Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Ariel

Sylvia Plath's celebrated collection.When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. Her husband, Ted Hughes, brought the collection to life in 1966, and its publication garnered worldwide acclaim. This collection showcases the beloved poet’s brilliant, provoking, and always moving poems, including "Ari...

Title:Ariel
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Ariel Reviews

  • Paul Bryant

    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately -

    . So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.

    ARIEL TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

    ELM.

    Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritati

    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately -

    . So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.

    ARIEL TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

    ELM.

    Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritating.

    THE RABBIT CATCHER

    I went out with this guy once and then I found out he liked to catch rabbits. So he was toast. I should have dimed the bastard.

    BERCK-PLAGE

    I went on holiday. Every single person in the whole hotel was talking about me behind my back. I don't like bikinis. Don't even get me started on nude beaches.

    THE OTHER

    I have something dead in my handbag. Tee hee. Also, I scratched myself and made myself bleed. I don't really recommend marriage.

    A BIRTHDAY PRESENT

    I got a present. But I was thinking that if I unwrapped it, it would bite my face off. So I didn't. Hah.

    THE BEE MEETING

    I thought I'd like to join in village life and get involved with local societies and all that. So I went to the bee keepers' meeting. It was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock. I liked it.

    STINGS

    Now I'm a real bee keeper. I get blase about stings. It's like a metaphor.

    THE SWARM

    Bees are kind of like Nazis. Or the French. I can't decide.

    WINTERING

    Country life can suck. I wish I was a bee. No, I don't really. That would be silly. I think it would be silly. Maybe it wouldn't be silly.

    A SECRET

    Men are like big babies that drink beer and want you to wear high class lingerie. Okay, that's not much of a secret.

    THE APPLICANT

    I got this job as a temp. So I was filing and I knew I could destroy them if I chose, just like that, but I didn't choose to that day.

    DADDY

    When I was little and my dad used to dress up in his SS uniform I used to think he looked so smart and handsome. Of course, later, the penny dropped.

    LESBOS

    You really shouldn't have taken the kittens and given them to the neighbours without a by-your-leave. I think I am going to pour sulphuric acid on your head while you are sleeping. I'll do it tonight. Yes.

    FEVER 103

    I got one of those 48 hour bugs. That's why he's still alive. If I had any strength in my limbs I would have sulphuric-acided his head last night.

    CUT

    I nearly cut my fucking thumb off when I was making a casserole for a man. I jumped about swearing. I could have cut off something useful, like his member, but no, it had to be my thumb.

    POPPIES IN OCTOBER

    Have you noticed that everything is slowly dying of carbon-monoxide poisoning?

    LADY LAZARUS

    I like to commit suicide like some people like to visit their grandparents. You really don't want to, it's kind of a drag and there's nothing to do there, but you just feel you have to because you're a good person.

    LETTER IN NOVEMBER

    Dear Ted - Fuck you - Sylvia

    DEATH & CO

    Cheer up, things could be worse, I could be dead. Oh no, wait a minute - this is worse, that would be better. Hmm.

    SHEEP IN FOG

    Well, you know sheep aren't that bright to begin with. So when you mix 'em up with a thick fog, the results are hilarious.

  • Manny

    When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's

    which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

    So what's this g

    When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's

    which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

    So what's this got to do with

    ? I was trying to figure out why I like it so much (it's been one of my absolute favorite pieces of poetry since I first came across it as a teenager), and it struck me that maybe I admired it for similar reasons. Sylvia Plath went on an expedition to a sort of emotional Antarctica, a place most people have heard of but never visited, where you experience love so intensely that it ends up killing you. Before that happened, however, she managed to send back detailed reports of what she'd found there. Perhaps another reason why I associate her and the brave Captain Scott is that she died during the English winter of 1963. I was five at the time, and some of my first memories are of the bitter cold, and of how incredibly deep the snow was. I remember that we were snowed in, and that my father shovelled a path to the house next door, so that we could at least visit them. The snow was much higher than his head. A few hundred miles away, Sylvia had left her husband, and was living in London with her two children. She killed herself on February 11.

    Here are some of the passages from

    that I think of most often. I have always assumed that the title poem is about having sex with Ted Hughes, though I found out recently that it's also about her horse. It ends like this:

    The beginning of

    is another of my favourite passages, which expresses better than anything else I can think of just how painful love can be. I remember once showing it to a friend who's had a rather difficult life (we'd been having some discussion about poetry). She seemed almost physically affected; I remember she turned pale, and couldn't finish reading it. I wished I'd had more sense:

    And I love the end of

    , which she apparently wrote to her son, two years old at the time:

    I was so shocked when I read earlier this year that he had also killed himself. But when someone's written a poem like this about you, you're as immortal as the unnamed subject of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII.

    By the way, most people have been very dismissive of the movie with Gwynneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. I seem to be one of the rare exceptions; the script was nothing special, but I thought Paltrow had done a fine job of capturing her personality on screen.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    Ariel, Sylvia Plath

    تاریخ نخستیم خوانش: ماه جولای سال 2000 میلادی

    عنوان: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات؛ مترجم: کاوه بهزادی

    سیلویا پلات شاعریست که نیاز به معرفی ندارد. همانطور که میدانید به سال 1932 میلادی در ایالت ماساچوست ِ آمریکا به دنیا آمد و در سال 1963 میلادی در جوانی و اوج دست از این جهان شست. از ایشان کتابهای ِ: آریل؛ کتاب ِ بستر؛ کلوسوس و چند شعر ِ دیگر؛ درختان ِ زمستانی؛ گذر از آب و…. و نیز یک رمان با عنوان: حباب ِ شیشه بر جای مانده است

    چه چیز است در پس ِ این حجاب؟

    آیا زشت است؟ آ

    Ariel, Sylvia Plath

    تاریخ نخستیم خوانش: ماه جولای سال 2000 میلادی

    عنوان: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات؛ مترجم: کاوه بهزادی

    سیلویا پلات شاعریست که نیاز به معرفی ندارد. همانطور که میدانید به سال 1932 میلادی در ایالت ماساچوست ِ آمریکا به دنیا آمد و در سال 1963 میلادی در جوانی و اوج دست از این جهان شست. از ایشان کتابهای ِ: آریل؛ کتاب ِ بستر؛ کلوسوس و چند شعر ِ دیگر؛ درختان ِ زمستانی؛ گذر از آب و…. و نیز یک رمان با عنوان: حباب ِ شیشه بر جای مانده است

    چه چیز است در پس ِ این حجاب؟

    آیا زشت است؟ آیا زیباست؟

    سوسو میزند

    روشن و خاموش میشود

    آیا سینه دارد؟ آیا کنار دارد؟

    یقین دارم که بی همتاست

    یقین دارم همان چیزیست که میخواهم

    وقتی که خاموشم در پخت و پز

    احساس میکنم نگاه میکند

    احساس میکنم فکر میکند

    آیا همان چیزیست که مرا بیش از اندازه آماده کرده؟

    آیا همان برگزیده است با چشم-حفره های سیاه

    که جای زخم بر آن مانده؟

    اندازه میگیرد انبوه ِ آرد را و تکه میکند اضافه اش را

    در حال ِ چسبیدن به دستورات

    دستورات

    دستورات

    آیا همان است که مسیح را در مریم بشارت داد؟

    خدای ِ من، چه مسخره!؛

    اما سوسو میزند

    روشن و خاموش میشود

    صبر نمیکند

    و فکر میکنم که مرا میخواهد

    چه فرق میکند؟

    استخوان باشد یا دکمه ای از مروارید!؛

    به هر حال من امسال چیز زیادی از یک هدیه نمیخواهم

    چرا که فکر میکنم به تصادفی زنده ام

    چرا که شادمان، خودم را به هر طریق ِ ممکن کشته بودم

    حالا این حجابها هستند که مانند ِ پرده سوسو میزنند

    روشناییهای اطلسی ِ یک پنجره ی زمستانی

    سپید، مثل تختخواب ِ کودکان

    و برق از نفّس ِ مرده به رنگ دندان ِ فیل

    باید یک دندان ِ تیز آنجا باشد,ستونی از اشباح!؛

    نمیتوانید ببینید؟ برایم مهم نیست که چیست

    آیا تو میتوانی آنرا به من ندهی؟!

    خجل نباش، مهم نیست اگر کوچک باشد

    بخیل نباش، من برای ِ عظمت آماده ام

    بگذلرید بنشینیم

    هر یک در سمتی از آن

    در شگفت از نورانی بودنش، در شگفت از آینه وار بودنش

    بگذارید آخرین شاممان را بر آن بخوریم

    آنچنان که بر یک بشقاب در بیمارستان

    میدانم که چرا به من نمیدهیش؟

    تو وحشت کرده ای

    حالا که جهان از جیغی بالا میرود به همراه سرت بی آنکه پروایی داشته باشی

    به شکل ِ یک سپر ِ باستانی

    اعجازی برای ِ نوادگان ِ شما

    اما نترسید، این چنین نیست

    من تنها میگیرمش و به کناری میگریزم

    و تو نه صدای ِ باز کردنش

    نه صدای ِ گسستن ِ زبانش

    و نه صدای ِ جیغی در انتها خواهی شنید

    فکر نمیکنم امتیازی به این احتیاطم بدهی

    آه اگر میدانستی چگونه این حجابها روزهای مرا میکشند

    در نگاه ِ تو آنها خود وضوح و شفافیتند، به شکل ِ هوایی تمیز

    اما خدای من! ابرها این روزها به سان ِ پنبه شده اند

    ارتشی از آنها…………..ارتشی از مونوکسید ِ کربن

    به شیرینی، مانند ِ شکر به درون نفس میکشم

    و رگهایم را از میلیونها پنهانی پر میکنم

    غبارهای ِ غریبی که بر سالهای ِ عمرم خط میکشند

    تو لباسهای نقره ایَت را برای این مناسبت بپوش

    آیا برایتان غیرممکن است چیزی را رها کنید برود؟

    آیا باید به هر چیزی مُهری ارغوانی بزنید؟

    آیا باید هر چه را که توانید بکُشید؟

    آه، من امروز چیزی میخواهم و تو تنها کسی هستی که میتوانی آنرا به من دهی

    چیزی که پس پنجره ام ایستاده است، به عظمت ِ آسمان

    چیزی که میان ِ اوراقم نَفَس میکشد

    آن مرکز ِ مرده را میگویم

    آنجا که زندگیهای ِ شکاف خورده سرد و سخت به تاریخ گره میخورند

    نگذار با نامه بیاید، از انگشتی به انگشت ِ دیگر

    نگذار با کلمه ای از دهان برسد

    آه، من باید شصت ساله باشم

    تا زمانی که این همه تحویل داده شود

    تا خالی از هر احساسی شوم

    تا از آن استفاده کنم

    تنها بگذار از این نقاب پایین بیایم

    از این حجاب، حجاب، حجاب

    اگر این مرگ میبود

    من سنگینی ِ عمیقش را و چشمان ِ بی انتهایش را تحسین میکردم

    آنوقت میدانستم تو جدی بودی

    سپس میتوانست اصالتی

    سپس میتوانست تولدی در کار باشد

    و چاقو، نه برای ِ تکه کردن، که برای ِ درون شدن میبود

    ژاو و پاکیزه، به شکل ِ گریه ی یک کودک

    و جهان از کنار ِ من سرازیر میشد.؛

    نقره ام، دقیقم، بی هیچ نقش پیشین

    هرچه میبینم بی درنگ میبلعم

    همانگونه که هست، نیالوده به عشق یا نفرت

    بی رحم نیستم، فقط راستگو هستم

    چشمان خدایی کوچک، چهار گوشه

    اغلب به دیوار رو به رو میاندیشم

    صورتی ست و لکه دار

    آنقدر به آن نگاه کرده ام که فکر میکنم

    پاره ی دل من است

    ولی پیدا و ناپیدا میشود

    صورتها و تاریکی بارها ما را از هم جدا میکنند

    حالا دریاچه ام

    زنی روبرویم خم شده است

    برای شناختن خود سرا پای مرا میکاود

    آنگاه به شمعها یا ماه، این دروغگویان، باز میگردد

    پشت او را میبینم و همانگونه که هست منعکس میکنم

    زن با اشک و تکان دادن دست پاداشم میدهد

    برای او اهمیت دارم، میآید و میرود

    این صورت اوست که هر صبح جانشین تاریکی میشود

    در من دختری را غرق کرده است

    و در من زنی سالخورده هر روز به جستجوی او

    مثل ماهی هولناکی برمیخیزد

    در مقدمه ی «آریل» اثر: سیلویا پلات، که دو سال پیش از خودکشی شاعر، در لندن چاپ شد، رابرت لاول شاعر معاصر آمریکا نوشت: «در این اشعار پلات با خودش یکی میشود، خویشتنی که با طراوت، ظرافت و شقاوت آفریده شد؛ یکی از آن قهرمان ابرواقعی و سحرآمیزِ بزرگ کلاسیک. لاول راست میگوید که پلات در شعرهای آخرش با خود یکی میشود؛ بخصوص در اشعار دفاتر «گذر از آب» و «آریل» که خودی یکدست، اما مشترک را به وجود میآورد. در این مجموعه به ویژه در دفتر اخیر، تجربه های روزمره را با اکسیر اسطوره به احساس و اشتراک عام مبدل میکند

    ا. شربیانی

  • Samadrita

    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote

    during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of

    . There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are.

    It took me a while to get through this book not only

    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote

    during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of

    . There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are.

    It took me a while to get through this book not only because you cannot breeze through poetry as if it were a piece of fiction. But because my obsession with

    and

    got in the way of my progress with the remaining poems.

    I think I have read the 3 at least 20 times each since the day I picked up Ariel.

    Merely trying to imagine the ways, in which this lady could have further overwhelmed the literary world had she lived a full life, gives me goosebumps.

    Who would have thought that cutting your thumb on a chopping board could transform into exquisite poetry?

    A million stars.

  • Duane

    What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a fla

    What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.

  • Dolors

    Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems

    , which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images

    Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems

    , which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images flood the still pond of my mind, I feel faint visualizing drops of blood soaking weaved carpets of fluffy snowflakes drawing impossibly flowery forms on shimmering innocence, red tulips opening their moist petals aroused by treacherous dew at dawn, warmth bitterly frozen in morbid colors.

    Sylvia’s brushstrokes combine the diluted shades of Manet with the impressionist aggressiveness and stunning tones of Pollock. Vulnerability and firm willpower are both present in form and content in this collection of poems. I encounter unapologetic Sylvia in her

    bewitching me with her defiant assertion:

    And I force myself not to think of her tragic suicide and her mental condition when she wrote these verses. I choose to concentrate on the writer, on the genius, on the creativity which enables suffering to become universal works of art that offer comfort and redemption, on the flowing current of feeling rather than on the scabrous speculations hiding behind Sylvia’s supposed products of madness. Truth is I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsought, some things need to be sensed rather than known, so I decide to surrender to Sylvia’s acidic voice and let the walls of this cage dissolve away and for the briefest of moments, I taste the undistinguishable flavor of exhilarating freedom.

    Let the poems speak for themselves. They probe unfalteringly with sardonic disdain, they delve deep in scavenger spirit, pecking unmercifully at their own creator’s flesh, they are abrupt, sarcastic, even deceitful. Sylvia’s virulent words become everlasting vessels, carriers of existential vision, ships of meaning that will perpetually sail the wintry dark waters of countless readers breaking through their foggy minds and dormant hearts.

    I thirstily swallow these 43 naked poems trying not to choke on their rawness and I unexpectedly find myself dragged by the powerful force of this kaleidoscopic river of white pure waters, red sensual nooks and black nihilist crannies. I am lost in this world of barren landscapes and atrocious celestial bodies, of endless inner wars and abandoned children and abused fathers. But I don’t want to be found.

    Sylvia’s use of colloquial language and her disdainful tone puncture the balloon of comfort and challenge the reader, her assonant and imperfect rhymes structured in free verse blend with myth and natural imagery creating a surreal and hypnotic hum that soothes and strikes back like a cobra, drawing honest blood and recognition.

    Sylvia’s choice of words and expressions pungently resonate in this age of gender conflict, broken families and economic inequalities, the bottled rage that derives from continuous betrayal and disappointment can be softened through Plath’s bitter yet courageous individuality.

    Some exotic birds aren’t meant to be caged. It would be a sin not to allow their colorful feathers to be spread and fly away. Sylvia escaped from a colorless world to soar the skies of eternity, tingeing them with burning bright celestial pathways that enlighten the firmament of those who, from time to time, dare to look up to the floors of heaven and allow themselves to be consumed by the flames of blazing and immortal art.

  • Lotte

    My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.

  • Asghar Abbas

    I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them.

    What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today.

    Sublime work.

    I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.

    R

    I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them.

    What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today.

    Sublime work.

    I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.

    Read it.

    Addendum : as I was reading this it dawned on me her poems are undeniably Gothic, weird this didn't occur to me before.

    Her every poem makes me suck in my breath. It is hardly breaking news that she was a good poet but such terrific words, I don't even want to imagine the insides of her terrible terrible mind.

  • Steven  Godin

    Stunned.

    Destroyed.

    Took the wind out of my sails,

    and the light out of my eyes.

    Not wanting to curse but fuck me! could she write!

    As for "Daddy" what heart crushing despair.

  • Whitney Atkinson

    I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head.

    I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die.

    Although I didn't grasp most

    I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head.

    I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die.

    Although I didn't grasp most of the poems in this collection, I did really enjoy a few: Sheep in the Fog, Lady Lazarus, Tulips, and The Rival.

    I was a much bigger fan of The Bell Jar than I am her poetry.


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