The time I encountered Sylvia Plath’s poetry was my dorm’s Bayview laundry room. After buying her final book, “Ariel,” on a whim, I read all in one sitting. I remember being floored by the precision beauty of the final of “Morning Song,” written about the loud cry of her newborn: “The clear vowels rise balloons.” As an amateur poet struggling to make his poetry impactful, this seemed from a high-caliber rifle. Not only did perfectly describe a baby’s rising cry, but also seemed to describe the entire poem that came before , its chain of clear syllables rising up from the page to meet me. It wasn’t until I was half finished the book that I learned of Plath’s untimely suicide. After an initial shock, I continued to read, but my attitude toward her work had changed. Rather than reading her words as she presented , I couldn’t imagining what she was doing and what she was feeling as she wrote them. Rather than appreciating the beauty of the lines “The dew that flies / Suicidal,” I could only focus on the suicidal voice that spoke […]

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