Sylvia Plath ended her own life; and her family was left to pick up the shattered fragments she'd left behind. Her untimely death still sparks discussion (and controversy)--about death, grieving, loss and moving on. But, her life and the literary legacy she left us is by no means undermined by the way that her life ended. There's so much more to Sylvia Plath, and the personal and passionate aspects of her works will continue to incite debate and leave us with the impression that she is/was larger-than-life.
Perhaps it's a sick fascination, but we--as readers and writers--want to know more about Sylvia Plath: the mystery of her life and death (something in her words still reverberates us to the core). Can we hope to understand her? We want to know what made her tick--any personal insights into her life, works, and death.
Ultimately, we are left with her words. And, they may offer some insight into whether she finally found peace. As she wrote in The Bell Jar: "Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace."
Somewhere in the profusion of lines and letters, you may catch a glimpse of Sylvia Plath: "Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn."
Cover Art © HarperCollins.