Earlier this week I reviewed Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder. I found that even though Sylvia Plath had a short life she led an interesting one. I tried to come out with 10 positive facts about Plath’s life instead of her much discussed depression.
- Sylvia Plath published her first poem in the Boston Herald in 1941. Sylvia was 9 and the poem was titled “Poem”.
- At age 12 Sylvia’s IQ was recorded at 160.
- Also at 12 the local newspaper, The Townsman, published more of her work and was writing a poem a day.
- After WWII (around 1947) Sylvia started a five-year pan pal correspondence with a German teenager named Hans-Joachim Neupert.
- Even though Sylvia was accepted to Wellesley College for free, she chose to go to Smith College and worked her way through school. Sylvia worked in manual labor which later became fodder for her poem “Bitter Strawberries”.
- In May, 1953 Plath was accepted, along with 19 other girls to work in New York City as a guest editor at Mademoiselle Magazine.
- Unlike the morbid way we remember Plath, she was a fun loving girl who was noted for her good looks and wore flaming red lipstick, posh clothes and high heels.
- During the month in NYC, Plath was furious that she missed a meeting with pet Dylan Thomas whom she admired. LatersShe hung around the Chelsea Hotel and the White Horse bar for two days hoping to meet Thomas.
- Plath described her husband, Ted Hughes, as “a singer, story-teller, lion and world-wanderer” with “a voice like the thunder of God”.
- In Boston Plath attended a creative writing seminar given by poet Robert Lowell with writers Anne Sexton and George Starbuck. Lowell and Sexton encouraged Plath to writer from experience and openly discuss her depression.
Zohar – Man of la Book