Sylvia Plath was a novelist, short story writer and poet from America. She was born in 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was to become a very talented writer and poet, who showed her talent at a very young age. In fact, her very first poem was published in the “Boston Traveler” when she was only 8 years old.


She was very talented and received a scholarship to attend college. Sylvia attended Smith College in Massachusetts where she started to show the first signs of serious depression. Sylvia even attempted suicide during her time at Smith College. She did, however, excel academically and in fact graduated summa cum laude from Smith College. When she graduated in 1955 she was awarded the Glascock Prize for her poem, entitled “Two Lovers and a Beachcomber by the Real Sea”.  During her time at Smith College she won several awards for her writing ability.

Her Work

Her experiences with depression, her nervous breakdown, and her suicide attempt inspired her to write the novel “The Bell Jar”, which was published in 1963. Sylvia was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study at Cambridge University. Over the years Sylvia Plath published various pieces of work in different publications.

Sylvia Plath married another poet, Ted Hughes, in 1956. They returned to the United States together as husband and wife in 1957, after which time she met and interacted with other poets and writers. These other poets encouraged her to draw on her personal and life experiences with depression to inspire her writing, which she did. She drew on her life experiences and feelings of despair and darkness for inspiration for the poems she wrote.

It was in 1960 that Sylvia Plath published her first anthology of poems in a book called the “Colossus”. This book contained 44 poems and was regarded as a major literary accomplishment of Plath’s. Sylvia did have two children, but also experienced much tragedy and drama in her life. In fact, she had a miscarriage at one stage, and ended up separating from her husband who had an affair with another woman. The suicide attempts continued, and her depression grew worse over the years.

Later Life

She continued to write and experienced a great deal of creative inspiration in 1962. Her earliest works were based on personal experiences and nature, but much of her later work showed her increasing despair, mental anguish and darkness. She died in 1963 at the age of only 30 years.

Another set of her poems was published after her death in 1965 in a book entitled “Ariel”. The poems displayed intense and rather disturbing imagery and clever use of rhyming and alliteration. The book “Ariel” included such noteworthy poems as “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy”. Some people considered this set of poems to be her greatest accomplishment of all. Sylvia Plath was the first poet to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry posthumously in 1982,

Sylvia Plath wrote compelling poems that although dark in tone showcased her brilliant mind and creative genius.