Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

Day 4 of Writing in Metaphor and Imagery for Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Today, I want to introduce you to Sylvia Plath, who was more than a poet. She was a novelist and a short story writer as well. One of the first works I read by her was The Bell Jar, which illustrates the mental breakdown of a young woman and is often considered autobiographical. For the longest time, this was the only work I knew of hers. Many have viewed her poetry as confessional, mirroring the poetic works of Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell. Confessional poems often highlight unflattering aspects of a poet’s personal life, whether it is illness, sexuality, or depression.

Ariel is one collection of her poems, it was published after her death along with several others. The only collection of her poems, despite her prolific pen, that was published during her life was Colossus. Shortly after publishing The Bell Jar, Plath committed suicide with the help of her gas oven.

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite poems from Ariel, which was published in Poetry Magazine, a subscription of which is up for grabs here. Here are a few of my favorite lines from the poem.

Fever 103°

Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.

Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.

And now for the contest:

To enter for 1 copy of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel leave a comment here about Sylvia Plath, any Plath poem you know, or anything else poetry related.

For an additional entry, please blog about this contest and leave me the link to your post or email 5 friends about the contest and cc savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Another friendly reminder about these contests:

1. Diary of an Eccentric is holding a contest for The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Deadline is Sept. 30

2. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding a contest for Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg as the first contest for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding another contest for “A Coney Island of the Mind” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as part of BBAW; Deadline is Sept. 19

4. Bookish Ruth’s contest for The Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Phillip Pullman

5. Savvy Verse & Wit’s contest for a 1-year subscription to Poetry magazine. Deadline is Sept. 19

Please also double-check the growing list of giveaways at My Friend Amy’s blog.

Deadlines for all of my BBAW contests will be Sept. 19, Midnight EST.


  1. Grace Miller says

    I’m sure you know this but Robert Lowell was the teacher of both Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. The relationship between the three and their poetries and how they all are quite famous for confessional poetry is very interesting.