Hot Best Seller

The Colossus and Other Poems

Availability: Ready to download

With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger for death. Graceful in their craftsmanship, wonderfully original in their imagery, and presenting layer after layer of meaning, the forty poems in The Colossus are early artifacts of genius that still possess the power to move, delight, and shock.

*advertisement

Compare

With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger for death. Graceful in their craftsmanship, wonderfully original in their imagery, and presenting layer after layer of meaning, the forty poems in The Colossus are early artifacts of genius that still possess the power to move, delight, and shock.

30 review for The Colossus and Other Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    The Colossus is the coldest collection of summer poetry you will ever read. I’m certain this paradox was intentional. Moles, maggots, cadavers, suicides, dead snakes, dead things in the surf, dead things on the shore, dead things out in the water, etc. There were times I was bit numbed out by all that dead stuff. For the first third of the collection, I initially felt the influence of Robert Lowell to be obvious in some of the poems (“Point Shirley,” “Hardcastle Crags”). Now I’m not so sure. Yes The Colossus is the coldest collection of summer poetry you will ever read. I’m certain this paradox was intentional. Moles, maggots, cadavers, suicides, dead snakes, dead things in the surf, dead things on the shore, dead things out in the water, etc. There were times I was bit numbed out by all that dead stuff. For the first third of the collection, I initially felt the influence of Robert Lowell to be obvious in some of the poems (“Point Shirley,” “Hardcastle Crags”). Now I’m not so sure. Yes, Plath studied under Lowell, and I know as a result I’m connecting dots with the seashore linking the two. But Plath takes the seashore poems into her own dark places, again and again, so that by the time you reach the late “Mussel Hunter at Lake Harbor,” you yourself (to your horror) are fingering the nasty things on the beach: On the back of the river’s Backtracking tail. I’d come for Free fish-bait: the blue mussels Clumped like bulbs at the grass- root. Margin of the tidal pools. Dawn tide stood dead low. I smelt Mud stench, shell guts, gulls’ leavings; This is a very disturbing poem, and one that draws on Queen Gertrude’s “long purples” speech regarding Ophelia’s fate (Act IV, sc. 7). After the rot and watery decay, Plath tries to pull an Eliot, meditating on the skull beneath the skin: The crab face, etched and set there, Grimaced as skulls grimace; it Had an Oriental look, A samurai death mask done On a tiger’s tooth, less for Art’s sake than God’s. I’m not sure I believe her here. “God” is not a word you encounter often with Plath. Eliot had the comfort of his belief. Plath’s interest is more on the level of one attending – quite willingly – an autopsy. And she knows you won’t believe her, as she returns you to the death process in the here and now: And whole crabs, dead, their soggy Bellies pallid and upturned, Perform their shambling waltzes On the waves’ dissolving turn And return, losing themselves Bit by bit to their friendly Element – I suppose I could go on about several other poems, but I see no need. Her theme is apparent in every poem. By collection’s end, you can’t help but admire her uncompromising, but grim, focus. When it comes to Plath, believe the hype.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Sylvia Plath has done to me twice in the last 48 hours what not many other writers has ever done before, that being keeping me up into the early hours. Having read the stunning collection of poetry in "Ariel" this was another body of work which shows off her masterful talent and already I crave for more. Troubled genius?, tortured soul?, probably true, but that doesn't bother me, just the greatness of whenever she put pen to paper.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brent Legault

    Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. It's had, it's had an, it's made me. . . I'm sorry, I have to sit down and start again. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. The poems are too rich, too sensual and filling. It was like trying to eat a plateful of prime rib, that's been covered in dark chocolate and deep fried. Delicious, but. And all the hard words! I don't mean hard like palustral is hard, as in hard to understand because I'd never befo Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. It's had, it's had an, it's made me. . . I'm sorry, I have to sit down and start again. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. The poems are too rich, too sensual and filling. It was like trying to eat a plateful of prime rib, that's been covered in dark chocolate and deep fried. Delicious, but. And all the hard words! I don't mean hard like palustral is hard, as in hard to understand because I'd never before made an acquaintanceship with the word. No, I mean hard like how a seed or a nut can be hard. Hard on the teeth, hard on the gums and tongue, hard on the throat, the gullet and, I'm sorry to say, the bowels. Words that stick and clog and glutinate inside you; well, inside me, at least. And word pairs as hard and as beautiful as (but much more plentiful than) sapphires. Here are a few from her poem, Sow: shrewd secret, pig show, public stare, sunk sty, penny slot, thrifty children, prime flesh, golden crackling, parsley halo, maunching thistle, snout-cruise, feat-foot, belly-bedded, bloat tun, dream-filmed, grisly-bristled, jocular fist, barrel nape, pig hove, lean Lent, earthquaking continent, and (my favorite) brobdingnag bulk. Plath's book is full of such morsals. (I'll let you find the rest.) I'm sure I'm not the first to say this but I think she must be the poetic cousin (or test tube spawn) of Flannery O'Conner and Carson McCullers. And she died early like they did, though she by her own heavy hand. I guess I might consider offing myself if I had all of that shard-sharp genius hammering all the time at my tender cerebellum.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Sylvia Plath's words are magical, haunting, beautiful, and forever burned into my brain. May you rest in peace, you tortured, gorgeous, sensitive soul you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Plath writes poems that are elemental, attuned to the natural world, transfixed by decay, yet at times darkly humorous. Many are inscrutable on first reading, but become magically alive on the second. Others sing with clarity from the beginning – I like these best.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    Lorelei ⏯ ◼ ⏭ It is no night to drown in: A full moon, river lapsing Black beneath bland mirror-sheen, The blue water-mists dropping Scrim after scrim like fishnets Though fishermen are sleeping, The massive castle turrets Doubling themselves in a glass All stillness. Yet these shapes float Up toward me, troubling the face Of quiet. From the nadir They rise, their limbs ponderous With richness, hair heavier Than sculptured marble. They sing Of a world more full and clear Than can be. Sisters, your song Bears a bu Lorelei ⏯ ◼ ⏭ It is no night to drown in: A full moon, river lapsing Black beneath bland mirror-sheen, The blue water-mists dropping Scrim after scrim like fishnets Though fishermen are sleeping, The massive castle turrets Doubling themselves in a glass All stillness. Yet these shapes float Up toward me, troubling the face Of quiet. From the nadir They rise, their limbs ponderous With richness, hair heavier Than sculptured marble. They sing Of a world more full and clear Than can be. Sisters, your song Bears a burden too weighty For the whorled ear's listening Here, in a well-steered country, Under a balanced ruler. Deranging by harmony Beyond the mundane order, Your voices lay siege. You lodge On the pitched reefs of nightmare, Promising sure harborage; By day, descant from borders Of hebetude, from the ledge Also of high windows. Worse Even than your maddening Song, your silence. At the source Of your ice-hearted calling- Drunkenness of the great depths. O river, I see drifting Deep in your flux of silver Those great goddesses of peace. Stone, stone, ferry me down there.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Poor Colossus. I've never given the collection much credit; like many, I was rather blinded by the incandescence of the Ariel poems, and tended to think of this book as a sort of worksheet preparing for those late poems. But that isn't an entirely fair assessment. Sure, some of the poems here feel like drafts for what would come later ("Man In Black" seems to predict "Medusa," "Moonrise" feels like the exercise that enabled her to write "Blackberrying"), and some seem a bit too stiflingly in the Poor Colossus. I've never given the collection much credit; like many, I was rather blinded by the incandescence of the Ariel poems, and tended to think of this book as a sort of worksheet preparing for those late poems. But that isn't an entirely fair assessment. Sure, some of the poems here feel like drafts for what would come later ("Man In Black" seems to predict "Medusa," "Moonrise" feels like the exercise that enabled her to write "Blackberrying"), and some seem a bit too stiflingly in the shadow of Plath's poetic ancestors, but many of these illuminate how great a wordsmith Plath really was, albeit a thesaurus-obsessed one. Thus, in "Sow," you have the beast in question "hedged by a litter of feat-foot ninnies / Shrilling her hulk / to halt for a swig at the pink teats. No. This vast / Brobdingnag bulk / of a sow lounged belly-bedded on that black compost, / fat-rutted eyes / dream-filmed." Or in "Aftermath," the beautiful, disturbing image of Medea: "Mother Medea in a green smock / moves humbly as any housewife through / her ruined apartments, taking stock / of charred shoes, the sodden upholstery: / Cheated of the pyre and the rack, / the crowd sucks her last tear and turns away." Though again, I definitely see that moment in "Aftermath" as a precursor to the "peanut-crunching crowd" shoving in to see Plath's Lady Lazarus commit the "big strip tease." In any case, there are numerous brave, breathtaking, hard-edged poems here. The book is obsessed with the borders between land and sea, and so fiddler crabs and gulls and suicides off egg rocks permeate these vignettes. Death always hangs along the periphery for Plath, whether in the shadows seeping through each crack of her spot-on phrasings or in the tangible forms of faceless, darning-head muses or blue moles that have killed one another in tragedic Shakespearian battles. This is really Plath as her "least confessional"--these are stunning glimpses into a natural world that is brutal and frightening, though perfectly ordered. The speakers of the poems and the characters in them are the ones that invoke chaos and suffer under the strict parameters of natural existence that has become so mythical in these poems, as with the sow, the blue moles, the dead snake in "Medallion." If anything is wrong with the world of The Colossus it is that we've interfered with it, unprepared for the consequences.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    2.5 stars. The Colossus was the first and only poetry collection by Sylvia Plath published in her lifetime, and unfortunately it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. From what I understand of the collection, the order in which the poems appear in the collection is generally chronological, and you are able to see Plath's poetry expand and her ability grow throughout the course of reading the book. I find Plath's poetry at times to be beautiful and arresting, but more often than not in this collection 2.5 stars. The Colossus was the first and only poetry collection by Sylvia Plath published in her lifetime, and unfortunately it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. From what I understand of the collection, the order in which the poems appear in the collection is generally chronological, and you are able to see Plath's poetry expand and her ability grow throughout the course of reading the book. I find Plath's poetry at times to be beautiful and arresting, but more often than not in this collection I was either bored or bemused. Plath uses a great deal of metaphor in her poems, but to me it was not always that clear exactly what images she was trying to convey, which affected my ability to enjoy them and 'read into them'. Instead I just found them quite verbose at points. I noticed another reviewer on here had commented that they would not have known when any of Plath's poems had ended if it wasn't for the fact there was a large blank space at the end - and honestly I had to agree. I didn't feel like there was a great finality or rhythm to most of the poems contained here. I also found that a lot of the poems, particularly nearer the beginning of the collection, focused a little too much on nature and fairytale whimsy for my personal tastes. However, there are some poems in here that I am still thinking about, and that I think really show the talent for writing that Plath clearly had - the titular poem The Colossus had an amazing Lilliputian Gulliver's Travels kind of vibe, and my absolute favourite was The Ghost's Leavetaking which held a beautiful, dream-like quality and made me consider the difference between the dreamworld and the waking world. I would thoroughly recommend these two poems, if you are mulling over whether or not to pick up this collection. Overall not a fantastic read for me, but there were enough gems in there that I'm glad I picked it up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I discovered Sylvia Plath as an undergraduate freshman, introduced to The Bell Jar by my very good friend and drama student, Linda. Linda's perspective of life was that life was art. She would often model nude for drawing studies on campus and attempted, on several occasions, to induce me to do the same. I chatted with her one evening as she disrobed in front of me for the art class and I then watched, in a mix of awe and embarrassment, as the the class of about 20 sketched her in charcoal. The r I discovered Sylvia Plath as an undergraduate freshman, introduced to The Bell Jar by my very good friend and drama student, Linda. Linda's perspective of life was that life was art. She would often model nude for drawing studies on campus and attempted, on several occasions, to induce me to do the same. I chatted with her one evening as she disrobed in front of me for the art class and I then watched, in a mix of awe and embarrassment, as the the class of about 20 sketched her in charcoal. The reason I mention this occasion is that as much as I wanted to understand Sylvia Plath, this book of poetry only became accessible once I began to understand Linda's ability to open herself to others. Plath bared herself in a way in which I not only felt awkward and shy, but with a power that initially made me feel like I was sitting too close to the stage, as it were. Here was a woman who wrote without any apology for who she was. In my estimation she offended the very ones who felt obliged to judge and evaluate her. There is little doubt that she was angry that she was required to write like a woman and remain firmly ensconced within feminine issues. In fact, had this been her only demon, perhaps she might have lived, battled against the tide and produced even more marvelous poetry. She could not persevere, I suspect, with the idea that the world expected her to BE just a woman. Today I remain surprised that this volume was ever published. Its power spits in the face of social domination. Plath will have none of that: Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other. Thirty years now I have labored To dredge the silt from your throat. I am none the wiser. I fell into Plath's spell on several occasions during my freshman year. In many ways, I felt a strange discontinuity in my life when I read her, as if what I was studying in class had little to do with the life force struggling to live and burst forth from the earth. One was in my head and the other permeated everything else inside me. Linda would often sit or walk with me when I was under the spell and I would talk breathlessly about one point or another, all with what I thought was an emulation of Plath's deep seated passion. One morning walking across campus, me to chemistry and she to a literature class, she stopped me and we stood facing one another. She smiled at the surprised look on my face. She kissed me on the cheek, and turned and walked away. I stood stunned, unable to comprehend. Finally I went on to chemistry class, although unable to concentrate. I thought a great deal about that moment and I cannot tell you how long I spent until I came to understand, but it was probably years later, long enough so that I recognized that Plath and my despondency went together all too well. My hours are married to shadow. Like Plath, I became married to shadow without being inspired to proceed. She was something dangerous to me and at the same time so appealing, having touched an element deep inside. I asked myself if this was Plath's inevitable path towards tragedy. Still, one day I understood; I understood Linda, I understood the meaning of art and I understood Linda's tender kiss. The problem was that I only understood Sylvia Plath in my head. She kept reaching inside of me and I would translate that back to an intellectual endeavor. In order to become free of the tragedy, I had to, as it were, disrobe in front of others without fear, without modesty and without embarrassment. It was a slow process, but it was a necessary one. Sylvia Plath, through her own tragedy of a life, had shown me the way to overcome the bonds of social acceptability and live my own art of a life. Perhaps if one learns to disregard one's critics in the name of art, not looking back, the schizophrenia is optional. This is a monumental book of poetry, beautiful imagery and excellent form. Its truths do not come gently but like a knife without warning, without expectation and without answers. She is a very fine craftsman of language, but, perhaps, language displayed not without hints of her inevitable demise. Plath may have been swinging at some of her demons without result, but she teaches us that dealing with them isn't like inviting them for tea. She is one of the great modern pioneers of literature who had to fight too hard to breathe the rarefied air of excellence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    "The Colossus," from what I understand, was Plath's first published collection of poetry. During this early phase of Plath's career, she still treated the act of writing poetry as a laborious and painstaking process, often diligently looking up words in the thesaurus and then inserting many synonyms of one word into a single composition. This rather pedantic attitude toward poetry shows in these poems, many of which devoutly adhere to difficult rhyme schemes (albeit frequently using slant rhymes "The Colossus," from what I understand, was Plath's first published collection of poetry. During this early phase of Plath's career, she still treated the act of writing poetry as a laborious and painstaking process, often diligently looking up words in the thesaurus and then inserting many synonyms of one word into a single composition. This rather pedantic attitude toward poetry shows in these poems, many of which devoutly adhere to difficult rhyme schemes (albeit frequently using slant rhymes) and all of which are marked by a studied attention to detail, both visual and sonic. These poems simply don't *soar* the way the free-verse poems in "Ariel" (Plath's second book) do; they are just not as vibrant or as lively as her later work. These are bleak poems, characterized by a wealth of vivid tactile detail, but somewhat lacking in color and movement. Plath frequently uses the terza-rima rhyme scheme that Dante patented, as though to suggest that life, for her, is a slow, laborious, yet dignified plod through hell. In this book, Plath shows that she can write good poems, but she does not make the art of writing good poems seem easy. I do not, however, mean to imply that this is not a useful book for aspiring poets to read. It is, doubtless, a very important book to read if one wishes to understand how Plath developed into the brilliant, oracular voice that spouted "Ariel." And since Sylvia Plath started writing poetry seriously at a very early age, it is perhaps unfair to dismissively refer to this book -- which she published at the ripe old age of 25 -- as her "early work." There are many remarkable things about this book, not the least of which is the way Plath elevates mundane topics (e.g., men working the night shift, or prize pigs) to the level of high poetry, armoring them with an impervious Dante-esque dignity. To Plath, even the smallest things in life are worthy of attention.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Scarpin

    The Colossus I shall never get you put together entirely, Pieced, glued, and properly jointed. Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles Proceed from your great lips. It's worse than a barnyard. Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other. Thirty years now I have labored To dredge the silt from your throat. I am none the wiser. Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol I crawl like an ant in mourning Over the weedy acres of your brow To mend the immens The Colossus I shall never get you put together entirely, Pieced, glued, and properly jointed. Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles Proceed from your great lips. It's worse than a barnyard. Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other. Thirty years now I have labored To dredge the silt from your throat. I am none the wiser. Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol I crawl like an ant in mourning Over the weedy acres of your brow To mend the immense skull plates and clear The bald, white tumuli of your eyes. A blue sky out of the Oresteia Arches above us. O father, all by yourself You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum. I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress. Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered In their old anarchy to the horizon-line. It would take more than a lightning-stroke To create such a ruin. Nights, I squat in the cornucopia Of your left ear, out of the wind, Counting the red stars and those of plum- color. The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue. My hours are married to shadow. No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel On the blank stones of the landing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie Marquette

    Have this book on your bedside table for those lonely, stormy nights when you want to hide underneath your covers and read something dark and meaningful. Sylvia's a beautiful writer - there's no denying I'm a fan. I like that we get to see inside her nightmares, and subsequently, our own. My copy of this collection is filled with annotations in the margins, creased pages, and wear and tear from constant use. Many of the poems are plain out disturbing and you're not going to get a 'feel good' exp Have this book on your bedside table for those lonely, stormy nights when you want to hide underneath your covers and read something dark and meaningful. Sylvia's a beautiful writer - there's no denying I'm a fan. I like that we get to see inside her nightmares, and subsequently, our own. My copy of this collection is filled with annotations in the margins, creased pages, and wear and tear from constant use. Many of the poems are plain out disturbing and you're not going to get a 'feel good' experience out of this book - odds are you'll get some shivers down your spine, you'll probably even shudder a time or two. But sometimes its nice to explore our dark side, run underneath the shadows of all those pent up emotions, all those forgotten dreams and hurts... and there's no better person than Sylvia Plath to make us feel afraid and love it .

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    4.5 stars. This was the first full collection of Plath's poem that I'd read and I absolutely loved it. The poems in this collection contained fresh images and there were no staleness nor redundancy. I fully ascertained the reason why Plath is regarded as one of the best poets.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Connie Kuntz

    I think it's a wonderful thing to slow down and read Plath's poetry. She's such a convincing, thorough writer. Her sense of humor is so unique and slow. I'm not sure the world will ever stop mourning her death. Everybody already knows Plath was a brilliant writer, so I won't spend too much time writing a review. Instead, here are a couple excerpts: From "Mushrooms": "We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot's in the door." Funny, yes? Plus, she has a remarkable ability to write sensuously a I think it's a wonderful thing to slow down and read Plath's poetry. She's such a convincing, thorough writer. Her sense of humor is so unique and slow. I'm not sure the world will ever stop mourning her death. Everybody already knows Plath was a brilliant writer, so I won't spend too much time writing a review. Instead, here are a couple excerpts: From "Mushrooms": "We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot's in the door." Funny, yes? Plus, she has a remarkable ability to write sensuously about crustaceans: "Could they feel mud Pleasurable under claws As I could between bare toes?" Not to mention her dark side: "The head of his cadaver had caved in, And she could scarcely make out anything In that rubble of skull plates and old leather." She also writes about the ocean, bees, snakes, butterflies, mannequins, and much more, but I think my favorite poem in this collection is "Sculptor" which is about the almost unbelievable talent of a sculptor who creates something light and airy from something heavy and stubborn. "To his house the bodiless Come to barter endlessly Vision, wisdom, for bodies Palpable as his, and weighty." Plath was born in 1932. To think she could still be alive...

  15. 5 out of 5

    K.m.

    Plath is a poet more to be admired than loved. At times she leaves a crack to look through, displays her vulnerability, but so much of what she writes feels overly academic, overly composed, overly self-conscious. Poetry seems a scholarly exercise, rather than an expression of feeling to her. That said, 'On the Difficulty of Conjuring up a Dryad' and 'Black Rook in Rainy Weather' are beautiful exceptions. "No doubt now in dream-propertied fall some moon-eyed,/ star-lucky sleight-of-hand man watc Plath is a poet more to be admired than loved. At times she leaves a crack to look through, displays her vulnerability, but so much of what she writes feels overly academic, overly composed, overly self-conscious. Poetry seems a scholarly exercise, rather than an expression of feeling to her. That said, 'On the Difficulty of Conjuring up a Dryad' and 'Black Rook in Rainy Weather' are beautiful exceptions. "No doubt now in dream-propertied fall some moon-eyed,/ star-lucky sleight-of-hand man watches/ My jilting lady squander coin, gold leaf stock ditches,/ And the opulent air go studded with seed,/ While this beggared brain/ Hatches no fortune,/ But from leaf, from grass,/ Thieves what it has."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    "Prime rib covered in dark chocolate"? "Comes from the darkest crevices of herself"? Shudder... It's sentiments like these which contribute to our culture's overwhelming indifference (perhaps even resentment)towards poetry. Poetry isn't wussy, it's not some superfluous thing which can only be grasped by the suicidal-chic. Plath's poetry is frankly, a lot more than that. Yes, there's pain. There is some death. But there's also tranquility, poignancy,and, more times than not, a hell of a lot of hu "Prime rib covered in dark chocolate"? "Comes from the darkest crevices of herself"? Shudder... It's sentiments like these which contribute to our culture's overwhelming indifference (perhaps even resentment)towards poetry. Poetry isn't wussy, it's not some superfluous thing which can only be grasped by the suicidal-chic. Plath's poetry is frankly, a lot more than that. Yes, there's pain. There is some death. But there's also tranquility, poignancy,and, more times than not, a hell of a lot of humour. And, in terms of the vividness and distinctness of her metaphors, she is unrivaled. Want to read something contemporary? Enjoy the surreal? Interested in learning about one of the most important poets in the past 50 years? Then pick this one up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    The only way I could tell if Plath had ended a poem is when there was considerable blank space after the last line. And when a poem did indeed reach the last printable line on an odd-numbered page, it was only when I turned the page that I discovered if a poem had ended, or not. One can switch verses around, retitle them any ol' way, print everything backwards, whatever. As the "genius-with-word-and-song" Kurt Cobain famously begged, "Here we are now, entertain us." But to Plath, no doubt, he wa The only way I could tell if Plath had ended a poem is when there was considerable blank space after the last line. And when a poem did indeed reach the last printable line on an odd-numbered page, it was only when I turned the page that I discovered if a poem had ended, or not. One can switch verses around, retitle them any ol' way, print everything backwards, whatever. As the "genius-with-word-and-song" Kurt Cobain famously begged, "Here we are now, entertain us." But to Plath, no doubt, he wailed only "Nevermind."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I did not find this collection particularly enjoyable, which was a massive shame as I'm entirely obsessed with Plath at the minute. I think it's massively less confessional than Ariel so I found it a bit uncomfortable in that sense, I kind of like when poets confess all their shit! But yeah, I'm not sure what it was it just didn't strike me in anyway, no poem in particular stood out as amazing, quite disappointed

  19. 4 out of 5

    dina

    dnf at 50% due to my lack of understanding of the poems, though they are no less beautiful than the credit that I gave

  20. 5 out of 5

    G.

    I'm surprised I didn't care for the Colossus poems much. They felt really over-worked to me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Boo

    'Scaling little ladders with gluepots and pails of Lysol I crawl like an ant in mourning over the weedy acres of your brow' 3.5 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    AHMED ADEL

    One or two poems are quite good, the others are utterly tedious!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna (lion_reads)

    The old god, too, writes aureate poetry In tarnished modes, maundering among the wastes, Fair chronicler of every foul declension. Age, and ages of prose, have uncoiled His talking whirlwind, abated his excessive temper When words, like locusts, drummed the darkening air And left the cobs to rattle, bitten clean. Reading Sylvia Plath is always an experience. Her play with language, the sometimes sudden ornateness of her poems, the rhythm of the syllables, the deliciously dark atmosphere that she ofte The old god, too, writes aureate poetry In tarnished modes, maundering among the wastes, Fair chronicler of every foul declension. Age, and ages of prose, have uncoiled His talking whirlwind, abated his excessive temper When words, like locusts, drummed the darkening air And left the cobs to rattle, bitten clean. Reading Sylvia Plath is always an experience. Her play with language, the sometimes sudden ornateness of her poems, the rhythm of the syllables, the deliciously dark atmosphere that she often sets — all fascinate me. I won't pretend to understand all her metaphors (and more than once I had to get my dictionary out to get at the right meaning of a word) but the vividness and rawness of the overall effect carried me through to the end. The Colossus is Plath's first collection of poetry (and the only published in her lifetime) but you wouldn't know that from reading it. Maybe only a select few, in the beginning, give it away. Some of them seem naively playful, but even those are polished and hold their own. I had a suspicion that Plath would outlast my freshman literary education. Everyone reads Plath in their first few years of university. It's almost a cliche. But when I remember how my first year lit professor, a man of some fifty years, cried on the stage in front of 200 students while lecturing on Plath I know that there was something more to reading this poetess than the pretense of being well-read. When I remember the way hearing a recording of Sylvia Plath reading "Daddy" seared my skin, I know Plath's work is special and that anyone could find a piece that works for them. The Colossus doesn't outrank Ariel, but it does satisfy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ozbolt

    Only read some poems, but come on, it's Sylvia. I'll be back. ❤

  25. 4 out of 5

    Best

    Stunning and haunting collection. Surprisingly, I liked it more than Ariel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    4.5 Stars. Obviously I loved this. I can't comment on Sylvia Plath's work, however, because I'll never in a million years pinpoint what her words do for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neha

    “Father, this thick air is murderous / I would breathe water.” I wasn’t a fan of Sylvia Plath before reading this collection - in fact, I thought her writing was slightly annoying. But this, this collection really moved me. After I finished reading it, I just sat. I had to sit with and mull over and savor these beautiful poems. I don’t know how to explain those feelings. These poems were poignant and clean; I guess I felt pure or purified. Regardless, one thing I can say for sure is that this colle “Father, this thick air is murderous / I would breathe water.” I wasn’t a fan of Sylvia Plath before reading this collection - in fact, I thought her writing was slightly annoying. But this, this collection really moved me. After I finished reading it, I just sat. I had to sit with and mull over and savor these beautiful poems. I don’t know how to explain those feelings. These poems were poignant and clean; I guess I felt pure or purified. Regardless, one thing I can say for sure is that this collection is incredibly satisfying and gratifying.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Abdi Osman

    Plath is a writer i knew very little about beforehand but reading her poetry and the brilliant way she puts words together she is the type of poet I prefer. Style, wordsmith poet over poets about social ,political content or those that write playing literary games of writing difficult poems that just put words together. This collection i impulse bought because of her reputation as a poet and didnt know it was her first published book of poems. Its truly shocking,freaky to me that she could have r Plath is a writer i knew very little about beforehand but reading her poetry and the brilliant way she puts words together she is the type of poet I prefer. Style, wordsmith poet over poets about social ,political content or those that write playing literary games of writing difficult poems that just put words together. This collection i impulse bought because of her reputation as a poet and didnt know it was her first published book of poems. Its truly shocking,freaky to me that she could have read all these poems at 25 years old. Of the 40 poems in this collection atleast 20 are very good, great ones are among the finest i have read when its comes to original imagery,craftmanship. Its hard to choose top 5 when there were so many great ones that was powerful reads. Easier to mention the few weaker, uneven ones that stood out because of that. Like "Sow","Faun","Moonrise". Selfishly im glad she wrote only one novel and many more poems. Why waste this much talent for poetry on a simpler, easier form of writing that is writing prose and novels.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sheri S.

    I haven't read a book of poetry since perhaps high school. (And, I picked this book up to fulfill a requirement that I read a "Staff Pick" for my library's adult summer reading program.) I wasn't very impressed by Plath's work though I know she is quite famous in the world of poetry. I just didn't have the patience to delve into the meaning of the poetry. Her imagery, at times, was fascinating but I found the topics of the poems (nature, love, death, etc.) to be fairly dry. It will probably be a I haven't read a book of poetry since perhaps high school. (And, I picked this book up to fulfill a requirement that I read a "Staff Pick" for my library's adult summer reading program.) I wasn't very impressed by Plath's work though I know she is quite famous in the world of poetry. I just didn't have the patience to delve into the meaning of the poetry. Her imagery, at times, was fascinating but I found the topics of the poems (nature, love, death, etc.) to be fairly dry. It will probably be a while before I pick up a book of poetry again

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neetu

    3.5 I didn't really understand too many of the poems to be honest. I'm not good at analyzing stanzas and I mainly create my own interpretation once I read a poem. Overall, the poems I did understand, I reread them several times over Regardless, the writing was beautiful, and I certainly wouldn't know how to create poignant stories in limited phrases.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.