72 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Life, Love, Loneliness, Feminism, Death & Writing

Introduction

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer, regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.

Her work revolves around the themes of depression, identity crisis, the female experience, and the complexities of human emotions.

For this reason, Sylvia Plath’s quotes and poetry are clearly distinguishable by their intense imagery and dark humor.

In this blog post, I’ve shared 72 Sylvia Plath quotes on life, love, loneliness, depression, friendship, feminism, death & writing.

20 Sylvia Plath Quotes About Life

But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.– Sylvia Plath

But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Life is like a thrilling story, filled with unexpected twists and turns.

When we are completely absorbed in our passions and interests, we feel alive and energized. And these are the moments that give us a sense of purpose and excitement.

But let’s not forget that life is not just a collection of passing moments. It’s a long journey that extends far into the future, encompassing many years and even decades and that’s where the true meaning of the quote comes in – “But life is long.”

To sum it up, while our passions can be very intense, they often don’t last forever. They’re like shooting stars that shine brightly for a brief moment and then fade away. So, we shouldn’t let ourselves be defined solely by these temporary bursts of enthusiasm.

It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents joyous positive and despairing negative

It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative – whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.

Sylvia Plath
The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past

The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.

Sylvia Plath
The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

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

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.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

The world around us is an infinite source of inspiration. Every experience, no matter how ordinary or extraordinary, holds the potential to become a compelling story or a work of art.

And it takes real courage to put ourselves out there, to share our innermost thoughts and emotions with the world, knowing that they will be subject to scrutiny and judgment. Yet, it is precisely this bravery that allows us to tap into our creative side.

You see, imagination is the magical ingredient that breathes life into our words. It empowers us to see beyond the surface of ordinary events, to envision new possibilities, and to find creative solutions. 

Similarly, improvisation is a valuable skill in the creative process as it enables us to adapt and overcome the challenges that inevitably arise. And that’s how we can truly embrace the unexpected twists and turns along our way.

Also Read: 51 JM Storm Quotes About Love, Her, Him & Life

I want to live and feel all the shades tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited

I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.

Sylvia Plath
I felt a sadness so deep that it stopped my heart

I felt a sadness so deep that it stopped my heart.

Sylvia Plath
Can you understand Someone somewhere can you understand me a little love me a little 1

Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little?

Sylvia Plath
How frail the human heart must be—a mirrored pool of thought

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

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Our heart is connected to our innermost thoughts and reflections.

This Sylvia Plath quote reveals the tenderness and vulnerability of the human heart, suggesting that our thoughts are influenced by its depths.

Therefore, we should always try to acknowledge the sensitivity of our emotions because our hearts are fragile entities that respond to the changing nature of our thoughts and experiences accordingly.

Lastly, the metaphor of a mirrored pool symbolizes our hearts becoming a reflective surface, mirroring our innermost thoughts and providing us with glimpses into the mystery of our own minds.

I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know

I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be.

Sylvia Plath
I am broken. My pieces are scattered in too many places to gather them all. –Sylvia Plath

I am broken. My pieces are scattered in too many places to gather them all.

Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing

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

Sylvia Plath
The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

To express ourselves authentically, we must have the courage to explore new things, challenge norms and push boundaries. But, as we pursue our creative goals, self-doubt sneaks in and weakens our confidence.

That’s why first and foremost, we must acknowledge that self-doubt is not a fundamental truth but a result of our own insecurities and societal pressures.

In such a situation, developing self-confidence and resilience will enable us to overcome this issue. And we should also seek support from people who understand our struggles, so that we can overcome self-doubt and move forward confidently.

So, let these words be a reflection of our personality, eliminate self-doubt and embrace our uniqueness.

My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you

My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.

Sylvia Plath
Here I am a bundle of past recollections and future dreams knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh

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.

Sylvia Plath
Maybe forgetfulness like a kind of snow should numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape

Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind of snow, should numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape.

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

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

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

When difficulties in life push us to our limit, we may feel like we’re falling without control. But in that moment of impact, the floor becomes a source of comfort, we can fall no farther.

The solid floor symbolizes stability and marks a turning point. In times like these, it represents relief from the stress and uncertainty we often face. Knowing that we have experienced the worst and survived brings a strange sense of peace, making us more strong.

These words are referring to the fact that hitting rock bottom can strangely bring comfort, it’s a place where we find stability and can gather our strength to rise again. 

So, let her words sink in and let us embrace the solid ground beneath us, knowing that we have the power to rise, heal, and overcome.

Also Read: Poetic Emily Dickinson Quotes on Love, Books & Life

I wonder why I dont go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow so I decided that no matter how tired

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

Sylvia Plath
I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me

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

Sylvia Plath
Yes there is joy fulfillment and companionship but the loneliness of the soul

Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.

Sylvia Plath

12 Sylvia Plath Love Quotes

We are all fools in love

We are all fools in love.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Love has the extraordinary ability to turn us all fools, regardless of our intelligence, status, or rationality.

Love has this magical power that can sweep us off our feet, causing us to act in ways that might seem irrational or foolish to others. After all, it’s a force that transcends our rationality and exposes our deepest selves.

It’s through this apparent foolishness that love reveals its true beauty. In our vulnerability and willingness to surrender to the unpredictable nature of love, we experience its transformative power and find a deeper connection with ourselves and others.

In essence, Plath’s words serve as a gentle reminder that love is capable of humbling even the most composed and rational people among us.

If you love her I said ‘youll love somebody else someday

If you love her,’ I said, ‘you’ll love somebody else someday.

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

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

Sylvia Plath
I have room in me for love. And for ever so many little lives

I have room in me for love. And for ever so many little lives.

Sylvia Plath
Wear your heart on your skin in this life

Wear your heart on your skin in this life.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

This Sylvia Plath saying shows that we should not hide behind a mask; we should be open about our true selves.

By being honest and open about our emotions, we gain the power to take control of our lives. We can live authentically and connect with others on a much deeper level.

When we let our guard down and accept ourselves truly, often, the people around us open up too. This creates a space where genuine relationships can be formed.

So, let’s break free from the pressure of perfection, embrace our humanity, and wear our hearts proudly on our sleeves. After all, it’s the way to a more fulfilling, meaningful, and genuine life.

Let me live love and say it well in good sentences

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

Sylvia Plath
I like people too much or not at all. Ive got to go down deep to fall into people to really know them

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

Sylvia Plath
I am to be blunt and concise in love only with myself my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager thin talents

I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.

Sylvia Plath
When you give someone your whole heart and he doesnt want it you cannot take it back. Its gone forever

When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

The agonizing reality of giving someone your whole heart, only to have it rejected and unable to be reclaimed. We feel lost and yearn for what we can no longer get back after such an emotional blow.

Whenever we open up fully with someone, our hearts become deeply connected. And when that love isn’t reciprocated, there’s no undoing the connection or reclaiming what we’ve wholeheartedly offered.

This impactful Sylvia Plath saying gives a reminder to approach love with caution, to protect our hearts, and ensure that they’re shared with someone deserving of their preciousness.

All in all, these words guide us that we should give our heart to the one who preserves its purity and reciprocate our love in return.

How we need another soul to cling to

How we need another soul to cling to.

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

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.

Sylvia Plath
I fancied youd return the way you said But I grow old and I forget your name. I think I made you up inside my head

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Sylvia Plath

12 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Writing & Poetry

Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm

Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Poetry is not merely a collection of pretty words and rhymes. It has the power to unsettle, challenge, and transform us. It affects us deeply.

As much as it can inspire, uplift, and heal, it can also expose us to uncomfortable truths and raw emotions. It settles our sense of balance, challenges our perspectives, and forces us to face the most difficult aspects of ourselves.

Despite its ability to evoke reflection, poetry has the ability to shatter illusions, and Sylvia Plath’s quote serves as a reminder to approach poetry with mindfulness.

When we read poetry, we need to be aware that it can both comfort and disturb, both enlighten and unsettle us. So, it is through the vulnerability it offers that we can truly experience the profound impact poetry can leave on us.

Poetry I feel is a tyrannical discipline. Youve got to go so far so fast in such a small space youve got to burn away all the peripherals

Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.

Sylvia Plath
Didnt you know Im going to be the greatest most entertaining author and artist in the world Well dont feel badly I didnt either

Didn’t you know I’m going to be the greatest, most entertaining author and artist in the world? Well, don’t feel badly, I didn’t either!

Sylvia Plath
The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it

The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.

Sylvia Plath
The trouble with poetry is that it encourages the writing of more poetry

The trouble with poetry is that it encourages the writing of more poetry.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

This quote by Sylvia Plath captures the captivating nature of poetry and its ability to spark an unquenchable desire for self-expression.

Poetry has this incredible power to touch our souls, awakening our senses and fueling our imaginations. It draws us in, like a magnetic force, and once we’ve experienced its magic, we can’t help but crave more.

We are irresistibly drawn to it by its rhythmic beauty and powerful metaphors. It calls out to us, urging us to grab a pen and express ourselves.

The more we immerse ourselves in the world of poetry, the stronger the urge becomes to contribute our own verses to the ever-growing collection of human creativity.

Arrogant I think I have written lines which qualify me to be The Poetess of America as Ted will be The Poet of England and her dominions

Arrogant, I think I have written lines which qualify me to be The Poetess of America (as Ted will be The Poet of England and her dominions).

Sylvia Plath
I am a writer… I am a genius of a writer I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life they will make my name

I am a writer… I am a genius of a writer; I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life; they will make my name.

Sylvia Plath
I want Books and Babies and Beef stews

I want Books
and Babies
and Beef stews.

Sylvia Plath
Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

These words express the frustration and disappointment of having so much unpublished work that only a writer can relate to. 

These words paint a vivid picture of the weight that accumulates when stories, thoughts, and emotions remain confined to a forgotten pile. 

When Plath writes “stinks,” it’s as if she’s holding nothing back. She expresses the sense of waste, the unpleasant odor of untapped creativity that hangs heavy in the air. In other words,  words are meant to be shared, experienced, and appreciated by others.

In a nutshell, this quote urges us to step out of our comfort zones, confront our fears, and embrace the vulnerability of putting our work out there.

I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have

I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.

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

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.

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

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

Sylvia Plath

8 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Depression

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Our expectations can influence our emotional state, if we expect more from anyone, and they are not able to fulfill those expectations, it hurts so much that it affects our relationship.

These words remind us that placing too much hope or reliance on people can lead to frequent disappointments. By lowering our expectations, we create a shield against potential letdowns. 

Plath’s wisdom empowers us to focus on our own actions and reactions to reclaim control over our emotional well-being.

By embracing a mindset of expecting less, we open ourselves up to a more satisfied and resilient life.

Also Read: 77 Maya Angelou Quotes on Life, Love, Education, Success, Courage, Change, Family, Women, Purpose & Diversity (Explained)

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

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

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

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.

Sylvia Plath
To the person in the bell jar blank and stopped as a dead baby the world itself is a bad dream 1

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

Sylvia Plath
The silence depressed me. It wasnt the silence of silence. It was my own silence

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

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Imagine being surrounded by silence, a deep quietness that weighs heavily upon your spirit.

It takes us on a journey through the complexities of silence, shedding light on how silence comes from within, our own unexpressed thoughts and emotions.

This inner silence can be suffocating, overwhelming, and even depressive. It represents the weight of unspoken words and suppressed feelings.

So this Sylvia Plath quote on depression is a reminder to take a moment to listen to the echoes of our own silence.

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

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

Sylvia Plath
I couldnt see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to

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

Sylvia Plath
I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person Id never seen before in my life

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

Sylvia Plath

8 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Feminism

The woman is perfected. Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment

The woman is perfected.

Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Women are often judged by their ability to fulfill certain roles and achieve societal standards.

When Sylvia Plath says “Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment,” it’s like saying even in death, a woman’s value is measured by how well she followed these expectations.

This quote by Plath urges us to rethink these expectations and how we see women. It’s a call to see women beyond just their roles and to value them for who they are.

All in all, this quote pushes us to face the harsh reality it paints and to work towards a world where women are appreciated for more than just meeting societal norms.

I am too pure for you or anyone

I am too pure for you or anyone.

Sylvia Plath
I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better

I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.

Sylvia Plath
I must get my soul back from you I am killing my flesh without it

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

Sylvia Plath
I want to live and feel all the shades tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life

I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Life is full of all kinds of experiences and it’s all about making the most of each of them.

There is a deep longing in these words for a life that encompasses all the emotions of being human. 

Beyond emotions, Sylvia Plath embraces the diverse physical sensations that awaken our senses, inviting us to celebrate in textures, flavors, and the wonders of our connection to the world.

In essence, by embracing the full range of experiences available to us, we open ourselves to a life that is meaningful and bursting with the richness of being human.

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

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

Sylvia Plath
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.

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

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

Sylvia Plath

4 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Friendship

Friendship is a solid and golden thing

Friendship is a solid and golden thing.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

When we think of a friendship, the words that come to mind are trust, support, and precious. It is precious as gold as it adds beauty and value to our life.

Wherever life takes us, if it is good or bad, true friends are those who stick to us in every moment of our life and support us when we feel extremely low.

Friendship is a rock that provides stability and comfort when life gets tough, not something that comes and goes quickly. It brings out the best in us and we can learn a great deal from those around us.

So, let these words encourage us to cherish the golden moments of friendship and be there for one another when needed.

Also Read: 60 Morgan Harper Nichols Quotes on Love, Life, Hope, the Highs & Lows & Kindness

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

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
Friendship is the breathing rose with sweets in every fold

Friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

Sylvia Plath
We should meet in another life we should meet in air me and you

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

Sylvia Plath

4 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Loneliness

Brief Analysis

In our life, there are many moments when we feel extremely alone and our mind becomes the cage of multiple thoughts of events that we were experiencing lately.

At those moments we often try to escape from the feeling of loneliness but our mind keeps on distracting us, making it more difficult for us to find the right path.

But, we should not give up until we find the absolute solution. To overcome the complexities of our mind, we should think positively and find joy in every little thing.

In essence, these words of Plath trigger our own curiosity that encourages us to stop overthinking and enjoy life happily and peacefully.

I desire the things which will destroy me in the end

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

Sylvia Plath
I am alone I am always alone no matter what

I am alone, I am always alone no matter what.

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

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.

Sylvia Plath

4 Sylvia Plath Quotes on Death

A summer calm laid its soothing hand over everything like death

A summer calm laid its soothing hand over everything, like death.

Sylvia Plath

Brief Analysis

Imagine a summer day so peaceful and calm that it feels as if time stands still, enveloping everything in a soothing embrace. 

Think of it like this: just as death is often portrayed as a release from life’s chaos and struggles, a summer calm offers a similar release.

However, there is also a hint of sadness, reminding us that these peaceful moments are fleeting. By these words, we are reminded to appreciate the delicate balance between peace and the necessity of change.

So, as we rush through life, let’s take a moment to embrace the calmness of summer, a glimpse of the deep peace that awaits us all.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree starving to death just because I couldnt make up my mind which of the figs I would choose

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.

Sylvia Plath
Dying is an art like everything else. I do it exceptionally well

Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well.

Sylvia Plath
I have always been extremely fond of the definition of Death which says it is Inaccessibility to

I have always been extremely fond of the definition of Death which says it is: Inaccessibility to Experience.

Sylvia Plath

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Published on August 18, 2023
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Admin - Art of Poets
Admin - Art of Poets

I'm a former writer with a bachelor's degree in English literature. I’ve always believed that words are a powerful medium for personal growth and transformation.

That’s why I founded Art of Poets on Instagram back in 2018 to share meaningful, motivational words with others. Today, it inspires a community of over 2.4 Million readers on Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and this website which I launched in March 2023.

While I choose to remain anonymous, my passion for sharing inspiring quotes and blog posts on personal growth will always be fueled by the belief that words can truly transform our lives.