By Annette Stevens.
Whenever I talk about journalism, I always feel just that little bit of nostalgia. The great artists of words, who are long dead, are still celebrated for their work today. Who are your ‘greats’, artists of words, who are our heroes today? I want to look at this lady.
This woman isn’t my hero, but I have recently found myself captivated by her story: that of Sylvia Plath. She wrote “The Bell Jar”, and is credited with bringing confessional poetry into full force. If you want just a little bit of information about confessional artists, please see the post “Confessional Journalism: Does it work?”. Sylvia sadly died at the age of thirty, due to taking her own life.
She was born 27th October 1932, and had her first poem published at the age of eight.
It is thought that she took her life due to depression, which she may have had from a young age. In August 1953, she made the first attempt at killing herself, after undergoing treatment for it. Later, she returned to college, where she graduated with highest honours.
In 1956, she married Ted Hughes, the children’s poetry laureate of that time. Despite having two children, the marriage would not last, and ended in divorce. In 1963, her most critically acclaimed work, “The Bell Jar” was published, first under the name of “Victoria Lucas”, then her own.
Sadly, she took her own life, on 11th February 1963. The marriage of Hughes to her had ended five months before.
RIP Sylvia Plath.