80 Memorable Passages From The Unabridged Journals Of Sylvia Plath

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1. “What is more tedious than boy-girl episodes? Nothing; yet there is no tedium that will be recorded so eternally.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

2. “I don’t believe in God as a kind father in the sky. I don’t believe that the meek will inherit the earth: The meek get ignored and trampled. They decompose in the bloody soil of war, of business, of art, and they rot into the warm ground under the spring rains.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

3. “It seems to me more than ever that I am a victim of introspection. If I have not the power to put myself in the place of other people, but must be continually burrowing inward. I shall never be the magnanimous creative person I wish to be. Yet I am hypnotized by the workings of the individual, alone, and am continually using myself as a specimen.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

4. “Why am I obsessed with the idea I can justify myself by getting manuscripts published? Is it an escape – an excuse for any social failure – so I can say “No, I don’t go out for many extra-curricular activities, but I spent a lot of time writing.” Or is it an excuse for wanting to be alone and mediate alone, not having to brave a group of women? (Women in numbers have always disturbed me) Do I like to write? Why? About what? Will I give up and say “living and feeding a man’s insatiable guts and begetting children occupies my whole life, don’t have time to write?” Or will I stick to my damn stuff and practice? Read and think and practice? I am worried about thinking.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

5. “So I am led to one or two choices. Can I write? Will I write if I practice enough? How much should I sacrifice to writing anyway, before I find out if I’m any good?” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

6. “I am afraid that the physical sensuousness of marriage will lull and soothe to inactive lethargy my desire to work outside the realm of my mate – might make me “lose myself in him,” as I said before, and thereby lose the need to write as I would lose the need to escape. Very simple.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

7. “Victimized by sex is the human race. Animals, the fortunate lower beasts, go into heat. Then they are through with the thing, while we poor lustful humans, caged by mores, chained by circumstance, writhe and agonize with the appalling and demanding fire licking always at our loins.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

8. “So we drive into a driveway by a big white house with a lot of pillars. “It’s all pillars,” I observe brightly. That, it seems, is the name of the place. The Pillars.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

9. “So she told me about the four page (1000 words a day) deal. No time limit – there’s the catch. You don’t have a time limit, it’s the produce that counts. 365,000 words in a year is a hell of a lot of words. I start this fall. Four pages a day.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

10. “Delude yourself about printed islands of permanence. You’ve only got so long to live. You’re getting your dream. Things are working, blind forces, no personal spiritual beneficent ones except your own intelligence and the good will of a few other fools and fellow humans. So hit it while it’s hot.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

11. “Can’t stop thinking I am just beginning. In 10 years I will be 30 and not ancient and maybe good. Hope. Prospects. Work, though, and I love it. Delivering babies. Maybe even both kinds.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

12. “Face it, kid, you’ve had a hell of lot of good breaks. No Elizabeth Taylor, maybe. No child Hemingway, but God, you are growing up. In other words, you’ve come a long way from the ugly introvert you were only five years ago. Pats on the back in order? OK. Tan, tall, blondish, not half bad.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

13. “Today would be an absorbing study if I were good at stream of consciousness. My mind tried every trick to elude the prosaic task at hand.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

14. “The end was coition, physically. But I wasn’t having any of that. I was being pragmatic. I felt like being kissed, petted, made love to. I would take it as far as I wanted to. To hell with him. I am not a tease, nor a whore – he could go home unsatisfied, rape a stranger, I didn’t care.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

15. “And there is the fallacy of existence: the idea that one would be happy forever and aye with a given situation or series of accomplishments. Why did Virginia Woolf commit suicide? Or Sara Teasdale – or the other brilliant women – neurotic? Was their writing sublimation (oh horrible world) of deep, basic desires?” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

16. “Someday, god knows when, I will stop this absurd, self-pitying, idle, futile despair.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

17. “God, I want to get to know him. If I could build an idea and creative life with him, or someone like him, I would feel I lived a testimony of constructive faith in a hell of a world. And our reality would be our heaven. Please, I dream of talking to him again, under apple trees at night in the hills of orchards; talking, quoting poetry, and making a good life. Please, I want so badly for the good things to happen.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

18. “I think I am a good deal more experienced in varieties of kisses than he is. I better be careful I don’t shock him or make him think he needs more experience, because I like him this way, and perhaps subtly I can let him know how other ways I like to be kissed.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

19. “Oh God, there is no faith or permanence or solace in love unless – unless – the mind adores, the body adores – and yet the fear is always in my mind: tomorrow it will all be different – tomorrow I will hate the way he chuckles at a joke, or combs his hair with a dirty pocket comb, tomorrow he will see that my nose is fat and my skin is sallow, and the wine, and the colored lights, and the bitten apple of love will translate itself into discarded feces.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

20. “Let’s face it, I am in danger of wanting my personal absolute to be a demigod of a man, and as there aren’t many around, I often unconsciously manufacture my own.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

21. “I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

22. “Would it be too childish of me to say : I want? But I do want, theater, light, color, paintings, wine and wonder.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

23. “And meanwhile you are probably sleeping exhausted in the arms of some brilliant whore, or maybe even the Swiss girl who wants to marry you.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

24. “With love and faith, not turning sour and cold and bitter, to help others. That is salvation. To give of love inside. To keep love of live, no matter what, and give to others. Generously.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

25. “I justified the mess I made of life by saying I’d give it order, form, beauty, writing about it; I justified my writing by saying it would be published, give me life (and prestige to life).” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

26. “Then the worst happened, that big, dark, hunky boy, the only one there huge enough for me, who had been hunching around over women, and whose name I had asked the minute I had come into the room, but no one told me came over and was looking hard in my eyes and it was Ted Hughes.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

27. “Wrote a full-page poem about the dark forces of lust: “Pursuit.” It is not bad. It is dedicated to Ted Hughes.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

28. “But I am not. I am inclined to babies and bed and brilliant friends and a magnificent stimulating home where geniuses drink gin in the kitchen after a delectable dinner and read their own novels and tell about why the stock market is the way it will be and discuss scientific mysticism.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

29. “If I were a man, I could write a novel about this; being a woman, why must I only cry and freeze, cry and freeze?” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

30. “Golden wafers (such an elegant name for Ritz crackers)” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

31. “Ted is an excellent poet: full of blood and discipline, like Yeats. Only why won’t these editors see it??? I muttered to myself. They accept bad flat poems, with no music, no color — only bad prose statements about bad subjects: unpleasant, nasty, uncommitted.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

32. “It’s hopeless to “get life” if you don’t keep notebooks.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

33. “The horror, day by day more sure, of being pregnant. Remembering my growing casualness about contraception, as if it couldn’t happen to me.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

34. “Mavis Gallant wrote every night for ten years after work to get regular in the New Yorker, although she gave up everything.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

35. “Story: woman with poet husband who writes about love, passion – she, after glow of vanity and joy, finds out he isn’t writing about her (as her friends think) but about Dream Woman Muse.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

36. “It will take months to get my inner world peopled, and the people moving. How else to do it than plunge out of this safe scheduled time-clock wage-check world into my own voids. Distant planets spin. I dream too much of fame, posturings, a novel published, not people gesturing, speaking, growing and cracking into print.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

37. “Then Ted left for Amherst and his interview-lunch, me riffling through old poems, drifting, dreamlike, wondering if I was crazy or just more casual about my work.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

38. “Reading a glut of SatEvePost stories till my eyes ached these past days I realized the gap in my writing and theirs. My world is flat thin pasteboard, theirs full of babies, old dowagers, queer jobs and job lingo instead of set pieces ending in ‘I love you.'” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

39. “Jealous one I am, green-eyed, spite-seething. Read the six women poets in the ‘new poets of England and America.’ Dull, turgid.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

40. “Remember Florence across the street, who had orange Japanese lanterns in her garden that used to crumble in your fingers with a dry crinkling sound? Remember how you used to lock the bathroom door…and squat in fascinated discover over the hand mirror on the floor and defecate? God, start remembering all the things; all the little things!” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

41. “Sometimes I shiver in a preview of the pain and the terror of childbirth, but it will come and I live through it.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

42. “I can not draw on James’ drama: war, nations, parachute drops, hospitals in trenches – my woman’s ammunition is chiefly physic and aesthetic: love and lookings.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

43. “Got a queer and overpowering urge today to write, or typewrite, my whole novel on the pink, stiff, lovely textured Smith memorandum pads of 100 sheets each: a feat somehow, seeing a hunk of that pink paper, different from all the endless reams of white bond, my task seems finite, special, rose-cast.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

44. “Ted shone: the room dead still for his reading – he came third: and I felt the genuine gooseflesh, the tears filling my lids, the hair standing like quills. I married a real poet, and my life is redeemed: to love, serve and create.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

45. “How did I ever live in those barren, desperate days of dating, experimenting, hearing mother warm me I was too critical, that I set my sights too high and would be an old maid. Well, perhaps I would have been if Ted hadn’t been born.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

46. “Sent off entries to Dole and Heinz contest. How nice to win five Ford cars, a two-week trip to Paris, all debts paid and a $10,000 nest egg. Will we? How I wish.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

47. “These eight spring vacation poems have given me confidence that my mind and my talent has been growing underneath my griefs and agonies and drudgeries – as if my demons and angels guarded and increased whatever gifts I ignored, forgot and despaired of during the black year, which has turned out to be the most maturing and courage-making year yet.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

48. “I have the joyous feeling of leashed power – also the feeling that within a year or two I should be ‘recognized’  – as I am not at all now, though I sit on poems richer than any Adrienne Cecile Rich.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

49. “I must have anemia, or mononucleosis, or some dread insidious disease: I stayed in bed all yesterday with Ted bringing me meals… and read till I finished The Bostonians, and here I am, deeeply exhuasted as ever.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

50. “Went to the library for an office hour with Sylvie Koval – found myself uttering pompous nothings.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

51. “Who knows who Ted’s next book will be dedicated to? His navel. His penis.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

52. “I got the final insight: not only am I just as nasty as everybody else, but so is Ted. A liar and a vain smiler.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

53. “He was walking with a board, intense smile, eyes into the uplifted doe-eyes of a strange girl with brownish hair, a large lipsticked grin, and bare thick legs in khaki Bermuda shorts. I saw this in several sharp flashes, like blows.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

54. “My mind is barren and I must scavenge themes as a magpie must: scraps and oddments.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

55. “I enjoy it when Ted is off for a bit. I can build up my own inner life, my own thoughts, without his continuous “What are you thinking? What are you going to do now?” which makes me promptly and recalcitrantly stop thinking and doing.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

56. “Prose writing has become a phobia to me: my mind shuts and I clench.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

57. “The more I do, the more I can do. I should choose first the few things I wish to learn: German, poets and poetry, novels and novelists, art and artists.  French also. Are they making or breaking across the street there? All fears are figments: I make them up.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

58. “Security is inside me and in Ted’s warmth. The smell and feel of him is worth a private fortune a year and how lucky I am – there are not rules for this kind of wifeliness – I must make them up as I go along and will do so.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

59. “Hope, careers – writing is too much for me: I don’t want a job until I am happy with writing – yet feel desperate to get a job – to fill myself up with some external reality where people accept phone bills, meat-getting, babies, marriage, as part of the purpose to the universe.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

60. “I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

61. “Weren’t the mothers and businessmen right after all? Shouldn’t we have avoided these disquieting questions and taken steady jobs and secured a good future for the kiddies? Not unless we want to be bitter all our lives. Not unless we want to feel wistfully: What a writer I might have been, if only. If only I’d had guts to try and work and shoulder the insecurity all that trail and work implied.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

62. “This week. We had a very good f’ing. Enormously good, perhaps the best yet. We read an hour of King Lear over tea.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

63. “A question: do I love laziness more than I love the feeling of accomplishing that work (writing, learning German, French, studying)? It seems that way. I take the path of least resistance and curl up with a book. Everyone else seems to be doing valuable work: social work, cancer research, teaching, degree getting, mothering. What can I do?” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

64. “Am reading the book of Job: great peace derived there from. Shall read the Bible: symbolic meaning, even though the belief in a moral God-structured universe not there. Live As If it were? A great device.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

65. “Have read two Brecht plays: always a surprise, a shock and pleasure: the dramatizing of “issues” embodied in the real world. Good, good. Will begin to make a rug today. To step on.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

66. “The chicken, raw, wrapped in paper in the icebox, dropped a blood on my pristine white cheesecake. Dreamed of catching a very tiny white rabbit last night: a menstruating dream?” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

67. “I like CBS, too. They are move inventive than most stations.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

68. “I am grim, sour. Rejection will follow rejection. I am only a little better equipped to take them than a year, two years ago. I am still at the low point of consoling myself by the assurance that Dudley Fitts is a fool, who wouldn’t know a syllabic verse if he saw one.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

69. “Tell it in third person, for god’s sake.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

70. “Love only what you do, and make. Learn German. Don’t let indolence, the forerunner of death, take over. Enough has happened, enough people entered your life, to make stories, many stories, even a book. So let them onto the page and let them work out their destinies.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

71. “Another thing that horrifies me is the way I forget: I once knew Plato well, James Joyce, and so on and so on. If one doesn’t apply knowledge, doesn’t review, keep it up, it sinks into a Sargasso and encrusts with barnacles.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

72. “Well, I do not feel like working today. The typewriter needs a new ribbon. Badly.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

73. “My Mummy story came back from NWWriting with a mimeographed rejection. It is a very bitter, often melodramatic story, simply an account. I have built up my old brother-rivalry praise-seeking impulses to something amounting to a great stone god-block.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

74. “My poems pall. A jay swallows my crumbs on the wet porch. My head is a battalion of fixes. I don’t even dare open Yeats, Eliot — the old fresh joys, for the pain I have remembering my first bright encounters. Less able to lose myself.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

75. “And myself is the more suited for quick losing.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

76. “Take hold. Study German today. The ribbon is terrible. So am I. I have the one person I could ever love in this world.  Now I must work to be a person worthy of that.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

77. “A bad day. A bad time. State of mind most important for work. A blithe, itchy eager state where the poem itself, the story itself is supreme.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

78. “She had good big breasts though, and they bulged up under the starched sexless white uniforms so you could see how some guy might want to get real romantic.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

79. “Nicola and Ted standing at opposite sides of the path under the bare laburnum like kids back from the date, she posed and coy. I came out, sniffing the baby like a restorative. I just brought back some of daddy’s records, she said. May I come over Friday and listen to your German linguaphone records? I have a better idea, I said, and rushed in and took out the records and booklet and thrust them into her hands. “This way you can study them to your heart’s content all the rest of your vacation.” She had asked Ted if the secretary in his “Secretary” poem was a real person. So hopes begin. For some time I have seriously considered smashing our old and ridiculous box victrola with an axe. Then this need passed, and I grew a little wiser.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

80. “The clock struck 12. The baby squirmed and cried, warm in the crook of my arm. Doctor Webb put his fingers digging into my stomach and told me to cough. The afterbirth flew out into a Pyrex bowl, which crimsoned with blood. It was whole. We had a son.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath TC mark

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80 Memorable Passages From The Unabridged Journals Of Sylvia Plath is cataloged in , ,
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    I love this BOOK!! :) These passages are beautiful!

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