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Crossing the Water - Sylvia Plath

Crossing the Water


Published: 4th October 1976
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Sylvia Plath's suicide was like no other American poet's. Hart Crane's dissolution at the bottom of the Caribbean suited one who was in love with the sea, but the poems themselves, emblematic of a poet who wanted to incarnate the American myth, did not directly point to that end. All of Sylvia Plath's work, we can now see, was a prologue to disaster, to "last words," phrases "born all of a piece. . . poems possessed. . . as by the rhythms of their own breathing." She, more than any other modern figure, consciously sought her own annihilation, to leave a world of "Hiroshima ash" and that "country far away as health," to say goodbye to the awfulness of fact and the possibility of things getting better, to make the leap where the knife would "not carve, but enter/ Pure and clean as the cry of a baby,/ And the universe slide from my side." That is why there is such a single-minded purity in her tone and images, living speech which transcends the familiar anguish of the neurotic to take on the blaze and exhilarating candor of one who totally accepts her fate; who, touching rock bottom, rises like the phoenix. Wife, mother, poet, all that she was, none of that can compete with her cold, fierce destiny, a world where "the mirrors are sheeted" and "fixed stars/ Govern a life." Crossing the Water, a collection of poems written just prior to those in Ariel, while not as astonishing as Sylvia Plath's last classic volume, is, nevertheless, of immense importance in recording her extraordinary development. One senses on every page a voice coming into its own, the chaos of a lifetime at last getting ready to assume its final, triumphant shape. (Kirkus Reviews)

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, 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.

Visit Sylvia Plath's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9780571108619
ISBN-10: 057110861X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 64
Published: 4th October 1976
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.6  x 0.5
Weight (kg): 0.11
Edition Number: 1