Sylvia Plath: My anti-hero

On cold winter morning of February 11, Sylvia Plath was found dead in her London apartment, her children sleeping in the next room. The psychologists, promptly called it the “Sylvia Plath” effect and said all Female writers are more prone to suicide. Surprisingly, the examples they gave to prove this theory were of Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson, both novelist and poetess of a different era altogether.


My relationship with Sylvia Plath started when I heard a Ryan Adams song of the same name, of course that was just a song of love long lost and had nothing to do with her. But I had started on a quest. I asked around the Indian Literary Circles about Sylvia Plath. Shockingly, the author that had rocked America with her controversial  confessional poetry was lost in translation in these parts of the world. I found her finally, in an ultra modern book establishment lost in the section of Poetry, where no one goes!. And then I read “Daddy”.


You do not do, you do not do 
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot


Sylvia Plath is a terrifying morality, she starts off this poem with the loss, that of her father, but, for me the irony lies in the question  : What do you do when you find that the one man you loved since you were born turns out to be a narcissistic murderer? 

“Daddy” is a very blatant poem, intense in its purpose, shocking in meaning. Plath was always a gutsy writer, for her “Daddy” was about the chaos that every mind was in. Each word screaming, yelling out, almost begging her to stop writing this emotion down! 
It moved me, “Daddy”,the way no Shakespeare or Wordsworth ever did. and when she says,

But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,

I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.


I won’t explain the meaning of this poem. Hell I won’t even review it. She was the undead in those words, my anti-hero, my perception of hatred and love at the same time. Sylvia Plath changed the way I look at poetry. It was now, finally what I knew poetry to be. The truth, blatant and naked, staring right at us like a mirror, mocking us at times, but mostly, loving us like a mother so pure like a virgin. And the suicide was not a part of the act, it was a way to free herself from the chaos. 

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two—
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.


P.S: Sylvia Plath is my new favorite. I am currently reading the Bell Jar, will post it’s review ASAP.

One thought on “Sylvia Plath: My anti-hero

  1. i love my dad a lot.. so i cant evn imagine something such as tht.. bt yes.. i see wht u mean.. thts poetry!

    i believe something.. u hav eared the right to know my belief!

    keats/shakespere/wordsworth.. all these poets- hav brainwashed people about peotry! thanks to them.. if any X or Y is asked to write poem, the write abt love! they wd nt evn be in love! (no one is in love.. mango-people and their dairy milk love… bah!)

    poetry is nt love!

    poetry is mind behind a veil.. the eclipse… the eyes looking through your mind!

    u dont have to say it all.. its all out there for you to take.. it would take more than two hands to take it all.. bt to exactly measure it, you need to understand it…

    it is truth… n i see it here…

    brill works.. i googled some of the verses.. i see a poet!

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