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Timeless quotes by Sylvia Plath on life, creativity, God, love and other things.

99 Timeless Quotes By Sylvia Plath, The Author Of The Bell Jar

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Poet, Novelist, and Writer

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Sylvia Plath was one of the dynamically talented and skilled poets of the 20th century who rose to prominence after her death. Plath’s contribution to the literary world has been significant. She attracted the attention of the readers by her verse writing that attempted to catalogue despair, violent emotion and obsession all in a single verse. What made Plath’s writing unique from the rest was the fact that her works were largely autobiographical. They explored her own mental anguish, her troubled marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes, her unresolved conflicts with her parents, and her own vision of herself. Sylvia Plath suffered from severe depression all her life that led to her suicidal death at 30. Her poetry is basically associated with the Confessional movement, and most of her work is compared to the work of other poets such as Lowell and Anne Sexton. Plath’s works revolve around violent or disturbed imagery, which she tackles with a playful use of alliteration and rhyme. The same can also be seen in her quotes wherein in few words she takes a dig at life’s greatest lessons. Her quotes widely touch varied genres of life and give readers some important thoughts to ponder about. Listed below are some of the most popular quotes by Sylvia Plath. Get inspired by them.

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

- Sylvia Plath

The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.

- Sylvia Plath

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Is there no way out of the mind?

- Sylvia Plath

I desire the things that will destroy me in the end.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I like people too much or not at all. I've got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression Of something beautiful, but annihilating.

- Ariel: The Restored Edition, Sylvia Plath

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.

- Sylvia Plath

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn't thought about it.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I talk to God but the sky is empty.

- Sylvia Plath

When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know. "Oh, sure you know," the photographer said. "She wants," said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

How we need another soul to cling to.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I am still so nave; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Dying is an art. Like everything else, I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I have a call.

- Ariel, Sylvia Plath

I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give.

- The Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

What did my arms do before they held you?

- Sylvia Plath

I wonder why I don't go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street caf in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.

- Sylvia Plath

So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them." (Initiation)

- Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Sylvia Plath

I felt wise and cynical as all hell.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I didn't know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of the throat and I'd cry for a week.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free.

- Ariel, Sylvia Plath

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

- Sylvia Plath

How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I write only because There is a voice within me That will not be still

- Letters Home, Sylvia Plath

Out of the ash I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air.

- Ariel: The Restored Edition, Sylvia Plath

And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Living with him is like being told a perpetual story: his mind is the biggest, most imaginative I have ever met. I could live in its growing countries forever.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Eternity bores me, I never wanted it. From the poem "Years", 16 November 1962

- The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I'm here.

- The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

I think I made you up inside my head.

- Sylvia Plath

If they substituted the word 'Lust' for 'Love' in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

How frail the human heart must be―a mirrored pool of thought.

- Letters Home, Sylvia Plath

The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

If I didn't think, I'd be much happier; if I didn't have any sex organs, I wouldn't waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

If you love her", I said, "you'll love somebody else someday.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

What did my fingers do before they held him? What did my heart do, with its love? From " Three Women: A Poem for Three Voices", 1962

- The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

So much working, reading, thinking, living to do! A lifetime is not long enough.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Ever since I was small I loved feeling somebody comb my hair. It made me go all sleepy and peaceful.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

People or stars Regard me sadly, I disappoint them. From the poem "Sheep in Fog", 2 December 1962, 28 January 1963

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.

- Sylvia Plath

Is anyone anywhere happy?

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

How can you be so many women to so many strange people, oh you strange girl?

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.

- The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I am too pure for you or anyone. From the poem "Fever 103", 20 October 1962

- The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don't know and I'm afraid. I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I am sure there are things that can't be cured by a good bath but I can't think of one.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The trouble about jumping was that if you didn't pick the right number of storeys, you might still be alive when you hit bottom.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I would catch sight of some flawless man off in the distance, but as soon as he moved closer I immediately saw he wouldn’t do at all.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I have taken a pill to kill The thin Papery feeling.

- Ariel: The Restored Edition, Sylvia Plath

It seemed silly to wash one day when I would only have to wash again the next. It made me tired just to think of it.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don't ask me who I am.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

Is it the sea you hear in me? Its dissatisfactions? Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness? Love is a shadow. How you lie and cry after it.

- Ariel: The Restored Edition, Sylvia Plath

I felt dumb and subdued. Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Please don’t expect me to always be good and kind and loving. There are times when I will be cold and thoughtless and hard to understand.

- Sylvia Plath

Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled “enemy?

- Sylvia Plath

I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.

- Sylvia Plath

At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do.

- Ariel, Sylvia Plath

The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.

- Sylvia Plath

The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I knew you'd decide to be all right again.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Character is fate.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

You are a dream; I hope I never meet you.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who ski better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I'd never seen before in my life.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

But I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure at all. How did I know that someday―at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere―the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn't descend again?

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I must learn more about these people―try to understand them, put myself in their place. No, instead I am so busy keeping my head above water that I scarcely know who I am, much less who anyone else is.

- Sylvia Plath

Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die, or so nervous I can't sleep, or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: 'I'll go take a hot bath.

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Wear your heart on your skin in this life.

- Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Sylvia Plath

I must be lean & write & make worlds beside this to live in.

- Sylvia Plath

I may never be happy, but tonight I am content.

- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath

All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence.

- Sylvia Plath