articles.

    Jack Folsom
    Sharon, Vermont, USA
    Tuesday, November 7, 2000

    On Sunday there was a Plath Event at Wellesley High School . It was a great event, well attended and informative. There were three panelists including Lois Ames, Beth Hinchliffe and Richard Larschan.

    Lois Ames (author of the Biographical Sketch in the American Edition of "The Bell Jar") spoke primarily on Plath's life and chronology of major events A soft spoken, very very good speaker Lois Ames was one of the first Plath scholars and her words were wonderful and weigh heavy over the event. In the beginning of her talk she told we the audience a little story. Ames is two years older than Plath and also a Bradford High and Smith College Graduate. Through the years of reading the published and unpublished Letters and Journals it was discovered to her that she and Plath shared some of the same the same time!!! She concluded that story saying that some of those "rascals" had some explaining to do!!!!

    Beth Hinchliffe, also a Mlle Guest Editor and Local Historian, spoke about The Bell Jar summer and the stressful situations that occurred during the year 1953. On speaking with Dr Ruth Beuscher on the treatment that Sylvia received the Autumn of 1953 she, Dr B., said that what Sylvia needed was one to two years of consistent psychiatric attention and care, amongst other things. She also retold, with amazing detail and emotion, the fascinating story of Sylvia's reaction to the 19 June 1953 electrocution of the Rosenberg's in New York. (See Linda Wagner-Martin's "Sylvia Plath: A Biography" page 99-100.)

    Richard Larschan, a Junior at the University of Exeter when Plath and Hughes were living at Court Green and a lively, animated Plath-force, spoke on the art of Sylvia Plath. He discussed "The Disquieting Muses" and its poetic genius & its borrowing of events where concerning Aurelia Plath. It was perhaps the most interesting only because he was a great friend, advisor and near neighbor to Aurelia Plath and has a wealth of information on record by Mrs. Plath. (Please see his informative posting from 14 August 2000.)

    Two WHS teachers spoke too, about the importance of the High School and of Wilbury Crockett, they were Jeanie Goddard (who currently teaches in the same room that Crockett taught Plath) and Ronna Frick. I am not sure of all the audience, but two of Sylvia's childhood friends were there, Ruth Freeman Geissler and Betsy Powley Wallingford. Ruth and Betsy have both had discussions on writing a book exonerating Aurelia Plath. Afterwards I was able to speak with Jeanie Goddard and at for about ten minutes with Lois Ames. At the conclusion of the conversation with Lois Ames, which involved my interest and history with Plath and a mention of this Forum and Elaine's wonderful book, I gave my phone number and address to Lois and she'll be calling borrow Elaine's wonderful book!

    To view the Plaque recently placed in the lobby of WHS and dedicated to Plath by her classmates at their 50th reunion please click here.

    Peter K Steinberg
    Brighton, Ma, USA
    Tuesday, November 7, 2000

    'Isn't it more than a little ironic that Hughes should choose these lines, considering their context? i.e. "I would have you mark the tortoise and the snake, locked in tight embrace. Locked in tight embrace, the vital powers are strong."'

    Not having known the context, I always thought the lines were beautifully appropriate for Plath. "Even amidst fierce flames, the Golden Lotus can be planted." Even amidst the fierce emotional turmoil of her life (her years-long mental illness, the intensity of her feelings always, then her marital breakup) her "real self" (as Hughes put it) was born--or, speaking less spiritually, the amazing poems of her final months were born. Hughes would have thought of that "real self" as a Golden Lotus of sorts. He says in his introduction to the first published Journals, "A real a rare thing. The direct speech of a real self is rarer still....When a real self finds language, and manages to speak, it is surely a dazzling event--as Ariel was." I think that without her finding her real self, she might never have had her voice and would certainly never have written so powerfully. It is a testament to the woman that she could find it and could produce so well amidst the flames--i.e., amidst a life so filled with turmoil, internal and, in the last months, external as well.

    Mississippi, USA
    Tuesday, November 7, 2000

    I just saw Paul Prescott's discussion on the Stumpers listserv of the source of the epitaph on Plath's headstone.

    Isn't it more than a little ironic that Hughes should choose these lines, considering their context? i.e. "I would have you mark the tortoise and the snake, locked in tight embrace. Locked in tight embrace, the vital powers are strong." After all, once the "tight embrace" of her relationship with Hughes was broken, her vital powers were dissipated, with fatal result. Of course, it could also be argued that the breaking of that domesticating embrace released all the vital energy that resulted in the strongest works of her life. "Even amid fierce flames..." Out of the ash I rise with my red hair, and I eat men like air.

    Jim Long
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Saturday, November 4, 2000

    I read the Bell Jar when I was seventeen. My college tutor lent it to me. Few years later I could not get this book out of my mind. Now I am 24 and have read the Bell Jar several times and each time it gets deeper and better. I had for my birthday several plath poems and letters home i have found this book has quite a grip on me. Her whole energy and hunger for Knowledge before she met Ted Hughes was amazing. It is so sad that a gifted women like Sylvia Plath has gone she has inspired me so much and I am very grateful to that college tutor who first introduced me to here work. I read the article in the Guardian about her life and how she disliked her mother and I will hopfully be getting the book that was published this year of Sylvia's journal. Thank you for keeping this great women spirit alive.

    Solihull, England
    Saturday, November 4, 2000

    Hello...I am a highschool student who is doing an English poetry project in which I have to pick a poetand poem and video tape what I think the poem is about and how I percieve it. I have chosen "Widow" by Sylvia Plath because I enjoy her work and I think she is an amazing woman who should be credited greatly! If you have any suggestion on how I could film it to best explain the poem please email me at Thank you

    Noelle Gaudet
    Atlanta, USA
    Saturday, November 4, 2000

    I am very curious as to whether the short story about the fig tree that Esther Greenwood read while recovering from food poisoning is an actual story or not. If anyone could give me an answer, I would be deeply appreciative.

    FBG, USA
    Saturday, November 4, 2000

    I am a third year BA honours student, and this website is fantastic for me.My dissertation is on the portrayal of SP in the media and just from the message board here I have enjoyed many lively discussions with my tutor. I am particulary interested in anyone's views on the way Plath is portrayed and her role as a feminist icon???? My favourite poems are 'Tulips''Daddy'and many others, and I think 'The Bell Jar' is a highly under-rated piece of fiction. Thanks for the time!

    Twickenham M,sex, England
    Wednesday, November 1, 2000

    Hey there, I am simply a GCSE student searching for a site that might be able to help. I am looking for some help with Plath's poem medallion, as I have an essay that I need to do on it. I would like to know more, and for one of the first times would like to do a really good essay., I think that if I got some good guidelines and help I would be able to acomplish this easily. Thanks ever so much.,

    Alex Hatch
    Tuesday, October 31, 2000

    'A' level performing Arts students from Halifax New college are to perform a devised dance/drama piece based on Plath's Mirror at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge on December 13th at 7.30. This may be of interest to local Sylvia Plath fans so please get in touch with me if you want more information.

    Sandy O'Connor
    Hebden Bridge, England
    Monday, October 30, 2000

    I heard about Plath through my love of the Manic Street Preahers. My love for Plath soon grew as large. When I was about 12 I read Insomniac and was instantly hooked. She had a way of putting pain into words which I had never experianced before, and was unable to do myself. Plath helped me greatly about writing my feelings down and expressing what i felt. She will always be one of the first people to really inspire me.

    Sheffield, England
    Monday, October 30, 2000

    Thank you Paul for that very impressive quotation. I have always loved the inscription, and found it wonderfully apt for Sylvia Plath. Put in context, it is even more meaningful.

    I also loved the photograph - I have quite a feeling for graveyards, and find headstone inscriptions very touching. They sum up a life so starkly.

    I too enjoy this site a lot. Both the lively debates and the more thoughtful contributions. Thank you Elaine.

    Sylvia Plath left us a wonderful legacy. It is a pity that so many ignored what she created and focused on what she did or didn't do to those around her. Not many reputations could survive the scrutiny that she and her husband had to submit to after her death. It is a wonder that commentators take statements/letters/journal entries/poems/other people's memories... as being THE final statement on a situation, and don't allow for the "work in progress" that most lives are.

    Ann Hyland
    Wexford, Ireland
    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    Hello everyone, I am an a-level student from london, and am writing my course work on Plath. At the moment I am particularly interested in anyone's views on how Plath portrayed the experiences of women through her poetry. Personally, I think the exploitation of women is an issue she touches on in poems such as "three women", "Lady Lazarus", "Daddy" and even in "metaphors". I would be facinated to hear what anyone else thinks about this, as this forum seems to have really intelligent ideas and discussions. thank you

    Sam Massey
    London, UK
    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    re .inscription on Sylvia Plath's grave :-

    This quote comes from the book 'Monkey' written by Wu Ch'Eng-En in the middle of the sixteenth century. It is on page 23 of the penguin classics edition. It is spoken by a Patriarch who is teaching Monkey the way of long life.

    The full quote is :-

    Paul Prescott
    Todmorden, England
    Saturday, October 28, 2000

    I read 'The Bell Jar' a few years ago, and although I thought it was a great book, I did not really understand Plath's style and material. Now, having studied a selection of her poetry for A-Level, I can see how wonderful Plath was, and understand just how much of a loss to literature her death was. I think that my favourite poem is 'Medusa', it is full of emotions that the reader can understand. The relationship between a mother and a daught is one most people experience and can therefore relate to. The feeling of your future being restricted, and being suffocated by your mother is common. Ok, so I perhaps do not call my mum a 'blubbery Mary', but I can see a meaning in the poem that applies to my own life. Particularly true in the last line. 'There is nothing between us..' It is a realisation that we all have when we start to grow up. We are so like our mothers that we are them, there truly is nothing between us. Like people say, all woman become their mothers. Scary but true. I might try to give my children a little more moral freedom though.

    Blackpool, England
    Saturday, October 28, 2000

    Ivy--your research into the inscription on the tombstone of Sylvia Plath is brilliant. Thank you very much for your hard work and the posting. I've read three editions of the Bhagavad Gita with never any luck with those beautiful words in order. Today is the 68th anniverysary of Plath's birthday and I'll be celebrating by going to Jamaica Plain this evening to drink to Plath and the memory and the poetry and the life.

    In light of the 'torpid pace' the Forum seems to be in at the moment. I like to take this time to point out that several times a year the Forum goes through a period of slowed acitivity. I think this is in part due to some topics of discussion possibly being beaten like a dead horse. I like a good, lively, thoughtful and intelligent discussion as well as the next--it is a form of living--but I understand that there are periods where all the contributors (and silent fans) are reading other things, catching up, working on term papers, in relationships, getting dumped, travelling, moving, having parties or living in other ways.

    The good thing is that the Forum is always there, be it active or resting. And for the chance of its existence I'd say it's better that there are those quiet times, those times of hibernation that eventually lead to a 'waking up.' Contributors come and go.

    And so Elaine, thank you for the Forum, for your Book and that is a very lovely photograph of Sylvia's grave.

    Peter K Steinberg
    Brighton, Ma, USA
    Saturday, October 28, 2000

    Photo taken Friday, October 27, 2000
    Click on image for larger version

    The swans are gone.Still the river
    Remembers how white they were.
    It strives after them with its lights.
    It finds their shapes in a cloud.
    What is that bird that cries
    With such sorrow in its voice?
    I am young as ever,it says.

    -Sylvia Plath,March 1962

    Happy Birthday.

    Friday, October 27, 2000

    Tom Fuller, I've discovered this quote from a gardening book, of all places: 'The annual cleansing of the ground by fire still practiced in humble agrarian societiessometimes called "slash and burn" agriculturegives a mystical role of fire in the growing cycle a special function that probably surprises the modern urban dweller. He may be puzzled by the reminder in the Bhagavad Gita that "even amidst fierce flame the lotus can be planted." ' ...which leads me to believe perhaps Hughes added the word 'Golden' as an adjective to describe Plath. That's all I could find on the 'Net. You never know, it might be out there.

    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    Friday, October 27, 2000

    I have never posted a message here before. I am one of the many who loving Sylvia Plath's work as I do visit regularly to read the messages. After the turbulence of the summer the message board seems to have settled down to an almost torpid pace. Cressida where are you? Even though some thought your hypothesizing "off the wall" you are obviously very intelligent. Your ideas even though distasteful to some were original and sparked a lively discussion which made interesting reading. Come back soon.

    Thanks to the manager of this site for the hard work that goes into making it one of the best Sylvia Plath sites there is."

    Tom Smythe
    Newcastle, England
    Friday, October 27, 2000

    I was intrigued by one of the titles on Ivy's list, namely

    Sylvia Plath (Bloom's Major Poets)

    due to be published in December 2000. Can this be the same Harold Bloom who wrote less than ethusiastically, indeed disparagingly, in his Editor's Note and Introduction in the book he edited about Plath 1988/89:

    Modern Critical Views: Sylvia Plath.

    It would be nice to think that Mr.Bloom has changed his opinion and now considers Plath a "Major Poet", I may be sceptical butI fear there may be a sting in the tail somewhere. However if he has indeed seen the light on his road to Damascus it is to be welcomed

    John Hopkins
    Bridgend, S.Wales
    Thursday, October 26, 2000

    "Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted." This inscription is on Sylvia Plath's headstone, but its origin is a mystery. I've spent quite a lot of effort looking for it, in conjunction with Nigel Rees, host for the last 25 years of the BBC's "Quote ... Unquote" radio program and one of the world's leading finders of lost quotations.

    For the group's information, the following passage is from Nigel Rees's current quarterly newsletter:

    The ascription of the epitaph on Sylvia Plath's grave to the Bhagavad-Gita has been called into question. I read it in translation and found several references to "flames" and "lotuses", but nothing resembling the actual quote. Tom Fuller turned up an interview with Ted Hughes in THE GUARDIAN (20 April 1989), in which Plath's husband merely said it was a "translation from the Sanskrit". Tom turned to Patricia Hatch at Harvard and I to Margaret Cone at the University of Cambridge. Both came up with the idea that it may be from a Mahayana Buddhist text, but that is as far as anybody has got.

    Tom Fuller
    Washington DC, USA
    Monday, October 23, 2000

    Do people know anything about these books? Found 'em on

    The Other Sylvia Plath (Longman Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature)
    by Tracy Brain
    Hardcover (January 2001)
    ISBN: 0582327296

    Sylvia Plath (Bloom's Major Poets)
    by Harold Bloom (Editor)
    Library Binding (December 2000)
    Chelsea House Pub (Library); ISBN: 0791059359

    The Terror of Our Days : Four American Poets Respond to the Holocaust
    by Harriet L. Parmet
    Hardcover (March 2001)
    ISBN: 0934223637

    The Art of Dying : Suicide in the Works of Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, and Sylvia Plath (American University Studies. Series Xxiv, American Literatur)
    by Deborah S. Gentry
    Hardcover (October 2000)
    Peter Lang Publishing; ISBN: 082042496X

    White Women Writing White : H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and Whiteness (Contributions in Women's Studies, No. 175)
    by Renee R. Curry
    Hardcover - 200 pages (May 30, 2000)
    Greenwood Publishing Group; ISBN: 031331019X

    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    Monday, October 23, 2000

    Re: 5 November 2000 Panel Discussion on Sylvia Plath. The panel members will be Biographer Lois Ames, Local Historian Beth Hincliffe and one time contributor to the Forum Professor Richard Larschan along with two Wellesley High School English Faculty members Jeanie Goddard and Ronna Frick. "This event is the second in the series 'Wellesley Incognito,' a millennial project devoted to little known aspects of Wellesley history and culture." Little known?

    Peter K Steinberg
    Dedham, Ma, USA
    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    I have been fascinated with Sylvia for the Last 12 years. I have read almost everything she has ever written including biographies. It is a tragedy that she ended her life the way she did and a shame. I am glad to know her children are thriving and living their own lives.

    Las Vegas, USA
    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    In the name of the Sylvia Plath Forum I am pleased to announce that we, as all the contributors, scholars, etc. have purchased a brick! At Wellesley High School there is a courtyard around the back. I was told it's about six years old or older (no one seemed to know). They have trees and flowers and benches and I was told that students are always sitting out there when the weather's good. There is a brick walkway with names of Wellesley High Schools past, present and future graduates and the year they graduated or will graduate. Since moving here and looking for a job I've had some free time to drive all over and notice these things. This is what we have purchased. There already was a brick for Wilbury "Bill" Crockett. The brick will read "Sylvia Plath / Class of 1950"!! Thank you all for enjoying Sylvia Plath so much, Thank you Elaine for starting this Forum and for letting me use the name of the Forum in this timeless, memorable contribution. When it is in place I will take a photo for the Forum.

    Come one come all. On Sunday 5 November 2000, at 2PM in the Wilbury Crockett Library at Wellesley High School there will be a Panel Discussion sponsored by the Wellesley Cultural Council entitled "Sylvia Plath: Local Roots, Legendary Writer". There will be a book sale following. I do not know at this point who will be on the panel. But I plan to be in there and will take notes. Keep in mind that the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath will be published within a week or so, so start asking your bookshops about it!!!!!!!!!!!

    Peter K Steinberg
    Dedham, Ma, USA
    Thursday, October 12, 2000

    I just finished The Belljar. There were interesting allusions to Lewis Carroll's Alice stories: the Cheshire cat, orange marmalade, a slide down the banister, and I think something about a two-way mirror. While Plath's work has been criticized as adolescent, there is a degree of craft and refinement. I was tempted to leave Kafka's Metamorphosis off halfway, but Plath's is, at times, a lyrical madness that I found beautiful and engaging.

    Keenan Windel
    West Plains, MO, USA
    Saturday, October 7, 2000

    Years ago I acquired a copy of Sylvia Plath's collection of letters. I have been re-reading both the letters and the poems in the collected version.Her poems are powerful, almost alarming.I have come to accept Alvarez' view that regardless of the individual background of her life she should be treated as a major poet of the 20th century.

    There remains however the question about the source of her power and, indeed, the source of the power of the words she uses. It may be appropriate to consider her life and work not only in relation to other poets such as Anne Sexton but also in relation to other woman authors such as Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. They had similar struggles, with dominant psychologically oppressive fathers, trauma from family deaths, conflict between their roles as women and their need to understand their own lives and human life more generally. They also had their Belljars. The difficulties they had to overcome forced on them an intensity of experience and vision which went to form what they wrote.

    Robin Allott
    Seaford, East Sussex, England
    Thursday, October 5, 2000

    Ever since I discovered this forum about two years ago (I think), I've eagerly anticipated checking in every day to find new insights and ideas regarding Plath's work. My interest in Plath was piqued by The New Yorker's excerpts a few years back from Janet Malcolm's A Silent Woman. My only regret is that, alas, I don't have time to get more involved as a participant rather than as a greedy onlooker.

    I'm teaching an advanced composition class this semester and took the opportunity to sneak "Ocean 1212-W" into the syllabus. The class was reading a number of essays through the framework of loss, and Plath's essay generated much discussion. It's quite gratifying to incorporate Plath into a classroom, especially when the students are not familiar with her or her work. Depending on the route the discussion takes, I don't, as a rule, offer biographical information. When I do, I offer it at the end. When speaking about loss, suicide naturally brings the discussion to another dimension. (Speaking of aliens--to beat a dead horse--there's that simian talisman floating up from the "Ocean 1212-W" waves...)

    Next week, in a sophomore literature class, we begin a poetry unit. We open with "Daddy," and I'll be bringing in Plath's recorded reading of the poem for comparison with the written word. Hence, I'm thrilled that "Daddy" has been added to the poetry discussion. Thanks, Elaine!

    New Haven, USA
    Wednesday, October 4, 2000

    Aside from the poetry, the Plath I am most curious about is exactly the entity being discussed in this forum: Plath as a blank projection screen for her readers, her critics, her biographers. I haven't much interest in the various biographies, and, in fact, developed many opinions of art from Plath's work sans the "juicy" details. For me, the best of her work stands on its own as unquestionable art, and I have yet to read anything of biographical detail that proved necessary to evaluating the best work as such.

    I cannot say that I was never touched by the plath myth, having spent a number of years not mentioning my love of her work to friends or colleagues as much out of embarrassment at having to hear another gushing confession of love for this entity constructed of sometimes gossip, sometimes psychobabble and sometimes serious critical inquiry. At some point I realized that the most interesting thing about Plath is her ability to be what Cynthia Sugars recently described as "fantasy space."

    Sugars says that:

    Does anyone else ever feel a tremendous disparity between the actual body of work (by this I mean the poetry not the journals or the commercial writings, but those that (may I project?) Plath herself would have been most likely to assert as her art, had she lived to be her own executor) and the stories of her life that proliferate in the biographies and criticism? I have never seen critics so eager to recreate (almost relive) a person. For me, the critical/biographical materials on Plath have thus far proven to be disappointments, and I always feel in those few flawless poems what more could have been written.

    Just a thought.

    S. Pippin
    St. Louis, USA
    Wednesday, October 4, 2000

    I read Lady Lazarus before I knew anything about Sylvia Plath. In the poetry class that I was taking we eventually discussed Plath's life in brief and I needed to know more. I read several biographies in lieu of reading the poems, at first. I did eventually go to the poems and found anything before middle 1959 impossible. But it's the life I enjoy most when the poems become difficult. Right now I prefer to reading previously uncollected articles, short stories and poems written by Plath. There are a vast collection of these at Smith. But some of the bigger libraries might even have old copies of The Christian Science Monitor, for example, which published quite a few non-fiction articles, drawings, and a poem or two.

    I have a couple friends that have connections with the Aliens. They are looking into the new found mystery of the Fate of Sylvia Plath. Stewart, this is your play!!!!

    Peter K Steinberg
    Springfield, Va, USA
    Monday, October 2, 2000

    Oh, Plath and the aliens is an old hat, discussed months ago in the Plath and the mad girls yahoo club.
    Some more lines:

    "The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
    White as a knuckle and terribly upset. "
    The moon as a giant alien.
    Also, in Fever 103 she is signalling the aliens:
    "Darling, all night
    I have been flickering, off, on, off, on. "

    But in the end I have to agree with Paul Snyder, there is no definite answer to any of our speculations so why keep on speculating? I find your comment that we are " at liberty to speculate on the causes and reasons (if there were any normal reasons) behind her despair. "pretty disturbing, Cressida. Maybe you should join the above-mentioned club.

    Anja Beckmann
    Leipzig, Germany
    Monday, October 2, 2000

    I guess I enjoy the slugfest too, but I find it a little tedious too.

    Maybe part of the reason is that the letter I submitted some time back just got lost - aliens here too?

    To go back to Nancy's question askin if anyone had read Plath's poetry before reading about her life - I did.

    Believe it or not, even though I was a teenager when she died, I heard nothing of her suicide, and knew little about her. When the Collected Poems were published in the 80s, I bought them, having heard her name in passing. I was astounded at them. I still remember the sense of shock I felt when reading "Three Women". I felt sure she couldn't mean what I thought she meant. Having suffered a miscarriage, followed by the births of my three children, I could identify with an awful lot of the comments. But (having an English degree under my belt!!) I also knew that poetry wasn't meant to be about things like that.

    I also recall the bafflement I felt reading "Daddy". Again, I didn't know what to make of it. The contrast between the nursery rhyme beat, and the deep horror reflected in some lines was difficult. I read it a few times, and was captivated by the texture of the language, the striking ideas, the complexity of her thoughts ("Elm" in particular)... and then I was too busy with my charges and job to puzzle more.

    I did however read "Bell Jar", and enjoyed it - wasn't overwhelmed, but I could identify with some of her sense of being stifled by her world.

    When "Birthday Letters" came out, I read and enjoyed them - to a point. Then I began to find them too like Plath herself, and got tired reading what I felt was second-hand poetry. But I am going to revisit them. Perhaps I was too quick to judge.I have never been a Hughes' fan.

    Only in recent months have I returned to Plath - I was asked to do some work relating to her. So over a few months I have read quite a number of biographies, as well as the Journals. It amazes me - and also annoys me - that people can build so much around a person's reported life, and then argue as if their impressions were THE truth. Surely the complexity of one's own life must inform all judgement of others: everything has so many possibilities, and we are judging Plath on some private jottings, and the books ("hagiographies" in some cases, "demonographies" in others) others saw fit to write about their partial knowledge.

    Her poetry, on the other hand, speaks for itself - it may be slightly clearer because one knows some detail or other about her life. But since when has poetry been autobiography?

    Ann Hyland
    Wexford, Ireland
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    Cressida, while I prefer a ringside seat to being in the ring during your slug fests (don't you get tired?), I would like to advance a simple observation. Your relentless effort to identify the reason or reasons for what you call Sylvia Plath's 'despair', (others, including Plath herself, have settled for trying to identify what 'bothered her' since she was not without achienement or moment of happiness) is admirable, but probably doomed to failure. Plath herself never arrived at a conclusive answer unless they appeared in the journals Ted Hughes discarded or lost, and I doubt that. Hughes, who lived with her for six years, also didn't fare very well, and couldn't come up with anything better than suggest it was some fateful bond with her dead father. So with all this behind us, I'm not too optimistic about your efforts to find the answer. Your suggestions to date--e.g., monomania, a 'thin' skin, hatred for her mother, sexual abuse, and others I've forgotten, don't seem to ! me to advance the cause very far. They're either too simplistic, refute established facts, or, as someone has noted, too 'off the wall'.

    The answer to the question may be that there is no answer. At least this is the conclusion of Elizabeth Bronfen who two years ago published a book called 'Sylvia Plath', part of a series called 'Writers and Their Works'. Ms. Bronfen has written on the subject of hysteria, and cautions against trying to find a definitive explanation to Plath's emotional problems. She also discusses why so many people feel the need to explain her suicide. I'm not totally sold on her analysis, but I found it interesting. You might want to add her books to your list. The books aren't easy reading, but nothing that a bright, sharp-witted girl, oops! woman, would have trouble with.

    Paul Snyder
    New York City, USA
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    I think Stewart and Elaines ideas are really good ones, but please do not discount the possibility that she may also have been SEXUALLY ABUSED BY ALIENS....

    Cressida Hope-Bunting
    Alabama, USA
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    Elaine, thank you for getting the motherhood discussion rolling. A courageous line (I believe it's from "Lesbos") has always rung true for me -- "The stink of fat and baby crap." I'm hard-pressed to come up with another artist who so unabashedly shared the non-"fat-gold-watch" moments.

    In the good old days when I had time to kill, I had a bit of trouble keeping up with some of the intellects here, and nowadays it's frankly just about impossible. I appreciate your embracing this new topic. If I can't add much myself, I enjoy reading the insights of Melissa, Jan, Stewart, Peter, and the many others who put so much thought into their responses.

    I'd also like to publicly thank Peter Steinberg for his exhaustive Plath site, frequent photo updates, and generosity in sharing his resources. Right before this forum began, I squeezed in a trip to Fitzroy Road while in London for the first time, so I can attest to the pleasure of a little toe-wriggling myself.

    Falls Church, Virginia, USA
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    I can certainly find more evidence of alien abduction in Plath's poetry than I can of sexual abuse. For example, in "Fever 103" she writes:

    "I think I am going up,
    I think I may rise."

    This is obviously the moment when she was "beamed" up into the alien craft. Then in "Poem For a Birthday" she deals with the experience (so common for alien abductees) of being operated on by the extra-terrestials:

    "This is the city where men are mended.
    I lie on a great anvil. (the alien operating table)
    The flat blue sky circle (the flying saucer or the equipment above the table?)
    Flew off like the hat of a doll (again a flying saucer type shape)
    When I fell out of the light" (the journey through space?)

    In "Brasilia" she records her actual encounter with these alien beings:

    "These people with torsos of steel
    Winged elbows and eyeholes
    Awaiting masses of cloud to give them expression,"

    This represents the alien skin type and the notorious large eyes and lack of distinct facial features of beings from other planets.

    Maybe she isn't dead, but living with Elvis and Fox Mulder's sister somewhere in the Crab Nebula?

    Elaine Connell
    Hebden Bridge, UK
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    How inspired! Abducted by aliens! This is so perfect. Now we can create a major motion picture combining two of my favorite social/cultural/literary pastimes, Sylvia Plath and the X-Files.

    Amy Rea
    Eden Prairie, USA
    Sunday, October 1, 2000

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    This forum is administered by Elaine Connell, author of Sylvia Plath: Killing The Angel In The House - second edition with new preface just out, December 1998. Elaine lives in Hebden Bridge, near where Sylvia Plath is buried and where Ted Hughes was born. Web Design by Pennine Pens. This forum is moderated - contributions which are inappropriate, anonymous or likely to offend may be edited or omitted.