Today marks the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s death. The writer took her own life less than a month after the publication of what was perhaps her best-known work, The Bell Jar. To mark the passing of a half-century, The Guardian rounded up a group of female poets and writers to share their impressions and feelings about Plath's work and influence.
Lena Dunham kicked in some thoughts on her relationship to Plath’s writing, saying “Her work had a normalising effect on my emotional life and her use of language in her poetry and prose, rhythmic, angry, injecting volatile emotion into a myriad of SAT words, rang in my head as I walked to class or drifted off at 4am.”
The prolific poet Sharon Olds said that, “When I think of Sylvia Plath, I am in awe of her intelligence, her language, her wit, her consonantal music – her sheer gift, and what must have been her drive, as its guardian, possessor, possessee, to realise it.”
The article is filled with sharp insight from some of today’s most popular female writers, from Jennifer Egan to Jeanette Winterson. And while the tenor and specifics of their experiences may differ, Plath was an important figure in each of their intellectual lives. So today, take a second to reflect on the incomparable Sylvia Plath, whose confessional poetry and prose blazed the trail for so many brilliant female writers to follow.
Source: The Guardian
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