Sylvia Plath, Pitcher
1996 Cosmic Player Plate

Link to Plath Chronology at the CBA

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Sylvia Plath

In writing about the writer Jack Kerouac, a biographer wrote: "Every personality is fragmented somewhere..." Locating the exact location of fracture in the poet Sylvia Plath's personality has occupied a fair amount of time by the literary-academic-psychoanalytic squads of the cultural elite. Despite her intense poetic style, it may be that Plath has never really broken out of this environment. As a woman, a wife, a mother, a poet, a human being, she has much to tell us about the fragmentation of the post-industrial soul.

Born in Massachusetts, always the home to some of our most reflective writers, she was educated at the well-respected Smith College in her home state. While in college she had an opportunity to work one summer as a guest student editor at Mademoiselle Magazine, a publication aimed indirectly at fragmenting the minds and souls of young pubescent women. Plath's experiences at the magazine and her attempted suicide at the end of that summer have found their way into her novel The Bell Jar, which was published in 1963, some ten years after the events themselves.

Also in 1963, Sylvia Plath succeeded in killing herself, at the age of 30, with cooking gas. It was an end to a tortured and fragmented physical existence that has been candidly transcribed in several posthumously published works such as Ariel and Winter Trees.

Plath was married to the English poet, Ted Hughes. The marriage was, as one would expect, problematic. When Plath killed herself, the marriage had already fallen apart, but it had produced two children.

One commentator on the poems collected in Ariel has written: "In these last poems it is as if some deeper, powerful self has grabbed control; death is given a cruel physical allure and psychic pain becomes almost tactile."

Sylvia Plath

Pitching Record

Biographical information about Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath-Cosmic Baseball- 1996 Vestal Virgins
Published: February 4, 1996
Revised: July 2, 1998; May 17, 1999
Copyright © 1996 by the Cosmic Baseball Association