Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Ariel: The Restored Edition: A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement (Modern Classics) Paperback – October 25, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Sylvia Plath churned out her final poems at the remarkable rate of two or three a day, and Robert Lowell describes them as written by "hardly a person at all ... but one of those super-real, hypnotic, great classical heroines." Even more remarkable, she wrote them during one of the coldest, snowiest winters (1962-63) Londoners have ever known. Snowbound, without central heating, she and her two children spent much of their time sniffling, coughing, or running temperatures (In "Fever 103°" she writes, "I have been flickering, off, on, off on. / The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss."). Pipes froze, lights failed, and candles were unobtainable.
As if these physical privations weren't enough, Plath was out in the cold in another sense--her husband, Ted Hughes, had left her for another woman earlier that year. Despite all this (or perhaps because of it), the Ariel poems dazzle with their lyricism, their surprising and vivid imagery, and their wit. Rather than confining herself to her bleak surroundings, Plath draws from a wide array of experience. In "Berck-Plage," for instance, clouds are "electrifyingly-coloured sherbets, scooped from the freeze." In "The Night Dances," the poet stands crib-side, reveling in her son's own brand of do-si-do: "Such pure leaps and spirals--Surely they travel / The world forever, I shall not entirely / Sit emptied of beauties, the gift / Of your small breath..."
Though at times they present the reader with hopelessness laid bare, these poems also teem with the brightest shards of a life, confounding those who merely look for the words of a gloomy, dispassionate suicide. Plath rose each morning in the final months of her life to "that still blue, almost eternal hour before the baby's cry" and left us these words like "axes/After whose stroke the wood rings..." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Along with withholding (or allegedly destroying) one of Plaths journals after her death in 1963, Plaths husband, the late English poet laureate Ted Hughes, brought out a version of her second and final book of poems, Ariel, that differed from the manuscript she left on her desk. That editionfor which Hughes dropped 12 poems, added 12 composed a few months later, shifted the poems ordering and included an introduction by Robert Lowellhas become a classic. The present edition restores the 12 missing poems, drops the 12 added ones, and prints the manuscript in Plaths own order, followed by a facsimile of the typescript Plath left, along with a foreword by Plath and Hughess daughter Frieda Hughes (Wooroloo), several hand- and typewritten drafts of the books title poem and notes by David Semanki. The original manuscripts contents have been widely known since Hughes published them in the 1981 Collected Poems, but there is an undeniable thrill to reading Plaths book as she left itthe lacerating "The Rabbit Catcher," left out of the Ted Hughes edition, comes third here, with its rhyme of "force" with "gorse," the flowers of which "had an efficiency, a great beauty,/ And were extravagant, like torture." As to whether this version is a better book, only time will tell. For now, despite Frieda Hughess repeated references to her fathers respect for Plaths work, tally another shot in the Plath wars.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
My final comments:
If you are going to buy Ariel, never buy the one that says "Sylvia Plath (Author), Ted Hughes (Editor)" or whatever it says that involves Ted Hughes. All I can say is avoid anything that has his name along with Sylvia Plath's, so if you want her journal for example, buy the one that I luckily noticed before I bought the one Ted Hughes edited, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath is an amazing poet, and if you, for example, are new to her poetry, Ariel: The Restored Edition is the book to buy. I also recommend Anne Sexton, and Robert Lowell if you like the confessionals.
So many readers want Plath to mean and to be so many things. Ultimately, this hagiography leads to diminishing the depth of her art to a patina of idiot wind like "feminist," "confessional," and "obsessed with her Daddy/Elektra stuff."
All of which has unfortunately kept me away from deeply reading Plath for so long. Interestingly, I came to re-read this collection (or really, in my mind, to read it now for the first time) only because I was reading and LOVING the collected poems of Ted Hughes. He was simply blowing my mind---so I read a bit about him, and though I knew he was married to Plath and a bit about the soap operatic story of his second wife, I never appreciated how much HE, this awe inspiring genius poet stood in total awe of Plath's work. If he was that impressed, I had to see what the fuss was about.
And underneath all the expectations and labels, what it's about is DAMN good poetry. The collection starts off with "Morning Song," which is the most accurate, beautiful, sad, and perfect poem I've ever read about caring for children and caring for yourself when you're caring for children. The phrase I used when describing some of the lines to my wife was "inevitable." That's the highest compliment one poet can give another---it means that she didn't get CLOSE to the "truth" of what she was trying to say...she didn't "turn a clever phrase" or tell the truth "slant." She wrote PERFECT words and lines. They HAVE TO be that way. She said it the best it can be said. Done.
Luckily for artists after her, she didn't do this ALL the time (who could?) While MANY of the poems in Ariel are inevitable, some miss. Some still hold on to Plath's earlier style in Colossus wherein she attacks the Thesaurus and pursues a sense of ambiguity to the point of producing coldness and vague, limpid lines.
But do not be put off by these cautions or by any possible cliche or negative expectations---Plath was an intensely gifted and cosmically touched poet---Ariel roars.
The introduction written by Plath's daughter, Freida Hughes, is especially moving. It definitely adds something interesting to the text, especially if it's not your first time reading the collection, the original version of which was arranged by Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath's ex-husband by the time she had finished "Ariel." This particular version includes the original manuscript and Plath's intended arrangement.
This collection is both praised and criticized as a revolutionary "feminist" text. Plath brilliantly rebels against the cultural box of a "woman's place" in Ariel. The speaker in Ariel is blatantly dissatisfied with the monotony of domesticity, and she blazes with desire for something "more." She is larger than life, other-worldly- she does not fit in the domestic sphere.
Of course this collection is also famous as it was finished just before her suicide. Plath writes beautifully of the internal struggle caused by mental illness. I read this collection once at 19 and bought this particular copy at 22, having just been diagnosed clinically "depressed" and prescribed anti-depressants. The second time through was extremely cathartic. Plath gives voice to the war depression wages against mind and body. This is an extremely important text; Plath's creative genius translates something I thought much too complex for words.