Merry Wanderer of the Night + poetry


I have never reviewed a poetry collection on this blog before, and there is a reason for that: I rarely read poetry. The only poetry collection I've ever read the majority of is The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson and I read that because I was taking a class on Dickinson. I just don't do poetry very often. But after I read The Bell Jar I just couldn't get enough of Sylvia Plath. I needed more and I needed more immediately. Ariel

is a lot like The Bell Jar but in poetry form, at least in my opinion. I won't even pretend I understood the whole collection. I didn't. Not even close. Poetry is a challenge to me and it always will be. But that doesn't mean I didn't like it.

This collection is intense. It feels a little bit like psychiatric meeting and Plath is telling you everything in these quick, abrupt pieces. If you don't pay attention you'll miss the clue. The collection started well considering I totally marked up the third poem, The Rabbit Catcher. And the fifth poem, The Applicant, is hardly readable in my copy anymore. I'm glad I read The Bell Jar before Ariel because I feel it gave me a little more insight into what she might be talking about. There is a lot of birth and vaginal imagery in these poems and considering The Bell Jar deals a great deal with a fear of motherhood it was easy to connect the feelings together. Some of the poems are extremely sexual and violent in my opinion, The Jailor is one that comes to mind off the top of my head. And it is terrifying: "I am myself. That is not enough." and "Surely the sky is not that color,/ Surely the grass should be rippling." But there are some moments where something really beautiful and not so harsh appears like in The Rival, "If the moon smiled, she would resemble you/ You leave the same impression/ Of something beautiful, but annihilating."

I really don't know what else to say to review a poetry collection. I enjoyed the experience of reading this poems. They were mentally stimulating but not overbearing for me. I read several in one sitting and I reread several on their own. I guess that's the thing about this collection. I don't entirely know what to say because even after reading it for four weeks I'm still not entirely done with it. I have a feeling I will continue to read this for months or years and always find something new or see something different. I haven't read any analysis of any of these poems either because I just wanted to see what I could find for myself. Maybe someday I will look into analysis more but for not I'm enjoying exploring Ariel on my own.

This collection earned an A. What can I say, I dig Sylvia

Do you read a lot of poetry? Do you find that you can actually finish a poetry collection, or does it take longer for you to get through them?

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book review, and more:

Ariel + poetry