With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger for death. Graceful in their craftsmanship, wonderfully original in their imagery, and presenting layer after layer of meaning, the forty poems in The Colossus are early artifacts of genius that still possess the power to move, delight, and shock.
About the Author
Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932, and was a writer from early in life, publishing poems in local newspapers from the age of eight. Despite the clinical depression that affected her deeply, Plath excelled at Smith College and subsequently attended Newnham College in Cambridge on a Fulbright fellowship grant. In England, Plath met and married fellow poet Ted Hughes. Their marriage was often an unhappy one, and Hughes left Plath after the birth of their second child. In the time following, Plath wrote many of her most famous poems, often drawing inspiration from the rocky relationships with the men in her life--in particular her marriage to Hughes and her relationship with her father, whose strict manner and death during her childhood had greatly impacted her. Plath's works include the poems "Daddy," "Lady Lazarus," and "Poppies in July," as well as the novel The Bell Jar, which reflects Plath's own experiences with severe depression. Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Works nearly twenty years after her suicide in 1963.
"[Her poems] have that exquisite, heart-breaking quality about them that has
made Sylvia Plath our acknowledged Queen of Sorrows, the spokeswoman for our most
private, most helpless nightmares. . . . Her poetry is as deathly as it is impeccable;
it enchants us almost as powerfully as it must have enchanted her." --Joyce Carol Oates,
The New York Times
"Sylvia Plath's eye is sharp . . . and her wits responsive to what she sees." --Richard Howard,Poetry
"...The Colossus, which appeared earlier in England to unusual acclaim [was] her first volume to be published in America. Certainly the praise bestowed on her by British critics is warranted; Sylvia Plath is indeed a rare talent and a consummate craftsman...her powerful poems crackle and smolder with energy."--Guy Owen, Books Abroad
"She steers clear of feminine charm, deliciousness, gentility, supersensitivity and the act of being a poet. She simply writes good poetry."--Al Alvarez, London Observer