Sylvia Plath Quotes About Life, Success and Love

If you’re looking for some words of wisdom, you needn’t look any further than Sylvia Plath. This iconic writer was known for her dark and introspective poetry, and her quotes are just as insightful as her writing. Whether you’re struggling with a personal issue or just need a little inspiration, Sylvia Plath quotes will help you get through anything.

sylvia plath quotes

Sylvia Plath was born on October 27, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Otto Plath, a professor of physiology at Boston University, and Aurelia Schober Plath, a poet. Plath was a precocious child and published her first poem at the age of eight. She attended Smith College, where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes.

Plath and Hughes were married in 1956 and had two children, Frieda and Nicholas. Plath published her first book of poetry, The Colossus and Other Poems, in 1960. She won a Fulbright Fellowship in 1962 and spent the year in London.

Plath’s most famous work, the autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, was published in 1963. The book was a critical and commercial success, and was made into a movie in 1979. Plath committed suicide on February 11, 1963.

88 Sylvia Plath Quotes

  1. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

2. “If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”

3. “Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.”

4. “Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”

5. “What a man wants is a mate and what a woman wants is infinite security.”

6. “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”

7. “I felt dreadfully inadequate. The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.”

8. “My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.”

9. “The silence between us was so profound I thought part of it must be my fault.”

10. “I felt the first man I slept with must be intelligent, so I could respect him.”

sylvia plath fig tree quote

Famous Sylvia Plath Quotes

11. “The slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull.”

12. “Aloneness and selfness are too important to betray for company.”

13. “The more hopeless you were, the further away they hid you.”

14. “The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life.”

15. “I thought how strange it had never occurred to me before that I was only purely happy until I was nine years old.”

16. “What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid.”

17. “Ever since I was small I loved feeling somebody comb my hair. It made me go all sleepy and peaceful.”

18. “I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly, as the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.”

19. “I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”

20. “I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had nothing to look forward to.”

Sylvia Plath Quotes

Thought-Provoking Sylvia Plath Quotes

21. “I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy.”

22. “If I was going to fall, I would hang on to my small comforts, at least, for as long as I possibly could.”

23. “You are the one. Solid the spaces lean on, envious. You are the baby in the barn.”

24. “I could feel the winter shaking my bones and banging my teeth together.”

25. “And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.”

26. “A dispassionate white sun shone at the summit of the sky. I wanted to hone myself on it till I grew saintly and thin and essential as the blade of a knife.”

27. “Only I wasn’t steering anything, not even myself.”

28. “I desire the things that will destroy me in the end.”

29. “God has to remind us this isn’t heaven by a long shot, so he increases the radios and lethal flies.”

30. “I couldn’t stand the idea of a woman having to have a single pure life and a man being able to have a double life, one pure and one not.”

Sylvia Plath Best Quotes

31. “Talking about my fears to others feeds it.”

32. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

33. “It was sometime in October; she had long ago lost track of all the days and it really didn’t matter because one was like another and there were no nights to separate them because she never slept any more.”

34. “The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.”

35. “I hate handing over money to people for doing what I could just as easily do myself, it makes me nervous.”

36. “I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.”

37. “There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.”

38. “I laugh, and my lipstick leaves a red stain like a bloody crescent moon on the top of the beer can.”

39. “If only I knew what I wanted I could try to see about getting it.”

40. “The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain. ”

Sylvia Plath Quotes About Life

41. “My life is a discipline, a prison: I live for my own work, without which I am nothing.”

42. “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”

43. “Let me not be weak and tell others how bleeding I am internally; how day by day it drips, and gathers, and congeals.”

44. “The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way.”

45. “I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.”

46. “I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.”

47. “I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.”

48. “I laid my face to the smooth face of the marble and howled my loss into the cold salt rain.”

49. “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”

50. “If there’s anything I look down on, it’s a man in a blue outfit.”

51. “I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am.”

52. “How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.”

53. “I felt dumb and subdued. Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently.”

54. “I am so busy keeping my head above water that I scarcely know who I am, much less who anyone else is.”

55. “I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig-tree.”

56. “The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate my own thrilling letters.”

57. “I like you, but not too much. I don’t want to like anybody too much.”

58. “I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.”

59. “The truth comes to me. The truth loves me.”

60. “He just wanted to see what a girl who was crazy enough to kill herself looked like.”

61. “I’m doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.”

62. “For the few little successes I may seem to have, there are acres of misgivings and self-doubt.”

63. “Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which fits best and is more becoming?”

64. “I love him to hell and back and heaven and back, and have and do and will.”

65. “I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.”

66. “I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who ski better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.”

67. “I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.”

68. “The trouble about jumping was that if you didn’t pick the right number of storeys, you might still be alive when you hit bottom.”

69. “I’m collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, and she’ll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me”

70. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”

71. “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

72. “I talk to God but the sky is empty.”

73. “I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath but I can’t think of one.”

74. “It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.”

75. “The more hopeless you were, the farther away they hid you.”

76. “I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give.”

77. “I suppose if I gave myself the chance I could be an alcoholic.”

78. “What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.”

79. “Everything people did seemed so silly, because they only died in the end.”

80. “Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them. But they were a part of me. They were my landscape.”

81. “I had been alone more than I could have been had I gone by myself.”

82. “We all like to think that we are important enough to need psychiatrists.”

83. “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”

84. “Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.”

85. “I don’t want to use higher education as an escape from responsibility, but I feel there is so much more awareness I should have before plunging onto the field of battle.”

86. “I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I’d never seen before in my life.”

87. “What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination.”

88. “I felt myself shrink to a small black dot against all those red and white rugs and that pine paneling. I felt like a hole in the ground.”

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