Quotes from Ariel

Sylvia Plath ·  105 pages

Rating: (43K votes)


“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.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“DADDY

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time―
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one grey toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
When it pours bean green over blue
In the waters of beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You―

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
And less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two―
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never like you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Is it the sea you hear in me,
Its dissatisfactions?
Or the voice of nothing, that was you madness?”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“The slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“The blood jet is poetry
There is no stopping it.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Love is a shadow.
How you lie and cry after it”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly, as the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

--From the poem "Lady Lazarus", written 23-29 October 1962”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“What is so real as the cry of a child?
A rabbit's cry may be wilder
But it has no soul.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“You are the one. Solid the spaces lean on, envious. You are the baby in the barn.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
Both of you are great light borrowers.
Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected,
And your first gift is making stone out of everything.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Clouds pass and disperse.
Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables?
Is it for such I agitate my heart?”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“The frost makes a flower,
the dew makes a star.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Over your body the clouds go
High, high and icily
And a little flat, as if they

Floated on a glass that was invisible.
Unlike swans,
Having no reflections;

Unlike you,
With no strings attached.
All cool, all blue. Unlike you

You, there on your back,
Eyes to the sky.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“I have let things slip, a thirty-year~old cargo boat
Stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Paralytic

It happens. Will it go on? ----
My mind a rock,
No fingers to grip, no tongue,
My god the iron lung

That loves me, pumps
My two
Dust bags in and out,
Will not

Let me relapse
While the day outside glides by like ticker tape.
The night brings violets,
Tapestries of eyes,

Lights,
The soft anonymous
Talkers: 'You all right?'
The starched, inaccessible breast.

Dead egg, I lie
Whole
On a whole world I cannot touch,
At the white, tight

Drum of my sleeping couch
Photographs visit me ----
My wife, dead and flat, in 1920 furs,
Mouth full of pearls,

Two girls
As flat as she, who whisper 'We're your daughters.'
The still waters
Wrap my lips,

Eyes, nose and ears,
A clear
Cellophane I cannot crack.
On my bare back

I smile, a buddha, all
Wants, desire
Falling from me like rings
Hugging their lights.

The claw
Of the magnolia,
Drunk on its own scents,
Asks nothing of life.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love

I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“And I, stepping from this skin
Of old bandages, boredoms, old faces

Step to you from the black car of Lethe,
Pure as a baby.”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


“Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue”
― Sylvia Plath, quote from Ariel


Video

About the author

Sylvia Plath
Born place: in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, The United States
Born date October 27, 1932
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“After sex, all animals are sad; after any kind of pleasure, really. We’re not built for pleasure. We’re built for agony and for seeing things too clearly, which is often a terrible agony in itself. I loathed myself then, and I loathed myself now. Dr.”
― George Alec Effinger, quote from When Gravity Fails


“What’s the point of complaining. It just makes the people around you feel bad too." - Savannah”
― Suzanne Brockmann, quote from Out of Control


“I always had a strong reluctance to hurt people, which is always the best way of hurting oneself.”
― Romain Gary, quote from Promise at Dawn


“People will do the basest things on account of their so-called honor.”
― T.H. White, quote from The Ill-Made Knight


“Why, hello, Death. Long time no see. As you can see, I just couldn't stay away. The creeping things called out to Me. Anyway, what brings you here?- God”
― quote from Death: A Life


Interesting books

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
(9.4K)
Highly Illogical Behavior
(10.2K)
Highly Illogical Beh...
by John Corey Whaley
The Girl in 6E
(13.7K)
The Girl in 6E
by A.R. Torre
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
(4.4K)
War Is a Force That...
by Chris Hedges
Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution
(5.9K)
Origins: Fourteen Bi...
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition
(70.9K)
Leaves of Grass: The...
by Walt Whitman

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.