Au trecut cincizeci de ani de la moartea Sylviei Plath și încă vorbim de o poetă și o legendă. În iarna aspră a anului 1963, pe 11 februarie, Sylvia Plath s-a sinucis. Ruth Padel de la The Independent propune reîntoarcere la operă și renunțarea la mitul-Plath care, din cauza glamour-ului, îi astupă vocea. Din Sylvia Plath: The idol, the victim – and the pioneer reținem câteva idei:
1. “Poetry, I feel,” said Sylvia Plath in a radio interview in 1962, the year before her suicide, “is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space, you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.”
2. For women poets she was also a turning-point, a new vocal role model, but purely as poet she is part of the tradition for the whole poetic community. Most of today’s leading poets, men included, would be different if she hadn’t written.
3. Some react against her work, as you do. That is how tradition works.
4. Plath had a complicated, painful and much mythologised life, and this life can film the poems over with peripherals.
5. Sylvia Plath was in London, alone with her small children and no phone in the coldest winter on record.
6. Some people, however, prefer biography to close reading; and new readers may sometimes find Plath’s poetry is obscured by her life and death. In America her poetry is the curriculum. For poets, she is as central to the canon as Emily Dickinson.
7. Ted Hughes, her husband, inscribed on her grave a quotation from the Bhagavad Gita: “Even amidst fierce flames the Golden Lotus can be planted” – words which salute both her genius and her psychological burden in mythic terms.