These poems are, in Robert Lowells' words, events rather than the record of events, and as such, represent the triumph of the poet's romantic ambition.
If the poems are despairing, vengeful and destructive, they are at the same time tender, open to things, and also unusually clever, sardonic, hardminded . . . They are works of great artistic purity and, despite all the nihilism, great generosity . . . the book is a major literary event'.
A. Alvarez in the Observer.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.