Sylvia Plath Quotes (149+)

Sylvia Plath was a distinguished novelist, poet, and short-story writer.

Her works explore themes such as self, loss, and nature which are closely tied to her personal experience.

In this article we selected the most beautiful Sylvia Plath quotes, honoring the poet’s life. 

Sylvia Plath was born on October 27, 1932, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her mother, Aurelia Schober, was a master’s student at Boston University when she met Plath’s father, Otto Plath, who was her professor.

They were married in January of 1932. Otto taught both German and biology, with a focus on apiology, the study of bees.

In 1940, when Plath was eight years old, her father died as a result of complications from diabetes.

He had been a strict father, and both his authoritarian attitudes and his death drastically defined Plath’s relationships and her poems—most notably in her elegiac and infamous poem “Daddy.”

Plath kept a journal from the age of eleven and published her poems in regional magazines and newspapers.

Her first national publication was in the Christian Science Monitor in 1950, just after graduating from high school.

In 1950, Plath matriculated at Smith College, where she graduated SCL in 1955.

After graduation, Plath moved to Cambridge, England, on a Fulbright Scholarship.

In early 1956, she attended a party and met the English poet Ted Hughes. Shortly thereafter, Plath and Hughes were married, on June 16, 1956.

Plath returned to Massachusetts in 1957 and began studying with Robert Lowell.

Her first collection of poems, Colossus, was published in 1960 in England, and two years later in the United States.

She returned to England, where she gave birth to her children Frieda and Nicholas, in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

In 1962, Ted Hughes left Plath for Assia Gutmann Wevill. That winter, Plath wrote most of the poems that would comprise her most famous book, Ariel.

In 1963, Plath published a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.

She died on February 11 of that year. 

Plath’s poetry is often associated with the Confessional movement and compared to the work of poets such as Lowell and fellow student Anne Sexton.

Often, her work is singled out for the intense coupling of its violent or disturbed imagery and its playful use of alliteration and rhyme.

Although only Colossus was published while she was alive, Plath was a prolific poet, and in addition to Ariel, Hughes published three other volumes of her work posthumously, including The Collected Poems, which was the recipient of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize.

She was the first poet to posthumously win a Pulitzer Prize.

Enjoy our list of Sylvia Plath quotes!

5  Sylvia Plath Quotes

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

2.  “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.”

3.  “I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.”

4.  “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”

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

15 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1.  “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.”

2.  “My world falls apart, crumbles, “The centre cannot hold.” There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation. I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralysed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness. I never thought. I never wrote, I never suffered. I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb. I do not know who I am, where I am going—and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions. I long for a noble escape from freedom—I am weak, tired, in revolt from the strong constructive humanitarian faith which presupposes a healthy, active intellect and will. There is nowhere to go.”

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

4.  “I buried my head under the darkness of the pillow and pretended it was night. I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.”

5.  “How we need that security. 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.”

6.  “I have stitched life into me like a rare organ

–from “Three Women: A Poem for Three Voices”, written 1962”

7.  “That afternoon my mother had brought me the roses. “Save them for my funeral,” I’d said.”

8.  “Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing – singing, laughing, learning.”

9.  “When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.”

10.   “…it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat – on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok – I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”

11.   “There is no better way to know us

Than as two wolves, come separately to a wood.”

12.   “Writing, then, was a substitute for myself: if you don’t love me, love my writing & love me for my writing. It is also much more: a way of ordering and reordering the chaos of experience.”

13.   “I don’t know how long I kept at it…

I felt reasonably safe, streched out on the floor, and lay quite still.

It didn’t seem to be summer any more”

14.   “Not easy to state the change you made.

If I’m alive now, I was dead,

Though, like a stone, unbothered by it.”

15. “Even amongst fierce flames/ The golden lotus can be planted.”

20 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1.   “It was the day after Christmas and a gray sky bellied over us, fat with snow. I felt overstuffed and dull and disappointed, the way I always do the day after Christmas, as if whatever it was the pine boughs and the candles and the silver and gilt-ribboned presents and the birch-log fires and the Christmas turkey and the carols at the piano promised never came to pass.”

2.   “I felt moved and tender and perfectly certain about what I was going to do.”

3.   “If I was going to fall, I would hang on to my small comforts, at least, as long as I possibly could.”

4.    “if a man chooses to be promiscuous, he may still turn up his nose at promiscuity. He may still demand a woman be faithful to him, to save him from his own lust. But women have lust, too. Why should they be relegated to the position of custodian of emotions, watcher of the infants, feeder of soul,body and pride of man?”

5.   “There is history to read- centuries to comprehend before I sleep, millions of lives to assimilate before breakfast tomorrow.”

6.  “if a man chooses to be promiscuous, he may still turn up his nose at promiscuity. He may still demand a woman be faithful to him, to save him from his own lust. But women have lust, too. Why should they be relegated to the position of custodian of emotions, watcher of the infants, feeder of soul,body and pride of man?”

7.  “There is history to read- centuries to comprehend before I sleep, millions of lives to assimilate before breakfast tomorrow.”

8.  “I am I because of that.”

9.  “It’s the living, the eating, the sleeping that everyone needs. Ideas don’t matter so much after all.”

10.            “My head a moon

Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin

Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.”

11.            “I can’t take things as they come, or make them come as I choose.”

12.            “This mizzle fits me like a sad jacket.”

13.            “There are a few times when the songs that are written, the poems that are written, the plays that are written, come alive. By accident you fall onto a stage-set put aside for a tragedy for the lesser gods, and you utter words that were in the script written in the leaves and in the grass for some heroic cast.”

14.            “It was inestimably important for me to look at the lights of Amherst town in the rain, with the wet black tree-skeletons against the limpid streetlights and gray November mist, and then look at the boy beside me and feel all the hurting beauty go flat because he wasn’t the right one-not at all.”

15. “to be aware that you must compete somehow, and yet that wealth and beauty are not in your realm.”

16. “Girl, aging girl, is haunted by own nothingness…”

17. “You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking – almost – that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run – and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow.”

18. “What obsession do men have for destruction and unlawful killing? Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled “enemy?” Weren’t the Russians communists when they helped us slap down the Germans? And now. What could we do with the Russian nation if we bombed it to bits? How could we “rule” such a mass of foreign people – – – we, who don’t even speak the Russian language? How could we control them under our “democratic” system…?”

19. “I can only hazard. In the back of my mind there are bombs falling, women and children screaming, but I can’t describe it now.”

20.   “I have often fought, fought & won, not perfection, but an acceptance of myself as having a right to live on my own human, fallible terms.”

25 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1.   “I waited, as if the sea could make my decision for me.”

2.  “I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.”

3.  “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

[I think I made you up inside my head.]”

4.  “But when it came right down to it, the skin of my wrist looked so white and defenseless that I couldn’t do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn’t in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get.”

5.  “I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident.”

6.  “This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.

The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.

The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God,

Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.

Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place

Separated from my house by a row of headstones.

I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

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.

Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky

Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection.

At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape.

The eyes lift after it and find the moon.

The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.

Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.

How I would like to believe in tenderness

The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,

Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering

Blue and mystical over the face of the stars.

Inside the church, the saints will be all blue,

Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,

Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.

The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.

And the message of the yew tree is blackness — blackness and silence.”

7.  “They might ignore me immediately.

In my moon suit and funeral veil.

I am no source of honey

So why should they turn on me?

Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.”

8.  “You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols. Remember the illogic of the fantasy.”

9.  “She has folded

Them back into her body as petals

Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odours bleed

From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,

Staring from her hood of bone.”

10.            “Love is a shadow.

How you lie and cry after it.”

11.            “In the infinitesimal glow of the stars,

the trees and flowers were strewing

their cool odos. There was no moon.”

12.            “Little poppies, little hell flames,

Do you do no harm?

You flicker. I cannot touch you.

I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns.”

13.            “The moon, also, is merciless: she would drag me

Cruelly, being barren.

Her radiance scathes me. Or perhaps I have caught her.”

14.            “All morning the

Morning has been blackening,

A flower left out.

My bones hold a stillness, the far

Fields melt my heart.

They threaten

To let me through to a heaven

Starless and fatherless, a dark water.”

16.            “I wished I hadn’t majored in women filling their pockets with stones and sticking their heads into ovens.

Maybe tomorrow the pinhole would widen and I would want to be a marine biologist.”

17.            “I don’t see what women see in other women, I told Doctor Nolan in my interview that noon. What does a woman see in a woman that she can’t see in a man? Doctor Nolan paused. Then she said, Tenderness. That shut me up.”

18.            “How we need that security. 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.”

19.            “I need more than anything right now what is, of course, most impossible, someone to love me, to be with me at night when I wake up in shuddering horror and fear of the cement tunnels leading down to the shock room, to comfort me with an assurance that no psychiatrist can quite manage to convey.”

20.            “I’m never going to get married.”

“You’re crazy.” Buddy brightened. “You’ll change your mind.”

“No. My mind’s made up.”

21.            “Over your body the clouds go

High, high and icily

And a little flat, as if they

Floated on a glass that was invisible.

Unlike swans,

Having no reflections;

Unlike you,

With no strings attached.

All cool, all blue. Unlike you

You, there on your back,

Eyes to the sky.”

22.            “Now, lying on my back in bed, I imagined Buddy saying, ‘Do you know what a poem is, Esther?’

‘No, what?’ I would say.

‘A piece of dust.’

Then just as he was smiling and starting to look proud, I would say, ‘So are the cadavers you cut up. So are the people you think you’re curing. They’re dust as dust as dust. I reckon a good poem lasts a whole lot longer than a hundred of those people put together.’

And of course Buddy wouldn’t have any answer to that, because what I said was true. People were made of nothing so much as dust, and I couldn’t see that doctoring all that dust was a bit better than writing poems people would remember and repeat to themselves when they were unhappy or sick and couldn’t sleep.”

23.            “If you dissect a bird / to diagram the tongue, / you’ll cut the chord / articulating song.”

24.            “All night your moth-breath

Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen.

A far sea moves in my ear.”

25. “We are not what we might be; what we are / Outlaws all extrapolation / Beyond the interval of now and here: / White whales are gone with the white ocean.”

30 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1.  “…love knows not of death nor calculus above the simple sum of heart plus heart.”

2. I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.

3. If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

4. I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.

5. 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.

6. Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

7. 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.

8. I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.

9. 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?

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

11.  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.

12.  The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

13.  I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.

14.  What did my fingers do before they held him

15.  I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am.

16.  There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

17.  If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression Of something beautiful, but annihilating.

18.  When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.

19.  Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?

20.  And there’s the fallacy of existence: the idea that one could be happy forever and age with a given situation or series of accomplishments.

21.  I too want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.

22.  And by the way, everything in life is writeable if you have the outgoing guts to do it. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

23.  I must bridge the gap between adolescent glitter and mature glow.

24.  I may never be happy, but tonight I am content.

25.  “But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.” 

26.  It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative – whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.”

27.  “That is how it stiffens, my vision of that seaside childhood. My father died; we moved inland. Whereon those nine first years of my life sealed themselves off like a ship in a bottle – beautiful, inaccessible, obsolete: a fine, white, flying myth.”

28.   “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.”

29.  “I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”

30.  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.”

35

1. “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”

2. “There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.”

3. “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.”

4. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”

5. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” 

6. “What a man is is an arrow into the future, and what a woman is a place the arrow shoots off from.”

7. “How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.”

8. “Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.”

9. “Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.” 

10. “Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.”

11. The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.”

12. “I am a writer… I am a genius of a writer; I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life; they will make my name.”

13 “I remember that as I was writing a poem on ‘Snow’ when I was eight, I said aloud, I wish I could have the ability to write down the feelings I have now when I am little, because when I grow up, I will know how to write, but I will have forgotten what being little feels like.”

14. “Arrogant, I think I have written lines which qualify me to be The Poetess of America (as Ted will be The Poet of England and her dominions).”

15. “I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.”

16. “Didn’t you know I’m going to be the greatest, most entertaining author and artist in the world? Well, don’t feel badly, I didn’t either!”

17. “Since my woman’s world is perceived greatly through the emotions and the senses, I treat it that way in my writing – and am often overweighted with heavy descriptive passages and a kaleidoscope of similes.”

18. “I have felt great advances in my poetry, the main one being a growing victory over word nuances and a superfluity of adjectives.”

19. “I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.”

20 “There is an increasing market for mental hospital stuff. I am a fool if I don’t relive it, recreate it.”

21. “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.”

22. “Mountains terrify me – they just sit about; they are so proud.” 

23. “When you are insane, you are busy being insane – all the time.”

24. “Every woman adores a Fascist.”

25. “My mother’s face floated to mind, a pale, reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her. Still, she had obviously decided to forgive me.”

26.  “A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.”

27. “Is there no way out of the mind?”

28. . “Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.”

29.. “Mother believed that I should have an enormous amount of sleep, and so I was never really tired when I went to bed. This was the best time of day, when I could lie in the vague twilight, drifting off to sleep, making up dreams inside my head the way they should go.”

30. “Widow. The word consumes itself.”

31. “Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.” 

32. “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.”

33. “I saw the gooseflesh on my skin. I did not know what made it. I was not cold. Had a ghost passed over? No, it was the poetry.”

34. . “I am a victim of introspection.”

35. . “Excellent teachers showered on to us like meteors: Biology teachers holding up human brains, English teachers inspiring us with a personal ideological fierceness about Tolstoy and Plato, Art teachers leading us through the slums of Boston, then back to the easel to hurl public school gouache with social awareness and fury.”

40 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1. “I don’t believe that the meek will inherit the earth; The meek get ignored and trampled.”

2. “In London the day after Christmas (Boxing Day), it began to snow: my first snow in England. For five years, I had been tactfully asking, Do you ever have snow at all? as I steeled myself to the six months of wet, tepid gray that make up an English winter. Ooo, I do remember snow, was the usual reply when I was a lad.”

3. “If I have not the power to put myself in the place of other people, but must be continually burrowing inward, I shall never be the magnanimous creative person I wish to be. Yet I am hypnotized by the workings of the individual, alone, and am continually using myself as a specimen.”

4. “Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.”

5. “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” 

6. “For a time, I believed not in God nor Santa Claus, but in mermaids. They seemed as logical and possible to me as the brittle twig of a seahorse in the zoo aquarium or the skates lugged up on the lines of cursing Sunday fishermen – skates the shape of old pillowslips with the full, coy lips of women.”

7. Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”

8. “Since my woman’s world is perceived greatly through the emotions and the senses, I treat it that way in my writing – and am often overweighted with heavy descriptive passages and a kaleidoscope of similes.”

9. “Everybody had to go to some college or other. A business college, a junior college, a state college, a secretarial college, an Ivy League college, a pig farmer’s college. The book first, then the work.”

10.   “I have a visual imagination.”

11.  “I made a point of eating so fast I never kept the other people waiting who generally ordered only chef’s salad and grapefruit juice because they were trying to reduce. Almost everybody I met in New York was trying to reduce.”

12.  “When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.”

13.  “I must discipline myself. I must be imaginative and create plots, knit motives, probe dialogue – rather than merely trying to record descriptions and sensations. The latter is pointless, without purpose, unless it is later to be synthesized into a story. The latter is also a rather pronounced symptom of an oversensitive and unproductive ego.”

14.   “My mother had taught shorthand and typing to support us since my father died, and secretly she hated it and hated him for dying and leaving no money because he didn’t trust life insurance salesmen.”

15.  “What I want back is what I was.” 

16.  “Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled Rain pour in from across the nation.”

17.  “How we need another soul to cling to.”

18.  I think that personal experience is very important, but certainly it shouldn’t be a kind of shut-box and mirror-looking, narcissistic experience. I believe it should be relevant, and relevant to the larger things, the bigger things, such as Hiroshima and Dachau and so on.”

19.   “I’ve begun to think like a Jew, to feel like a Jew.”

20.  “A baby! I hated babies. I, who for two and a half years had been the center of a tender universe, felt the axis wrench and a polar chill immobilize my bones. I would be a bystander, a museum mammoth.”

21.  “I felt proud that the baby’s first real adventure should be as a protest against the insanity of world annihilation. Already a certain percentage of unborn children are doomed by fallout, and no one knows the cumulative effects of what is already poisoning the air and sea.”

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

23.  “I talk to God but the sky is empty.”

24.  “I pass by people, grazing them on the edges, and it bothers me. I’ve got to admire someone to really like them deeply – to value them as friends.”

25.  “I think the sea swallowed dozens of tea sets – tossed in abandon off liners or consigned to the tide by jilted brides. I collected a shiver of china bits, with borders of larkspur and birds or braids of daisies. No two patterns ever matched.”

26.  “The sea was our main entertainment. When company came, we set them before it on rugs, with thermoses and sandwiches and colored umbrellas, as if the water – blue, green, gray, navy or silver as it might be – were enough to watch.”

27.   “Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.”

28.  “My childhood landscape was not land but the end of the land – the cold, salt, running hills of the Atlantic. I sometimes think my vision of the sea is the clearest thing I own.”

29.  “One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind.”

30.  “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.” 

31.  “Now and then, when I grow nostalgic about my ocean childhood – the wauling of gulls and the smell of salt, somebody solicitous will bundle me into a car and drive me to the nearest briny horizon.”

32.  “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.”

33.  “I hope to submit to the little pamphlet magazines here ‘freelance’ and perhaps shall join the Labour Club, as I really want to become informed on politics, and it seems to have an excellent program. I am definitely not a Conservative, and the Liberals are too vague and close to the latter.”

34.   “If I tried to describe my personality, I’d start to gush about living by the ocean half my life and being brought up on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and believing in magic for years and years.”

35.  “I am too pure for you or anyone.”

36.  “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”

37.  “There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.” 

38.   “Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.”

39.  “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” 

40.  “But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.” 

45 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1. “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” 

2. “There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.”  

3. “Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.”

4. “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”

5. “But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.”

6. “If I tried to describe my personality, I’d start to gush about living by the ocean half my life and being brought up on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and believing in magic for years and years.” 

7. “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.”

8. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences”

9. “Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.”

10. “What a man is is an arrow into the future, and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.”

11. “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”

12. “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.”

13. “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.” 

14. “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” 

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

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

17. “How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.” 

18. “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.” 

19. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” 

20. “I pass by people, grazing them on the edges, and it bothers me. I’ve got to admire someone to really like them deeply – to value them as friends.” 

21. “Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” 

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

23. “Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.” 

24. “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.” 

25. “It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative – whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.” 

26. “I’ve begun to think like a Jew, to feel like a Jew.” 

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

28. “I don’t believe that the meek will inherit the earth; The meek get ignored and trampled.” 

29. “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.” 

30. “Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.” 

31. “One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind.” 

32. “I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.” 

33. “When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.” 

34. “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.” 

35. “I felt proud that the baby’s first real adventure should be as a protest against the insanity of world annihilation. Already a certain percentage of unborn children are doomed by fallout, and no one knows the cumulative effects of what is already poisoning the air and sea.” 

36. “I am too pure for you or anyone.” 

37. “I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” 

38. “I made a point of eating so fast I never kept the other people waiting who generally ordered only chef’s salad and grapefruit juice because they were trying to reduce. Almost everybody I met in New York was trying to reduce.” 

39. “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”

40.  “A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.” 

41. “I buried my head under the darkness of the pillow and pretended it was night. I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.”

42. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” 

43. “Didn’t you know I’m going to be the greatest, most entertaining author and artist in the world? Well, don’t feel badly, I didn’t either!” 

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

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

50 Sylvia Plath Quotes

1.   I talk to God but the sky is empty.

2.    am terrified by this dark thing

That sleeps in me;

All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

3.   I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

4.   Eternity bores me,

I never wanted it.

5.   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.

6.   If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.

7.   I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.

8.   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.

9.   People or stars

Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

10.             Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

11.             The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain.

12.             Now I am silent, hate

Up to my neck,

Thick, thick.

I do not speak.

13.             Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.

14.             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.

15.             There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.

16.             I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.

17.             I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.

18.             I would catch sight of some flawless man off in the distance, but as soon as he moved closer I immediately saw he wouldn’t do at all.

19.             What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.

20.             If they substituted the word “Lust” for “Love” in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

21.             It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled RAIN pour in from across the nation.

22.             And what is happy? It is a going always on. There is something better to be done than I have done, and spurred by the fair delusion of progress, I will seek to progress, to whip myself on, to more and more — to learning. Always.

23.             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. My love’s not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I’ll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time.

24.             I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next day had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.

25.             Love is the bone and sinew of my curse.

26.             With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can’t start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It’s like quicksand … hopeless from the start.

27.             “I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.”

28.             “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.”

29.             “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.”

30.             “Mountains terrify me – they just sit about; they are so proud.” 

31.             “How we need that security. 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.” 

32.             I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am.

33.             There ought, I thought, to be a ritual for being born twice – patched, retreaded and approved for the road.

34.             The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air.

35.             Wherever I sat — on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok — I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.

36.             I began to see why woman-haters could make such fools of women. Woman-haters were like gods: invulnerable and chock-full of power. They descended, and then they disappeared. You could never catch one.

37.             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.

38.             I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

39.             I thought how strange it had never occurred to me before that I was only purely happy until I was nine years old.

40.             I didn’t feel like asking him if there were any other ways to have babies. For some reason the most important thing to me was actually seeing the baby come out of you yourself and making sure it was yours. I thought if you had to have all that pain anyway you might just as well stay awake. I had always imagined myself hitching up on to my elbows on the delivery table after it was all over — dead white, of course, with no makeup and form the awful ordeal, but smiling and radiant, with my hair down to my waist, and reaching out for my first little squirmy child and saying its name, whatever it was.

41.             What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.

42.             There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

43.             The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn’t hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might just as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me.

44.             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. My love’s not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I’ll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time.

45.             I desire the things which will destroy me in the end.

46.             The abstract kills, the concrete saves.

47.             I must get back my soul from you; I am killing my flesh without it.

48.             Ironically, Henry James’ biography comforts me & I long to make known to him his posthumous reputation — he wrote, in pain, gave all his life (which is more than I could think of doing — I have Ted, will have children — but few friends) & the critics insulted & mocked him, readers didn’t read him.

49.             I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

50.             The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn’t hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might just as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me.

 

Other Mental health quotes which you may like

Below are other mental health quotes which may be of interest to you:

Done Quotes
Eat, pray, love Quotes
Eckhart Tolle quotes
Empowering Social Justice Quotes
Endurance Quotes to Motivate You
Famous Dumbledore quotes
Famous INFJ Quotes
Famous Mad Hatter Quotes

Conclusions

Sylvia Plath was a prolific poet. She was the first poet to posthumously win a Pulitzer Prize.

Which Sylvia Plath quote inspired you the most?

Let us know in the comments section below. 

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