American novelist, short-story writer, and poet, Sylvia Plath is among the most renowned poets of the 20th century. Her poems and stories explore timeless themes like nature, love, and complex human emotions. So, people often rely on Sylvia Plath quotes to express how they feel.
Ambitious, beautiful, and brilliant, Plath succumbed to depression at the tender age of thirty. But her creations (published posthumously) are powerful and relevant even decades after her demise. Here you’ll find the most memorable quotes from the writer of The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel.
Meaningful Quotes by Sylvia Plath on Life
“But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.”
We feel the most alive when we follow our interests and passions. These are the moments that give us excitement and add meaning to our existence. But we must not forget that it’s a long ride, filled with unfathomable twists and turns at every corner.
So, while passions can be intense, they will not last forever. They represent shooting stars that fade away after shining brightly for a moment. Therefore, the best approach is to enjoy the momentary bursts of enthusiasm without getting carried away.
“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”
From the enlightened Buddha to the wise Plath to sages – everyone says that expectations cause suffering. It is an essential life lesson that we should never forget.
Our expectations often influence our emotional well-being. If you have certain expectations from people and they can’t fulfill them, your feelings get hurt. It disappoints you so much that the relationship loses its charm.
Therefore, we should not depend too much on anybody to save ourselves from constant disappointments. The moment we lower our expectations, we will end up creating a shield that protects us against letdowns. It may take time to embrace this mindset, but it will help you lead a resilient and satisfied life.
“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.”
The world surrounding us is an unending source of inspiration. Any experience, no matter how trivial, can become a moving work of art or a compelling tale.
However, it takes courage to share the innermost emotions and thoughts with the world as they’ll be scrutinized. But it is also this bravery that gives us a chance to explore our creative selves.
So, don’t let self-doubt stop you from expressing yourself. Instead, be imaginative, learn to improvise, and life will be exciting.
“How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.”
This is among the Sylvia Plath quotes that describe the tenderness of the human heart through vivid imagery. The human heart has such depths that it resembles a pool of endless thoughts.
The heart has its way of responding differently to everything happening in your life. Therefore, you should acknowledge its sensitivity as it is a fragile entity.
Lastly, the heart being compared to a mirror pool is an instance of metaphor. Your heart is like a reflective surface that mirrors your deep thoughts. Listen to it and it’ll give you glimpses of the mysteries in your mind.
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
This amazing quote if from Sylvia Plath’s most famous novel The Bell Jar.
Nothing can be more rejuvenating than spending your days in the lap of nature. When you visit a scenic place, the mesmerizing scenery soothes your senses. You realize what you have been missing all along.
The author delineates a feeling of pure joy and contentment. She recounts a blissful experience when she was in a picturesque location. The fresh air, the snow-capped mountains, and the sprawling greenery gave Plath an idea about what it’s like to be united with nature. Everyone should take occasional breaks and spend some relaxing time in a quiet and pretty place.
Sylvia Plath Love Quotes to Make You Look at Love Through Varied Lenses
“We are all fools in love.”
No matter how successful or rational – love can turn any individual into an ardent fool. It sweeps you off your feet and your reasoning or critical thinking takes a backseat. Your mind plays tricks with you and you fail to control your thoughts and actions.
So, love can make even the most composed man take rash, irrational steps. However, it is this foolishness that reveals the sincerity of your feelings. Not all are brave enough to surrender themselves to the unpredictable nature of true love.
“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
This is one of the Sylvia Plath quotes love that encourages us to not hide our original versions behind masks. It is only by being true to yourself and others that you can succeed in life.
Most of us are afraid to be honest about our feelings and thoughts. We are scared that people will judge us, corner us, and laugh behind our backs. But if you keep pretending for too long, soon you will forget who you are.
So, you should have the confidence to show your unfiltered version to the world. When with do that with boldness, you’ll get more acceptance than you ever have. You will also be able to take charge of your life when you stop caring about other people’s opinions of you.
“I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents.”
These lines speak about the importance of practicing self-love. Being in love with yourself means accepting yourself the way you are and feeling blissful in solitude. Self-love builds self-compassion, lowers stress, and helps you focus on your success.
It also impacts your relationships with other people. If you cannot love yourself wholeheartedly, you will always be the weaker side in any relationship. You won’t feel confident about your position in your partner’s life. It will be difficult for you to deal with heartbreaks.
“When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.”
Here, Sylvia Plath elucidates the agonizing part of falling for someone who is not into you. When you give your heart to a person, you can only take a leap of faith. But it is not in your hands to save your heart from getting broken. If your special person does not reciprocate your feelings, you cannot unlove them.
Hence, there is both beauty and pain in loving someone deeply. You will be amazed to find out that you too can fall in love irrevocably.
Sylvia Plath Best Quotes on Poetry and Writing
“The trouble with poetry is that it encourages the writing of more poetry.”
This line by Sylvia Plath beautifully captures the enchanting nature of art forms like poetry. Poetry has the incredible ability to touch people’s souls. It awakens our senses and stimulates our minds. Like a strong magnetic force, it can draw us in.
Hence, once you have experienced its magic, you are bound to crave more. You will be irresistibly drawn to poetry’s captivating figurative language and rhythmic beauty.
Poetry will bewitch you to grab a pen and pour your heart out. The more you immerse yourself in the creative world, the quicker you’ll learn to express yourself eloquently.
“Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.”
Poetry is not just a collection of rhyming words that sounds nice. It impacts us profoundly and possesses the power to challenge, unsettle, and change us. It triggers our imagination and shatters illusions.
As much as poetry can uplift, heal, and inspire, it will also expose us to raw emotions and uncomfortable truths. It can challenge our opinions and compel us to face the harsh truths of life.
So, this is one of the Sylvia Plath quotes that cautions us not to approach poetry carelessly. The next time you read poetry, be aware that it can both educate and unsettle, both soothe and disturb.
Best Sylvia Plath Quotes That Honor Feminism
“The woman is perfected. Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment.”
Being a woman in a man’s world is a never-ending battle against injustices and prejudices. Society never stops judging a woman based on her ability to fit into specific gender roles. Irrespective of their accomplishments and social position, women always must prove their worth.
A woman’s plight does not end even after she is dead. Even after her demise, people measure her value according to how well she catered to the needs of others. So, this is among the Sylvia Plath quotes that entreat us to stop overburdening women with innumerable expectations. They deserve all the freedom and appreciation in the world.
“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.”
This quote reveals Sylvia Plath’s bold nature in unraveling the hidden world of female desire. Like men, women too have the right to experience all kinds of joys. The deep longing that Plath had to satisfy her physical and mental needs is prominent in this line.
Plath wanted to explore different physical sensations that can awaken her senses. She was curious to taste all the forbidden flavors of life. She knew that it is only by embracing the complete range of diverse experiences that one can grow as a human.
Sylvia Plath Quotes to Celebrate Friendship
“Friendship is a solid and golden thing.”
We all have dear friends without whom we cannot imagine our life. Friendship is all about trust, care, and support. True friends are more precious than valuable metals like gold. So, Sylvia Plath considers friendship a rock that provides stability during dark times.
Plath urges us to cherish the fulfilling moments we spend in the company of our friends. These moments are golden and they will give us the strength to overcome all adversities. Our friends will always be there when we need them.
Sylvia Plath Quotes on Depression and Loneliness
“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”
Here’s a quote that captures the unbearable grief resulting from isolation. Feeling lonely can have serious implications on your mental health. Being trapped in your thoughts can cause immense sadness.
In such a situation, you must confide in someone who’s close to you. Seek out enriching connections that will help you overcome the depression. It might appear difficult to get out of the cycle, but you must keep trying until the intense loneliness doesn’t leave you.
“I talk to God but the sky is empty.”
Here’s a hauntingly poignant quote by Sylvia Plath that elucidates the feeling of disconnect we all feel at times. It also lets us know that no matter how alone we feel, God is always watching over us. Even when it seems like the world will end, we can still turn to that greater power to seek solace.
When you look up and try to communicate with the Almighty, the sky might appear empty and unresponsive. This only means that the sinking feeling is too powerful to allow you to see the silver lining. But have faith in God’s plans and don’t stop praying. You will soon regain your inner strength and happiness will be yours again.
So, Sylvia Plath was a gifted poet who penned down human emotions with the utmost honesty. No wonder Sylvia Plath quotes continue to challenge and inspire readers around the globe.
The quotes that we shared are only a small portion of the insight and wisdom Sylvia’s writings have to offer. We all can live more authentically by remembering the lessons her poetry teaches us.