Ariel: The Restored Edition: A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement

( 13 )

Overview

Sylvia Plath's famous collection, as she intended it.

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn't the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath's original manuscript — including handwritten notes — and her own selection and ...

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Overview

Sylvia Plath's famous collection, as she intended it.

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn't the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath's original manuscript — including handwritten notes — and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem "Ariel," which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath's works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Like her life, Sylvia Plath's last book did not end up as she intended. When the Boston-born poet killed herself in 1963, she left behind a manuscript for Ariel, her second and final book of poems. By the time the book reached print, however, Plath's intentions had been squandered. Her husband, future British poet laureate Ted Hughes transformed the book by adding 12 poems, dropping 12 others, and reshuffling the order. This edition restores Plath's version, reinstating her original poem selections and order.
Library Journal
Yes, we know Ariel, but not as Plath meant it; the poems were rearranged after her death, and a few were excised. Here Ariel is restored in all its glory (with a facsimile of the original manuscript as a bonus), giving us back Plath the poet before she became an icon. (LJ 11/1/04) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060732608
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 147,531
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright fellowship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Other posthumous publications include Ariel, her landmark publication, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962.

Biography

"I was supposed to be having the time of my life," Sylvia Plath writes as her alter ego Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar. Like Esther, Plath was a bright young woman who had earned scholarships and awards, and had all the talent to back them up, and saw this—but could never enjoy it. Her struggles with depression were in fact what often motivated her to write, until she committed suicide at age 30 in 1963.

Plath is among the best-known confessional poets, coming from a school (at its peak in the ‘50s and ‘60s) that left few stones unturned when it came to self-examination and revelation. Though not always bald or literal in her expression, Plath chronicled her flirtation with death—and with life—in her poems. She writes in "Lady Lazarus," a verse about a woman rising from the dead yet again, "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've a call." She has an ability to convey deep, almost frightening emotion, but do it in a deceptively lilting, almost-but-not-quite humorous language.

"Lady Lazarus" was published in Ariel (1965), a collection that appeared posthumously, as did other well-known collections such as Crossing the Water (1971), Winter Trees (1972) and Collected Poems (1981), for which Plath was awarded the Pulitzer. Though not all death and despair, Ariel stands out among Plath's works because it represented a departure from the first collection that was published while she was still alive, The Colossus and Other Poems, but primarily because it was such an intimate record of the end of her life. As poet Bob Hass remarked in a PBS interview, "Readers in general discovered this book [Ariel] of a young woman with two babies, whose husband had left her, living in a cold house, trying to be a mom, trying to be a writer, trying to put her life together, who didn't make it—who killed herself—and wrote poems full of rage, bravery, and it electrified people."

Plath's father died when she was eight years old, an event from which the poet never quite seemed to recover. She writes in Ariel's "Daddy": "At twenty I tried to die/And get back, back, back to you./I thought even the bones would do." Oddly (or perhaps appropriately) for a woman so devastatingly able to feel and react to people, Plath often writes about humans as objects, things that make noise, can be broken or repaired, marked in a continuum from birth to expiration. A child on the floor is like "an unstrung puppet"; cats howl "like women, or damaged instruments"; people are compared to statues. The technique provides a twisted understatement to the emotional effects Plath writes about, in a world where even the states of love and motherhood are accompanied by darkness.

Whereas Plath's poems often seem strange and dreamlike, The Bell Jar is direct and accessible. It ranks with Catcher in the Rye in both literary achievement and status. Plath gets across not only what it feels like to struggle with the most deadly and devastating emotions, but also how hapless and impotent the people around her are in coping with her. She portrays a woman at odds with the world, but does so without affect or pretension. It's no wonder the book has become a classic, particularly among young female readers. At times of despair, readers find comfort and empathy in Plath's words. All of her painfully wrought "confessions" are of us, for us.

Good To Know

Plath married fellow poet Ted Hughes, whom she met while studying in Cambridge. At the time Plath killed herself, Hughes had left her for another woman (who also eventually killed herself). He wrote about his relationship with Sylvia in Birthday Letters, an autobiographical collection of poems published just before he died in 1998.

Plath was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in Sylvia (2003), a film produced by the BBC and Focus Features. The Bell Jar was adapted to the screen by director Larry Peerce in 1979.

The Colossus was Plath's literary debut in 1960, but she also published A Winter Ship that same year, anonymously. The Bell Jar was initially published under a pseudonym, Victoria Lucas.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Victoria Lucas (pseudonym)
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 27, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      February 11, 1963
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Table of Contents

Foreword
I Ariel and other poems 1
Morning song 5
The couriers 6
The rabbit catcher 7
Thalidomide 9
The applicant 11
Barren woman 13
Lady Lazarus 14
Tulips 18
A secret 21
The jailor 23
Cut 25
Elm 27
The night dances 29
The detective 31
Ariel 33
Death & Co 35
Magi 37
Lesbos 38
The other 41
Stopped dead 43
Poppies in October 44
The courage of shutting-up 45
Nick and the candlestick 47
Berck-Plage 49
Gulliver 56
Getting there 57
Medusa 60
Purdah 62
The moon and the yew tree 65
A birthday present 66
Letter in November 69
Amnesiac 71
The rival 73
Daddy 74
You're 77
Fever 103[degrees] 78
The bee meeting 81
The arrival of the bee box 84
Stings 86
Wintering 89
II Facsimile of the manuscript for Ariel and other poems 91
III Facsimile drafts of the poem "Ariel" 175
App. I "The swarm" 189
Facsimile draft of the poem "The swarm" 193
App. II Script for the BBC broadcast "New poems by Sylvia Plath" 195
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First Chapter

Ariel: The Restored Edition
A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement

Morning Song

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distils a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's.The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars.And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

Ariel: The Restored Edition
A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement
. Copyright © by Sylvia Plath. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sylvia Plath's Ariel: Director's Cut

    The best single collection of poetry natively written in the English language, barring "Complete Poems of" collections. So many poets have cited Sylvia Plath as being the poet whose work activated their interest and passion and appreciation for the art form. The power and craftsmanship apparent in this collection, in her original and intended organization, leaves no doubt that Sylvia Plath is one of the all-time greats.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    one of Sylvia's best

    Along with Sylvia Plath's other collection on poems this one is unique in that these where the last poems she ever wrote and somthing i find heart warming is her daughter Frieda forwarded this book. Sylvia wanted to start this collection of poems with the word love and end with the word spring and every word inbettween are filled with such feeling and deep-ness. this book i highly recomend to anyone who loves poetry or sylvia plaths work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Original

    i love it

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