All Time Famous Sylvia Plath Quotes

Sylvia Plath Quotes

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), an influential American poet and novelist, is renowned for her confessional writing style that explores themes of mental illness, depression, and women’s struggles in a patriarchal society. Her only novel, “The Bell Jar” (1963), offers a semi-autobiographical portrayal of a protagonist’s mental breakdown and societal pressures. Plath’s posthumously published collection of poems, “Ariel” (1965), including notable works like “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus,” showcases her emotional intensity and vivid imagery. Despite her short life and tragic suicide at 30, Plath’s impact on literature endures. The 1981 “Collected Poems” provides a comprehensive overview of her poetic evolution, solidifying her legacy as a literary icon who delved deeply into the complexities of the human psyche.

Sylvia Plath Quotes

1. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
— Sylvia Plath

2. “Is there no way out of the mind?”
— Sylvia Plath

3. “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
— Sylvia Plath

4. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
— Sylvia Plath

5. “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”
— Sylvia Plath

6. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
— Sylvia Plath

7. “I desire the things that will destroy me in the end.”
— Sylvia Plath

8. “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”
— Sylvia Plath

9. “Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.”
— Sylvia Plath

10. “What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.”
— Sylvia Plath

11. “So much working, reading, thinking, living to do! A lifetime is not long enough.”
— Sylvia Plath

12. “Please don’t expect me to always be good and kind and loving. There are times when I will be cold and thoughtless and hard to understand.”
— Sylvia Plath

13. “How we need another soul to cling to.”
— Sylvia Plath

14. “Ready for a new life.”
— Sylvia Plath

15. “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
— Sylvia Plath

16. “After all, we are nothing more or less than we choose to reveal.”
— Sylvia Plath

17. “I dream too much, work too little.”
— Sylvia Plath

18. “I think I made you up inside my head.”
— Sylvia Plath

19. “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
— Sylvia Plath

20. “Intoxicated with madness, I’m in love with my sadness.”
— Sylvia Plath

21. “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.”
— Sylvia Plath

22. “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”
— Sylvia Plath

23. “I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.”
— Sylvia Plath

24. “Go out and do something. It isn’t your room that’s a prison, it’s yourself.”
— Sylvia Plath

25. “It is awful to want to go away and to want to go nowhere.”
— Sylvia Plath

26. “I felt wise and cynical as all hell.”
— Sylvia Plath

27. “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”
— Sylvia Plath

28. “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

29. “I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.”
— Sylvia Plath

30. “I think I am mad sometimes.”
— Sylvia Plath

31. “I’d say go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”
— Sylvia Plath

32. “I write only because There is a voice within me That will not be still.”
— Sylvia Plath

33. “The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.”
— Sylvia Plath

34. “If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier.”
— Sylvia Plath

35. “I talk to God but the sky is empty.”
— Sylvia Plath

36. “Girls are not machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.”
— Sylvia Plath

37. “You are a dream; I hope I never meet you.”
— Sylvia Plath

38. “We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.”
— Sylvia Plath

39. “I woke to the sound of rain.”
— Sylvia Plath

40. “Out of the ash I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air.”
— Sylvia Plath

41. “All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence.”
— Sylvia Plath

42. “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

43. “I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am.”
— Sylvia Plath

44. “Slowly, slowly, catch the monkey.”
— Sylvia Plath

45. “I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.”
— Sylvia Plath

46. “The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.”
— Sylvia Plath

47. “The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.”
— Sylvia Plath

48. “Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.”
— Sylvia Plath

49. “Hurl yourself at goals above your head and bear the lacerations that come when you slip and make a fool of yourself. Try always, as long as you have breath in your body, to take the hard way–and work, work, work to build yourself into a rich, continually evolving entity.”
— Sylvia Plath

50. “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.””
— Sylvia Plath

51. “I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of the throat and I’d cry for a week.”
— Sylvia Plath

52. “The abstract kills, the concrete saves.”
— Sylvia Plath

53. “I have stitched life into me like a rare organ.”
— Sylvia Plath

54. “Not being perfect hurts.”
— Sylvia Plath

55. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
— Sylvia Plath

56. “If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”
— Sylvia Plath

57. “So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.”
— Sylvia Plath

58. “Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you.”
— Sylvia Plath

59. “I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.”
— Sylvia Plath

60. “That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”
— Sylvia Plath

61. “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”
— Sylvia Plath

62. “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

63. “What have I eaten? Lies and smiles.”
— Sylvia Plath

64. “Mother of otherness, Eat me.”
— Sylvia Plath

65. “I like people too much or not at all.”
— Sylvia Plath

66. “I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free.”
— Sylvia Plath

67. “I am I-I am powerful, but to what extent? I am I.”
— Sylvia Plath

68. “The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life.”
— Sylvia Plath

69. “How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.”
— Sylvia Plath

70. “I am myself. That is not enough.”
— Sylvia Plath

71. “It is a terrible thing to be so open: it is as if my heart put on a face and walked into the world.”
— Sylvia Plath

72. “If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”
— Sylvia Plath

73. “I must bridge the gap between adolescent glitter and mature glow.”
— Sylvia Plath

74. “Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well.”
— Sylvia Plath

75. “It is so much safer not to feel, not to let the world touch me.”
— Sylvia Plath

76. “I am not cruel, only truthful.”
— Sylvia Plath

77. “Yes, I was infatuated with you: I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those.”
— Sylvia Plath

78. “Your body Hurts me as the world hurts God.”
— Sylvia Plath

79. “If the body is a temple, then tattoos are its stained glass windows.”
— Sylvia Plath

80. “I wish to cry. Yet, I laugh, and my lipstick leaves a red stain like a bloody crescent moon on top of the beer can.”
— Sylvia Plath

81. “There is a certain clinical satisfaction in seeing just how bad things can get.”
— Sylvia Plath

82. “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”
— Sylvia Plath

83. “Everything people did seemed so silly, because they only died in the end.”
— Sylvia Plath

84. “I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.”
— Sylvia Plath

85. “And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.”
— Sylvia Plath

86. “Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them. But they were a part of me. They were my landscape.”
— Sylvia Plath

87. “What did my arms do before they held you?”
— Sylvia Plath

88. “I may never be happy, but tonight I am content.”
— Sylvia Plath

89. “Like a cat I have nine times to die.”
— Sylvia Plath

90. “And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.”
— Sylvia Plath

91. “Cheers for spring; for life; for a growing soul.”
— Sylvia Plath

92. “I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.”
— Sylvia Plath

93. “The truth comes to me. The truth loves me.”
— Sylvia Plath

94. “Clouds pass and disperse. Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables? Is it for such I agitate my heart?”
— Sylvia Plath

95. “And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die.”
— Sylvia Plath

96. “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
— Sylvia Plath

97. “I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”
— Sylvia Plath

98. “I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be.”
— Sylvia Plath

99. “Now I am silent, hate Up to my neck, Thick, thick. I do not speak.”
— Sylvia Plath

100. “Character is fate.”
— Sylvia Plath

101. “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

102. “I hurl my heart to halt his pace.”
— Sylvia Plath

103. “I need some older, wiser being to cry to. I talk to God, but the sky is empty, and Orion walks by and doesn’t speak.”
— Sylvia Plath

104. “What did my fingers do before they held him? What did my heart do, with its love?”
— Sylvia Plath

105. “Is it the sea you hear in me? Its dissatisfactions? Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness? Love is a shadow. How you lie and cry after it.”
— Sylvia Plath

106. “I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.”
— Sylvia Plath

107. “This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary. The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.”
— Sylvia Plath

108. “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
— Sylvia Plath

109. “There was a beautiful time…”
— Sylvia Plath

110. “Widow. The word consumes itself.”
— Sylvia Plath

111. “I felt dumb and subdued. Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently.”
— Sylvia Plath

112. “Winning or losing an argument, receiving an acceptance or rejection, is no proof of the validity or value of personal identity. One may be wrong, mistaken, or a poor craftsman, or just ignorant – but this is no indication of the true worth of one’s total human identity: past, present and future!”
— Sylvia Plath

113. “I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly, as the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.”
— Sylvia Plath

114. “Eternity bores me, I never wanted it.”
— Sylvia Plath

115. “Not easy to state the change you made. If I’m alive now, I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it.”
— Sylvia Plath

116. “I love him to hell and back and heaven and back, and have and do and will.”
— Sylvia Plath

117. “Sometimes I feel so stupid and dull and uncreative that I am amazed when people tell me differently.”
— Sylvia Plath

118. “God, how I ricochet between certainties and doubts.”
— Sylvia Plath

119. “See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks. I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life.”
— Sylvia Plath

120. “When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.”
— Sylvia Plath

121. “Love life day by day, color by color, touch by touch.”
— Sylvia Plath

122. “I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see, I swallow immediately. Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful.”
— Sylvia Plath

123. “Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.”
— Sylvia Plath

124. “They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.”
— Sylvia Plath

125. “I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn’t believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died.”
— Sylvia Plath

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

127. “I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I’m here.”
— Sylvia Plath

128. “If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier; if I didn’t have any sex organs, I wouldn’t waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.”
— Sylvia Plath

129. “Every day one has to earn the name of ‘writer’ over again, with much wrestling.”
— Sylvia Plath

130. “Aloneness and selfness are too important to betray for company.”
— Sylvia Plath

131. “Spiderlike, I spin mirrors, Loyal to my image.”
— Sylvia Plath

132. “The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right, White as a knuckle and terribly upset. It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.”
— Sylvia Plath

133. “I wondered why I couldn’t go the whole way doing what I should any more. This made me sad and tired. Then I wondered why I couldn’t go the whole way doing what I shouldn’t, the way Doreen did, and this made me even sadder and more tired.”
— Sylvia Plath

134. “Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?”
— Sylvia Plath

135. “Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I’ll laugh. And then I’ll know what life is.”
— Sylvia Plath

136. “I opened the door and blinked out into the bright hall. I had the impression it wasn’t night and it wasn’t day, but some lurid third interval that had suddenly slipped between them and would never end.”
— Sylvia Plath

137. “If only I knew what I wanted I could try to see about getting it.”
— Sylvia Plath

138. “What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid. 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.”
— Sylvia Plath

139. “Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that – I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn.”
— Sylvia Plath

140. “The claw of the magnolia, drunk on its own scents, asks nothing of life.”
— Sylvia Plath

141. “There is a certain unique and strange delight about walking down an empty street alone.”
— Sylvia Plath

142. “I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I’d never seen before in my life.”
— Sylvia Plath

143. “I ride earth’s burning carousel. Day in, day out.”
— Sylvia Plath

144. “I want to kill myself, to escape from responsiblity, to crawl abjectly back into the womb.”
— Sylvia Plath

145. “I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
— Sylvia Plath

146. “I do not fear it: I have been there.”
— Sylvia Plath

147. “And I sit here without identity: faceless. My head aches.”
— Sylvia Plath

148. “At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do.”
— Sylvia Plath

149. “My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.”
— Sylvia Plath

150. “The more hopeless you were, the further away they hid you.”
— Sylvia Plath

151. “Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through.”
— Sylvia Plath

152. “There is more than one good way to drown.”
— Sylvia Plath

153. “The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.”
— Sylvia Plath

154. “The slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull.”
— Sylvia Plath

155. “If they substituted the word ‘Lust’ for ‘Love’ in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.”
— Sylvia Plath

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

157. “What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination.”
— Sylvia Plath

158. “I deserve that, don’t I, some sort of blazing love that I can live with.”
— Sylvia Plath

159. “Ash, ash – – You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there – – A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air.”
— Sylvia Plath

160. “Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.”
— Sylvia Plath

161. “Good to know that if I ever need attention all I have to do is die.”
— Sylvia Plath

162. “Backward we traveled to reclaim the day Before we fell, like Icarus, undone; All we find are altars in decay And profane words scrawled black across the sun. – From the poem “Doom of the Exiles”, written 16 April 1954.”
— Sylvia Plath

163. “I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.”
— Sylvia Plath

164. “The body is amazingly stubborn when it comes to sacrificing itself to the annihilating directions of the mind.”
— Sylvia Plath

165. “The thing about writing is not to talk, but to do it; no matter how bad or even mediocre it is, the process and production is the thing, not the sitting and theorizing about how one should write ideally, or how well one could write if one really wanted to or had the time.”
— Sylvia Plath

166. “I am what I feel and think and do.”
— Sylvia Plath

167. “I, love, I am the pure acetylene virgin attended by roses.”
— Sylvia Plath

168. “I am dead to them, even though I once flowered.”
— Sylvia Plath

169. “I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living.”
— Sylvia Plath

170. “The man creates a pseudonym and hides behind it like a worm.”
— Sylvia Plath

171. “If I rest, if I think inward, I go mad.”
— Sylvia Plath

172. “I could feel the winter shaking my bones and banging my teeth together.”
— Sylvia Plath

173. “My life is a discipline, a prison: I live for my own work, without which I am nothing.”
— Sylvia Plath

174. “You cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time…”
— Sylvia Plath

175. “I collect men with interesting names.”
— Sylvia Plath

176. “I don’t know what it is like to not have deep emotions. Even when I feel nothing, I feel it completely.”
— Sylvia Plath

177. “Sometimes I feel like I’m not solid. I’m hollow. There’s nothing behind my eyes. I’m a negative of a person. All I want is blackness, blackness, and silence.”
— Sylvia Plath

178. “It’s a hell of a responsibility to be yourself. It’s much easier to be somebody else or nobody at all.”
— Sylvia Plath

179. “I want, I think, to be omniscient. I think I would like to call myself “the girl who wanted to be God.” Yet if I were not in this body where would I be-perhaps I am destined to be classified and qualified. But, oh, I cry out against it.”
— Sylvia Plath

180. “So learn about life. Cut yourself a big slice with the silver server, a big slice of pie. Open your eyes. Let life happen.”
— Sylvia Plath

181. “Please, I want so badly for the good things to happen.”
— Sylvia Plath

182. “The frost makes a flower, the dew makes a star.”
— Sylvia Plath

183. “Very depressed today. Unable to write a thing. Menacing gods. I feel outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness.”
— Sylvia Plath

184. “How can you be so many women to so many strange people, oh you strange girl?”
— Sylvia Plath

185. “You have to be able to make a real creative life for Yourself, before you can expect anyone Else to provide one ready-made for you.”
— Sylvia Plath

186. “I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who ski better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.”
— Sylvia Plath

187. “Stars open among the lilies. Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens? This is the silence of astounded souls.”
— Sylvia Plath

188. “A man’s world is different from a woman’s world and a man’s emotions are different from a woman’s emotions and only marriage can bring the two different sets of emotions together properly.”
— Sylvia Plath

189. “Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams.”
— Sylvia Plath

190. “I must not be selfless: develop a sense of self. A solidness that can’t be attacked.”
— Sylvia Plath

191. “I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss? Shall I ever find it, whatever it is?”
— Sylvia Plath

192. “The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain.”
— Sylvia Plath

193. “It is best to meet in a cul-de-sac, A palace of velvet With windows of mirrors. There one is safe, There are no family photographs, No rings through the nose, no cries.”
— Sylvia Plath

194. “It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water.”
— Sylvia Plath

195. “So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state.”
— Sylvia Plath

196. “No, I won’t try to escape myself by losing myself in artificial chatter ‘Did you have a nice vacation?’ ‘Oh, yes, and you?’ I’ll stay here and try to pin that loneliness down.”
— Sylvia Plath

197. “Worse even than your maddening song, your silence.”
— Sylvia Plath

198. “Doing all the little tricky things it takes to grow up, step by step, into an anxious and unsettling world.”
— Sylvia Plath

199. “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

200. “Can a selfish egocentric jealous and unimaginative female write a damn thing worthwhile?”
— Sylvia Plath

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