♥ Loving Sylvia Plath ♥

poemsofthequiet:

Sylvia Plath, possibly around the years of ‘60-63 (?) (possibly right before her death). For some reason I tend to prefer her during this time. There’s something about the way she appears around the 60s. I also prefer her dark hair and bangs over her blonde locs of the 50s. My favorite is the second photo, it seems like a poem is creeping up inside of her head, or maybe she’s just simply lost in thought. 

(Photo source)

Actually these pictures were taken in July 1959 during the road trip Plath and Hughes took together. The first pic was taken at at Rock Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada and the second one at Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA.

You can find boths pictures along with three others from this trip in The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.

via http://jensineeckwall.com/

Sylvia Plath’s the Bell Jar Series

By Jensine Eckwall

Etching and aquatint with hand-applied watercolor.

Jensine’s Tumblr: http://jensineeckwall.tumblr.com/

Jensine’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jensineeckwallillo

You can buy Jensine’s prints here: http://www.inprnt.com/gallery/jensine/

***

The illustrations are inspired by and captioned with the following quotes from The Bell Jar and other works by Sylvia Plath:

"I Was Supposed to be Having the Time of My Life."
The Bell Jar, Chapter One

**

"I Am Horribly Limited."
1950, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

**

"I Am, I Am, I Am"
The Bell Jar, Chapter Twenty

**

"I Didn’t Want Any Flowers"
—”Tulips”, 18 March 1961, The Collected Poems

**

"We’ll Act as if This Were a Bad Dream"
The Bell Jar, Chapter Twenty

**

"I Was Open to the Circulating Air"
The Bell Jar, Chapter Eighteen

***

Jensine’s own Sylvia Plath’s the Bell Jar Series tumblr post: here

I Didn’t Want Any Flowers (Test Print) in color: here

We’ll Act As If This Were A Bad Dream, payne’s grey variant proof: here

Submitted by Marlaina from http://lionsroar83.tumblr.com/:

"Here are my cats reading Sylvia’s books! Bee has ‘Ariel’ and Gemini has ‘Sylvia’s Unabridged Journals’."

via moonshineandlemon.blogspot.com (see for recipe)

**Sylvia Plath | Fig and Plum Torte**


Maria K. from her blog moonshineandlemon.blogspot.com describes her cake in the following way:

"Not wishing to choose between figs and plums, I decided to use both in this heavenly combination of two fruit; more fig than plum, more torte than cake."

Today’s cake is not exactly a cake Sylvia Plath made, but it is one she could have made, because figs and plums were always present in her writing. The most prominent examples are of course the fig tree portrayed in The Bell Jar ("I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree…") or one of her earlier poems published in November 1950 in Seventeen magazine with the title "Ode to a Bitten Plum".

In her Letters Home Sylvia mentions seeing fig- and plum-trees. And in her Unabridged Journals she writes on 6 March 1956:

"I was thinking of the few times in my life I have felt I was all alive, tensed, using everything in me: mind and body, instead of giving away little crumbs, lest the audience be glutted with too much plum-cake."

Apart from this, there are are many poems in Sylvia Plath’sThe Collected Poems" that contain images of figs and plums:

"The Colossus"
Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.

"The Zookeeper’s Wife"
Blueblack, a spectacular plum fruit.

"Nick and the Candlestick"
They weld to me like plums.

"Jilted"
While like an early summer plum,
Puny, green, and tart,
Droops upon its wizened stem
My lean, unripened heart.

"The Beggars"
These goatish tragedians who
Hawk misfortune like figs and chickens

"Departure"
The figs on the fig tree in the yard are green;

"The Net-Menders"
Sun grains their crow-colors,
Purples the fig in the leaf’s shadow, turns the dust pink.

So, here you go… The Fig and Plum Torte, which could also be called The Bell Jar Cake! ;)

via paperandsalt.org (see for recipe)
**Sylvia Plath: Lemon Pudding Cakes**
In her awesome article Baking with Sylvia (hence the name for the theme week!) published on 15 February 2003 in The Guardian, Kate Moses, the author of Wintering: The Novel of Sylvia Plath, tells us that Sylvia Plath documented in her 1962 daily calendar that she made lemon pudding cake when she was writing “Lady Lazarus”, some time between 23-29 October.
Some time beweeen 3 January 1957 and 11 March 1957, Sylvia Plath wrote in her Journals: "Instead of studying Locke, for instance, or writing - I go make an apple pie, or study The Joy Of Cooking, reading it like a rare novel."
Nicole from paperandsalt.org says that the recipe “is nearly identical to the1950s The Joy of Cooking”. So it is highly probable that Sylvia Plath made exactly the same cake while composing one of the greatest poems ever written! ;) 
Recreate and enjoy! ;)

via paperandsalt.org (see for recipe)

**Sylvia Plath: Lemon Pudding Cakes**

In her awesome article Baking with Sylvia (hence the name for the theme week!) published on 15 February 2003 in The Guardian, Kate Moses, the author of Wintering: The Novel of Sylvia Plath, tells us that Sylvia Plath documented in her 1962 daily calendar that she made lemon pudding cake when she was writing “Lady Lazarus”, some time between 23-29 October.

Some time beweeen 3 January 1957 and 11 March 1957, Sylvia Plath wrote in her Journals: "Instead of studying Locke, for instance, or writing - I go make an apple pie, or study The Joy Of Cooking, reading it like a rare novel."

Nicole from paperandsalt.org says that the recipe “is nearly identical to the1950s The Joy of Cooking”. So it is highly probable that Sylvia Plath made exactly the same cake while composing one of the greatest poems ever written! ;) 

Recreate and enjoy! ;)

**Sylvia Plath’s Heavenly Sponge Cake**

The last time Rose came to tea I had a big fancy sponge cake made with 6 eggs (…). I broached it for Rose. She made a praising remark. Gobbled it.

—written 1962, Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath


For the recipe, see Peter K. Steinberg’s blog sylviaplathinfo.blogspot.com:

"Very light (though heavier and more dense than angel food cake) with a scrumptiously crispy sugary top and a nice flavor of lemon throughout, which surprised us as there is really so little in there. We recommend cutting large portions and serving with a hot beverage (tea or mocha, perhaps) and your favorite book by or about Sylvia Plath."

(…)

"Plath made various sponge cakes in her time: some lemon, some orange, and likely some other. She made a sponge cake several times in North Tawton."

(…)

"She (…) made a sponge cake on 21 April 1962 (…) and two days after she wrote "Elm".


For a vegan sponge cake version, see Charlotte White’s recipe from the Food Network UK: http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/vegan-sponge-cake.html

yummybooksblog:

A lemon meringue pie for Sylvia Plath. 
Read the full post and get the recipe HERE


“Baked a lemon meringue pie, cooled lemon custard & crust on cold bathroom windowsill, stirring in black night & stars.”
"I make a damn good lemon meringue pie.”  
"Tonight I shall somehow manage dinner for 5 & coffee for an extra two with ease. My trusty angel-topped lemon meringue pie - if I serve a dinner once a week I lose my nervousness."
—Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 28 August 1957 - 14 October 1958

yummybooksblog:

A lemon meringue pie for Sylvia Plath. 

Read the full post and get the recipe HERE

“Baked a lemon meringue pie, cooled lemon custard & crust on cold bathroom windowsill, stirring in black night & stars.”

"I make a damn good lemon meringue pie.” 

"Tonight I shall somehow manage dinner for 5 & coffee for an extra two with ease. My trusty angel-topped lemon meringue pie - if I serve a dinner once a week I lose my nervousness."

—Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 28 August 1957 - 14 October 1958

lovingsylvia:

Nick and the Candlestick

I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears

The earthen womb
Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs

Wrap me, raggy shawls,
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.

Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,

Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish——
Christ! They are panes of ice,

A vice of knives,
A piranha
Religion, drinking

Its first communion out of my live toes.
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,

Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses,
With soft rugs——

The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.

—29 October 1962

***

For Nicholas Farrar Hughes
(January 17, 1962 – March 16, 2009)

lovingsylvia:

Sylvia Plath reads November Graveyard, written 1956

The scene stands stubborn: skinflint trees
Hoard last year’s leaves, won’t mourn, wear sackcloth, or turn
To elegiac dryads, and dour grass
Guards the hard-hearted emerald of its grassiness
However the grandiloquent mind may scorn
Such poverty. No dead men’s cries

Flower forget-me-nots between the stones
Paving this grave ground. Here’s honest rot
To unpick the heart, pare bone
Free of the fictive vein. When one stark skeleton
Bulks real, all saints’ tongues fall quiet:
Flies watch no resurrections in the sun.

At the essential landscape stare, stare
Till your eyes foist a vision dazzling on the wind:
Whatever lost ghosts flare,
Damned, howling in their shrouds across the moor
Rave on the leash of the starving mind
Which peoples the bare room, the blank, untenanted air.

Sylvia Plath reads Medusa, written 16 October 1962

Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea’s incoherences,
You house your unnerving head-God-ball,
Lens of mercies,

Your stooges
Plying their wild cells in my keel’s shadow,
Pushing by like hearts,
Red stigmata at the very center,
Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of departure,

Dragging their Jesus hair.
Did I escape, I wonder?
My mind winds to you
Old barnacled umbilicus, Atlantic cable,
Keeping itself, it seems, in a state of miraculous repair.

In any case, you are always there,
Tremulous breath at the end of my line,
Curve of water upleaping
To my water rod, dazzling and grateful,
Touching and sucking.

I didn’t call you.
I didn’t call you at all.
Nevertheless, nevertheless
You steamed to me over the sea,
Fat and red, a placenta

Paralysing the kicking lovers.
Cobra light
Squeezing the breath from blood bells
Of the fuscia. I could draw no breath,
Dead and moneyless,

Overexposed, like an X-ray.
Who do you think you are?
A Communion wafer? Bluberry Mary?
I shall take no bite of your body,
Bottle in which I live,

Ghastly Vatican.
I am sick to death of hot salt.
Green as eunuchs, your wishes
Hiss at my sins.
Off, off, eely tentacle!

There is nothing between us.

Sylvia Plath reads Amnesiac, written 21 October 1962

No use, no use, now, begging Recognize!
There is nothing to do with such a beautiful blank but smooth it.
Name, house, car keys,

The little toy wife—
Erased, sigh, sigh.
Four babies and a cocker!

Nurses the size of worms and a minute doctor
Tuck him in.
Old happenings

Peel from his skin.
Down the drain with all of it!
Hugging his pillow

Like the red-headed sister he never dared to touch,
He dreams of a new one—
Barren, the lot are barren!

And of another color.
How they’ll travel, travel, travel, scenery
Sparking off their brother-sister rears

A comet tail!
And money the sperm fluid of it all.
One nurse brings in

A green drink, one a blue.
They rise on either side of him like stars.
The two drinks flame and foam.

O sister, mother, wife,
Sweet Lethe is my life.
I am never, never, never coming home!

Sylvia Plath reads Candles, written 17 October 1960

They are the last romantics, these candles:
Upside down hearts of light tipping wax fingers,
And the fingers, taken in by their own haloes,
Grown milky, almost clear, like the bodies of saints.
It is touching, the way they’ll ignore

A whole family of prominent objects
Simply to plumb the deeps of an eye
In its hollow of shadows, its fringe of reeds,
And the owner past thirty, no beauty at all.
Daylight would be more judicious,

Giving everybody a fair hearing.
They should have gone out with balloon flights and the stereopticon.
This is no time for the private point of view.
When I light them, my nostrils prickle.
Their pale, tentative yellows

Drag up false, Edwardian sentiments,
And I remember my maternal grandmother from Vienna.
As a schoolgirl she gave roses to Franz Josef.
The burghers sweated and wept. The children wore white.
And my grandfather moped in the Tyrol,

Imagining himself a headwaiter in America,
Floating in a high-church hush
Among ice buckets, frosty napkins.
These little globes of light are sweet as pears.
Kindly with invalids and mawkish women,

They mollify the bald moon.
Nun-souled, they burn heavenward and never marry.
The eyes of the child I nurse are scarcely open.
In twenty years I shall be retrograde
As these draughty ephemerids.

I watch their spilt tears cloud and dull to pearls.
How shall I tell anything at all
To this infant still in a birth-drowse?
Tonight, like a shawl, the mild light enfolds her,
The shadows stoop over like guests at a christening.

Sylvia Plath reads Daddy, written October 12, 1962

    You do not do, you do not do
    Any more, black shoe
    In which I have lived like a foot
    For thirty years, poor and white,
    Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

    Daddy, I have had to kill you.
    You died before I had time—-
    Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
    Ghastly statue with one gray toe
    Big as a Frisco seal

    And a head in the freakish Atlantic
    Where it pours bean green over blue
    In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
    I used to pray to recover you.
    Ach, du.

    In the German tongue, in the Polish town
    Scraped flat by the roller
    Of wars, wars, wars.
    But the name of the town is common.
    My Polack friend

    Says there are a dozen or two.
    So I never could tell where you
    Put your foot, your root,
    I never could talk to you.
    The tongue stuck in my jaw.

    It stuck in a barb wire snare.
    Ich, ich, ich, ich,
    I could hardly speak.
    I thought every German was you.
    And the language obscene

    An engine, an engine,
    Chuffing me off like a Jew.
    A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
    I began to talk like a Jew.
    I think I may well be a Jew.

    The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
    Are not very pure or true.
    With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
    And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
    I may be a bit of a Jew.

    I have always been scared of you,
    With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
    And your neat mustache
    And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
    Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——

    Not God but a swastika
    So black no sky could squeak through.
    Every woman adores a Fascist,
    The boot in the face, the brute
    Brute heart of a brute like you.

    You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
    In the picture I have of you,
    A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
    But no less a devil for that, no not
    Any less the black man who

    Bit my pretty red heart in two.
    I was ten when they buried you.
    At twenty I tried to die
    And get back, back, back to you.
    I thought even the bones would do.

    But they pulled me out of the sack,
    And they stuck me together with glue.
    And then I knew what to do.
    I made a model of you,
    A man in black with a Meinkampf look

    And a love of the rack and the screw.
    And I said I do, I do.
    So daddy, I’m finally through.
    The black telephone’s off at the root,
    The voices just can’t worm through.

    If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two—-
    The vampire who said he was you
    And drank my blood for a year,
    Seven years, if you want to know.
    Daddy, you can lie back now.

    There’s a stake in your fat black heart
    And the villagers never liked you.
    They are dancing and stamping on you.
    They always knew it was you.
    Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

***

lovingsylvia:

This animation movie is so great and so creepy at the same time! ;)

I read this poem for the first time back in 1998 during my High School “Abitur” English mock exam, after reading “The Bell Jar" before in class. I thought I understood everything and wrote a beautiful 2000-something word essay. Today, after reading so much more about Plath, I know, I got only 50% of it, but still, it earned me an A and I fell in love with Sylvia… :)

P.S.: You should also check out the Lady Lazarus animation! ;)

Submitted by Zoey:One of my cats fell asleep next to the Unabridged Journals just before I delved into it for the night.

Submitted by Zoey:

One of my cats fell asleep next to the Unabridged Journals just before I delved into it for the night.

via astheheartdeparts.tumblr.com