Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath is my favorite poet. I was introduced to her last year in IB English, as we read her biography Rough Magic, then her poems, and then I, independently read her novel, The Bell Jar. Sylvia Plath has been a source of inspiration for me and my fellow IB artists, 4 of whom created pieces based on one of her poems (Samantha Loiacono, "Daddy"; Erica Randall, "The Voices Just Can't Worm Through" and "The Black Telephone's Off At The Root"; Annie Heath, "I Am Your Opus"; Maureen Nothnagle, "Mushrooms")

I recently bought "Sylvia Plath; The Collected Poems," and read it straight through like a novel, and nearing the end - nearing also the end of her life at 30 due to suicide - her poems got more and more emotional and a little frightening, a combination I love. The final poem that Plath wrote before her death was "Edge," and the first two stanzas in particular show what was on her mind.

"The woman is perfected.
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek Necessity"

This poem epitomizes what I love about Sylvia Plath, with her ability to see beauty in even death, and to note especially the beauty of the woman, which was something I focused on for my concentration. Even though the show has come and gone, and I don't need to create more pieces, this is one that I was inspired to do, based off of the above lines from the poem "Edge" by Sylvia Plath. With an idea in my head of what I want to see, I began the background, which is what I have so far.

35.5x28 cm
Acrylic Paint

The foreground will feature a woman's face, though in what medium I haven't yet decided. I'm really looking forward to finishing this piece.

If you haven't read any Sylvia Plath, I strongly recommend it. Her book of poetry titled Ariel contains some of her best poems written towards the end and most interesting - and traumatic - part of her life. Additionally, her biography, Rough Magic is an amazing read, and though it is non-fiction, it reads like a novel simply because her life is better than most fiction. The woman has developed a cult following for a reason, and this glimpse into her life is well worth it.

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