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50 Sylvia Plath Quotes Celebrating Life, Love and Death

These brilliant Sylvia Plath quotes will show you deeper meanings to life, love, and death.

Norbert Juma
Published on October 28, 2019 6:40 AM EST
Sylvia Plath Quotes Celebrating Life, Love and Death

The late Sylvia Plath was a dynamic author who showed the world just how powerful words can be in a time when women, let alone men, were not discussing the major topics she wrote on. Her words are still as thought-provoking today as they were then, and these Sylvia Plath quotes will open your eyes and mind.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932, Plath wrote poetry from an early age. Some of her most popular works include her published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel, as well as The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical book about her depression and mental struggles. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and became the first person to win a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

Sylvia Plath Quotes Celebrating Life, Love and Death

Plath suffered from severe bouts of clinical depression in her adult life and was treated multiple times with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She sadly committed suicide in 1963.

Despite the controversies shrouding her suicide, Plath remains a major part of American literature. Her work is gripping and compelling to read. For those battling mental illness, her work can serve as a reminder that all is not lost. You deserve to be happy and should believe that there’s hope.

In honor of one of the most dynamic and admired poets of the 20th century, below is our collection of brilliant, inspirational, and thought-provoking, Sylvia Plath quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Sylvia Plath quotes celebrating life, love and death

1. “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” – Sylvia Plath

2. “There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.”  – Sylvia Plath

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3. “Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.” – Sylvia Plath

4. “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” – Sylvia Plath

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

6. “If I tried to describe my personality, I’d start to gush about living by the ocean half my life and being brought up on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and believing in magic for years and years.” – Sylvia Plath

7. “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.” –  Sylvia Plath

8. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” – Sylvia Plath

9. “Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.” –  Sylvia Plath

10. “What a man is is an arrow into the future, and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.” –  Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath quotes that will open your eyes and mind

11. “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.” –  Sylvia Plath

12. “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

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13. “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 Plat

14. “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” – Sylvia Plath

15. “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

“16. 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

17. “How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.” –  Sylvia Plath

18. “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’ve a call.” – Sylvia Plath

19. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” – Sylvia Plath

20. “I pass by people, grazing them on the edges, and it bothers me. I’ve got to admire someone to really like them deeply – to value them as friends.” – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath quotes that will expand your mind

21. “Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath

22. “My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.” ― Sylvia Plath

23. “Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.” – Sylvia Plath

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24. “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.” –  Sylvia Plath

25. “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

26. “I’ve begun to think like a Jew, to feel like a Jew.” – Sylvia Plath

27. “There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” –  Sylvia Plath

28. “I don’t believe that the meek will inherit the earth; The meek get ignored and trampled.” – Sylvia Plath

29. “I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” –  Sylvia Plath

30. “Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.” – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath quotes that will inspire you to find deeper meaning to life.

31. “One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind.” – Sylvia Plath

32. “I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.” – Sylvia Plath

33. “When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.” – Sylvia Plath

34. “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.” – Sylvia Plath

35. “I felt proud that the baby’s first real adventure should be as a protest against the insanity of world annihilation. Already a certain percentage of unborn children are doomed by fallout, and no one knows the cumulative effects of what is already poisoning the air and sea.” –  Sylvia Plath

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36. “I am too pure for you or anyone.” – Sylvia Plath

37. “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

38. “I made a point of eating so fast I never kept the other people waiting who generally ordered only chef’s salad and grapefruit juice because they were trying to reduce. Almost everybody I met in New York was trying to reduce.” – Sylvia Plath

39. “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”― Sylvia Plath

40.  “A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.” – Sylvia Plath

Other memorable and thought-provoking Sylvia Plath quotes

41. “I buried my head under the darkness of the pillow and pretended it was night. I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.” ― Sylvia Plath

42. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” – Sylvia Plath

43. “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

44. “The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.” ― Sylvia Plath

45. “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.” ― Sylvia Plath

46. “I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.” – Sylvia Plath

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47. “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.”― Sylvia Plath

48. “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.” –  Sylvia Plath

49. “Mountains terrify me – they just sit about; they are so proud.” – Sylvia Plath

50. “How we need that security. 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.” ― Sylvia Plath

Which of these Sylvia Plath quotes is your favorite?

Sylvia Plath‘s work brought to the fore the plight of mid-twentieth century women and opened the door for exploration of a feminist-martyr to patriarchal society.

Since her death, Plath has inspired countless readers and influenced many poets. She should be remembered as a beautiful, wonderful composer of prose and weaver of words. We hope her words have inspired you to find deeper meaning to life.

Did you enjoy these Sylvia Plath quotes? Let us know which of the quotes resonated with you best. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and followers.

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