Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weekly Geeks: Trivia about Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was married to what British poet laureate?

Ted Hughes. Their marriage was unhappy.

What is the title of her only novel?

'The Bell Jar'. 'The Bell Jar' is semi-autobiographical.

What was her first collection of poetry called?

'The Colossus'.

And her second poetry collection?

'Ariel'. 'Ariel,' her most critically-acclaimed work, was published after her death.

How did Sylvia Plath die?

She killed herself. February 11, 1963.

Hospitalized at age 20 for an attempted suicide, Plath stayed at which hospital?

McLean. Plath was hospitalized for swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills and disappearing into a hole in a wall in her cellar only to be found by her mother 2 days later. Massachusetts General is the Hospital where Plath, in 1958 took up a part time job. St. George is actually the Church St. George's-The Martyr where Plath and Ted Hughes were married on June 16, 1956, and Saint Boltolph's is actually St. Botolph's Review where Plath first read the poetry of Ted Hughes.

In the fall of 1950 Plath began college, which college did she attend?

Smith. Plath attended Smith from 1950-1955, harvard summer school in the summer of 54 and graduated summa cum {laude;} she won a Fulbright Scholarship to Cambridge.

Plath and Hughes had two children, what were their names?

Frieda and Nicholas. Otto and Aurelia were Plath's parents. Ted and Sylvia, well, that's Plath and Hughes, and Warren is her brother

In 1953 Plath won a Guest Editorship at Mademoiselle magazine for a short story she wrote. What was the name of that story?

Sunday at the Minton's. 'Appeal for World Peace' was published in the Christian Science Monitor on March 16, 1950, 'Summer Will Not Come Again' was published in the August 1950 edition of Seventeen, and the poem 'Bitter Strawberries' was published in the August 11, 1950 Christian Science Monitor

Plath wrote a poem about an animal entitled 'Ariel', what type of animal was this poem about?

horse. 'Ariel' is a poem about a horse Plath rode at a riding school in Devonshire, England.

Plath published only one children's book, what was the name of this book?

The Bed Book. 'Tinker Jack and the Tidy Wives', Ella Mason and her Eleven Cats', and 'The Bull of Bendylaw' are poems by Plath.

'The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath' won a prize in 1981 (18 years after her death). Which prize was this?


For many years after her suicide, a vast majority of people believed a specific person was responsible for driving Plath to it, who was this person?

Ted Hughes. Her ex-husband, the late Poet Laureate.

Plath wrote a peom titled 'Metaphor' - what is the metaphor this poem is alluding to?


What is the date of Plath's birth?

October 27, 1932.

Which of the two children born to Plath and Hughes is now a poet and painter?


True or False: Plath's death could have been avoided?

t. The way in which Plath structured the events evolving her suicide were extremely time sensitive and IF they had taken place the way she had planned them to she would have been found in time. Previously to that morning (February 11, 1963), Plath had spoken to her downstairs neighbor and found out his plans that day. Knowing when he was planning to leave his home, she left a note for him to call her doctor and placed her head into her gas oven. Her plan fell apart because the gas seeped downstairs and knocked the neighbor out as well.

'Letters Home' is a published collection of letters between Plath and another person. Who is this person?

Aurelia Plath. Aurelia Plath - her mother, was often portrayed as unsympathetic. Otto Emil Plath, her father, was an entomologist.

What is the date of Sylvia Plath's death?

February 11, 1963.

Two editions of Sylvia Plath's journals have been published - which one was highly edited by Ted Hughes (abridged or unabridged)?


At which college, in March 1957, was Plath offered a teaching position?

Smith. On March 12, 1957 Plath was offered a teaching position at Smith College. This position was for Freshman English.

Which well known poem of Plath's was written after her stay in St. Pancras hospital due to a miscarriage and an appendectomy (in 1960)?

Tulips. In 1960 Plath was hospitalized for a miscarriage and an appendectomy at St. Pancras Hospital. It was here that Plath was also pronounced dead.

One of Plath's published poems was accomplished through a writing assignment given to her by Hughes. Which poem was this?

The Moon and the Yew Tree.

In which poem does Plath use a panther to describe Hughes?


Which of Plath's collections of poetry was published 2 years after her death?


Which Indiana Library holds the Plath Estate?


In what area of Massachusetts was Plath's first home?

Jamaica Plain.



Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

I didn't realise that Plath had a complex plan for being discovered in time to prevent her death - fascinating, but sad.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I'm not surprised that she had an unhappy marriage. I loved the other interesting facts about her, and as for The Bell Jar, loved that book as well. Thanks so much for the post.

pussreboots said...

I don't think I've read any of her poetry.

Ceri said...

I love Sylvia. <3

I don't believe Sylvia wanted to be found to prevent her death at all. She had attempted suicide a number of times - more than the well-documented incident that The Bell Jar's based on.

And poor Nicholas took his own life last year too. What a tragic family.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big Plath fan too and was just pulling out my books by her to read through this week. I also love Judith Kroll's critical look at her work, Chapters in a Mythology.

Bernadette said...

I'm sure that in some movie or other Plath is depicted as drowning so that is what I've always assumed happened - which proves you should never trust the movies! Thanks for the interesting facts

NeutralGround said...

Wow, those are some very interesting facts. Its a sad story though.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. Happy reading!

Suey said...

I've heard so much about her, but never read any of her stuff. I need to fix that! :)

Sandra said...

I enjoyed this immensely. There were a couple of things here I did not know. Thank you so much for this, especially the clues to what or whom she was writing about in some of her poetry.

Erotic Horizon said...

I love how you did this...

I have heard of her - and what a sad tale....