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1 Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography Created by Riley Stremick

2 Sylvia Plath-Inspiration Found Through Devastation “Best known for The Bell Jar, poet and novelist Sylvia Plath explored the themes of death, self, and nature in words that expressed her uncertain attitude toward the universe” (“Sylvia Plath Biography”). The quote above was stated in the article “Sylvia Plath Article” and best describes Sylvia Plath’s works. On October 27, 1932, Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Otto and Aurelia Plath. She appeared to be a socially well-adjusted child. She excelled in school and got straight A’s. She lived in Winthrop, Massachusetts until Then her family moved to Wellesley, Massachusetts. Although Plath came off as having a nearly perfect life, she encountered numerous life changing events that contributed greatly to her writing (“Sylvia Plath Biography”). Plath’s forever depressed life began when she was eight years old at the death of her father. Her father’s death led to the strong, conflicting emotions of love, hate, anger and grief. The beginning of WWII also started during this time darkening the mood of the nation. Plath developed insomnia, periodic bouts of depression and thoughts of suicide. She would sometimes go three weeks without sleeping. With all of Plath’s hard work and persistence, she still faced rejection. Time after time of having her writings rejected caused major stress in Plath’s life. She often became very ill. Plath attempted suicide at the age of 20 by taking 40 sleeping pills and locking herself in a crawl space under her porch for two days until she was found. A few years later, Plath encountered a loss of a serious relationship bringing back the memories and pain from the loss of her father. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

3 She later got involved in a relationship with a man much older than herself. She claimed he had raped her. This was just the beginning of Plath’s interest in abusive men. She moved to London shortly after this incident. When Plath finally married, the marriage turned out to be an abusive one. Her husband and father of their two children, Ted Hughes, had also been having an affair. Along with the bad relationships, the weather also seemed to have a huge impact on Plath’s depression. The winter of 1963 in London was the worst they had seen in a while, adding tremendously to Plath’s depression. On February 11, 1963, Plath successfully took her life. She sealed herself in her kitchen, knelt in front of her oven and turned the gas on. Six months before this tragedy, Plath wrote, “out cast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. I look down into the warm, earthy world. Into a nest of lovers’ beds, baby cribs, metal tables, all solid commerce of life in this earth, and feel apart, enclosed in a wall of glass” (“Sylvia Plath”). Plath’s life wasn’t all sickness and depression, though. She had successes and great achievements in her life as well. It was almost as if she was two different people. Plath started writing at a young age, completing hundreds of writings before she was even out of high school. She was a very smart and successful woman. Plath wrote her first poem at the age of five. Her first poem was printed in the children’s section of the Boston Herald at the age of eight. This was the same year that her father’s death occurred which ultimately started Plath’s writing. In junior high she continued to write and had poems published in her school newspaper. In high school she enrolled in an English class that challenged her abilities in some of the best ways. In 1949 she published “A Reasonable Life in a Mad World” in The Atlantic Monthly. Plath received good grades, earned recognition and publication as a writer, artist and. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

4 editor by the time she finished high school. During her senior year she had her story, “And Summer Will Not Come Again”, published in a Seventeen magazine. She also saw her first national publication of her poem “Bitter Strawberries” in The Christian Science Monitor. During Plath’s life she enrolled in Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and Harvard to which she was awarded a $1,200 scholarship. In London, Plath attended college in Cambridge. One of Plath’s biggest influences towards her writing was Olive Higgins Prouty, her sponsor at Smith who had also helped financially and emotionally after Plath’s attempted suicide. It was after this encounter that Plath began to write again. She won many poetry prizes and continued getting excellent grades. Following this, she had “Go Get the Goodly Squab” published in Harper’s and her “Parallax” earned an honorable mention in Mademoiselle’s “Dylan Thomas Poetry Contest.” She also tied for first place in the Glascock Poetry Contest along with other poetry prizes. She graduated Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England with an abundance of honors, awards, and other prizes and numbers publications. Her first book of poems published was called The Colossus and Other Poems. Her most well- known book is called The Bell Jar. The Bell Jar is Plath’s story of her attempted suicide. Over the years Plath published hundreds of poems up until her death. In 1965, two years after Plath’s death, Ariel and Other Poems was published. In 1981 “Collected Poems” by Sylvia Plath was released; in 1982 it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize (“Sylvia Plath”). Even though Plath had her struggles throughout her life, she also turned out to be a great and well known poet. Plath’s poetry is best described by the statement, “where there is tragedy, there is art.” She used many different styles of writing. Her earlier poems were created more slowly and with greater care. The more she created the faster and less thought out her poetry was. Her approach to rhythm and meter in her poems were her own. Her first poems had a stanza that was thought of as a “finger-count”. That evolved into more of Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

5 an “ear-count” as she continued with her writings. The styling that has led to the continuance of her art and relevancy to society is through the many factors and techniques that are common throughout her works. With her unique uses of rhythm and meter in her poetry and prose, her prevailing themes of feminist criticism and technique of “doubling” are a part of her unique approach to characterization. Her works are so unique because she uses her own voice in her poetry. She also used a variety of stanzas in her poems. Sometimes they would be three lines, and other times they would be fourteen or fifteen lines. Many people admire her use of doubling. She would include lines such as “unmisted by love or dislike”, “she comes and goes” and “I am not cruel, only truthful” (Analyzing Sylvia Plath’s Writing Style Through Her Poem, Mirror”). Plath is notable for her hundreds of poems and especially for her book The Bell Jar. She brought about a new style of writing. She wrote about real things, real feelings; something people were afraid to admit to. She often wrote when she was furious and steaming. Her emotions would be running wild when she would write. A line from The Jar Bell shows the great contrast in Plath’s emotions describing her and her writings perfectly, “If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and other for the rest of my days” (“Sylvia Plath”). Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

6 The Applicant Daddy Medusa The Jailer Lesbos Stopped Dead Fever 103 Lyonnesse Amnesiac Cut By Candlelight The Tour Ariel Poppies In October Nick and the Candlestick Purdah Lazy Lazarus The Couriers Getting There The Night Dances Gulliver Thalidomide Letter in November Death & Co. Years Fearful Mary’s Song Winter Trees Brasilia Childless Woman Eavesdropper Sheep and Fog Totem Child Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

7 the slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull and if my stomach would contract because of some explicable phenomenon such as pregnancy or constipation I would not remember you or that because of sleep infrequent as a moon of greencheese that because of food nourishing as violet leaves that because of these and in a few fatal yards of grass in a few spaces of sky and treetops a future was lost yesterday as easily and irretrievably as a tennis ball at twilight Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

8 Cinderella The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels, Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels Begin on tilted violins to span The whole revolving tall glass palace hall Where guests slide gliding into light like wine; Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall Reflecting in a million flagons' shine, And glided couples all in whirling trance Follow holiday revel begun long since, Until near twelve the strange girl all at once Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk She hears the caustic ticking of the clock. Plath’s poem, “Cinderella”, is written how every little girl views Cinderella or any fairy tale for that matter. Plath uses an abundance of descriptions allowing the reader to fully visualize the images. I chose this poem because Cinderella is my favorite Disney movie. I loved the movie and I feel as though Plath did an outstanding job at capturing its full effects. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

9 Sylvia Plath’s elegy, “April 18”, pinpoints one of her most tragic life events while using beautiful imagery. Plath endured a traumatizing event in the beginning of her adult years. She miscarried. It is thought that her poem reflects upon this painful time. The first lines of her poem “the slime of all my yesterdays\ rots in the hollow of my skull” draw the reader in right away and paint an eerie picture for oneself. The imagery recreates Plath’s experience very vividly. These lines impact the poem greatly. They draw in one’s attention and make one wonder what is to come. Plath doesn’t come out and say that her poem is about her miscarriage. Although, through her next lines “and if my stomach would contract\ because of some explicable phenomenon\ such as pregnancy or constipation\ I would not remember you” hint towards her miscarriage and it can be interpreted that ‘you’ is referring to the baby. It is believed that she then contemplates what it is that she may have done wrong to cause the loss of her child. It is explained through the lines “or that because of sleep\ infrequent as a moon of greencheese\ that because of food\ nourishing as violet leaves\that because of these” that Plath wonders if her lack of sleep or nourishment has been the reason for her miscarriage. They allow the reader to get a mental image through similes. Plath’s last lines, again, use similes to help with imagery. When she says “a future was lost yesterday\ as easily and irretrievably\ as a tennis ball at twilight” comparing the loss if her baby’s life to losing a tennis ball at twilight it helps readers get a better sense of what Plath was feeling. Not every person who reads her poem will have gone through a miscarriage, but may people have lost a ball during the evening while playing outside. The future Plath talks about is of her baby whom will never get a chance at life. She also says that the miscarriage happened without a huge accident. It happened at the snap of a finger and there is no way to get it back; just like a lost tennis ball at twilight. Plath chose these descriptive elements to help readers understand as best they can without having to have gone through this tragedy. She presents catharsis to her readers through this writing. “April 18” is a beautifully written poem allowing Plath to express her feelings and misfortunes through imagery and similes allowing readers to feel her pain and offer a little healing to herself. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

10 I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. What ever you see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful--- The eye of a little god, four-cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over. Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. Mirror An extraordinary use of personification is portrayed through Plath’s poem, “Mirror”. I love the way she makes the mirror seem life-like. Plath gives the mirror human thoughts and feelings. The poem starts out describing its features and goes on to show what the mirror sees. The mirror shows more than just the physical features of the ones who come to it. It sees many things others do not, but is silenced through it all. I chose this poem because I believe it can be read into very deeply. There is much more meaning behind this marvelous poem. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

11 You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time--- Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic Where it pours bean green over blue In the waters off the beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine, Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been sacred of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You---- Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I'm finally through. The black telephone's off at the root, The voices just can't worm through. If I've killed one man, I've killed two--- The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There's a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never liked you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through. Daddy by Sylvia Plath Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

12 A commitment was made the day you said “ I do ” Have you forgotten or are you confused? Upon this day your unlawful ways began You were meant to be the only man to never hurt me And now confusion has over taken me I ’ m uncertainly certain Dragged down by emotion But stuck feeling nothing The nothing that I feel is insanely surreal These thoughts run deep Releasing monsters inside The evidence is inevitable Forced inside this subtle body, I ’ m trying to keep my mind from rotting You ’ ve played with my heart, Nearly tore it apart. Supposed to be my hero, And teach me all I know. Walk a little straighter, daddy I already know how to fall. Lessen the affliction; try to stand straight and tall. I ’ ll assist you at every tumble. The day that lingered behind us has finally come Your abandonment has finally set us free Battered and torn over and over Promises spat bringing back hope Finally you ’ ve vanished; I ’ m living free Escaped from your manipulating power You ’ ve come to be lost and broken Looking for the smallest token of our love A commitment was made the day you said “ I do ” But you ’ ve forgotten and are confused My only words to you: Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I ’ m through. Walk a Little Straighter by Riley Stremick Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

13 All right, let's say you could take a skull and break it The way you'd crack a clock; you'd crush the bone Between steel palms of inclination, take it, Observing the wreck of metal and rare stone. This was a woman : her loves and stratagems Betrayed in mute geometry of broken Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims, And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken. Not man nor demigod could put together The scraps of rusted reverie, the wheels Of notched tin platitudes concerning weather, Perfume, politics, and fixed ideals. The idiot bird leaps up and drunken leans To chirp the hour in lunatic thirteens. A Sonnet: To Eva By Sylvia Plath Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

14 All right, there ’ s a message I ’ ve got to get through This won ’ t take much time, I promise. Life isn ’ t long enough for you to stay blue. Just listen closely; I ’ ll help make your life bliss. Those suffocating days of uneasy depression, They really aren ’ t worth it It ’ s time for the load to lessen A seemingly incurable disease, it ’ s time to cure it. Life is often twisted and painful Or that is how many blinded see But if your view is of a glass half full Then I ’ m sure success and happiness is where you ’ ll be My only word of advice is to keep that smile plastered on your face Life is just a silly game trying to knock you out of place Life’s Bliss by Riley Stremick Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

15 Unquestionable To sabotage something like this; unthinkable To say something like that; unspeakable To believe something like this; unreasonable To dream something like that; unreachable To change something like this; unseeable To encounter something like that; unbelievable You thought it, what were you dreaming? You said it, what were you thinking? I believed it, what was is thinking? I dreamt it, what was I seeing? Just a sabotaged dream, A lie I shouldn’t believe For I am weak, I am left unstable Toppled over, unable. Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

16 Fallin’ tears, broken dreams. Saddness, an incurable disease. When all I know is how to fall I can’t help but to feel so small Beating myself up day after day Slowly running out of words to say Gradually letting go Time going so slow With disappointment being a word I’ve come to know so well And so much to say with no one to tell I can’t help but down in my tears That release pain held in for years Unfortunately this is the story of my life I wish I could rewrite it overnight. My dreams would come true My only love would be you My smile would never disappear The meaning of family would be clear Too bad life can‘t be as simple as these rhymes. Promises will get broken many times The only thing I can do is quit believing The truth can be very deceiving Leaving me filled with fears.. and fallen tears. Story of my Life Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

17 I’m done getting beat up by you Now that’s what the memories do. I’ve finally come to find peace inside I’m really glad I tried It has taught me a bunch My heart has never felt so much I no longer feel hurt, sadness or pain But don’t worry, you’ll stay with me like an awful stain There’s so much I could say It keeps piling up day after day I’ll keep it to myself though Don’t fret you’ll never have to know I know how much you hated hearing it How often I told you I kind of regret I’m sure a day won’t go by when I’m not reminded of you Some days I’m sure it will hit me like a bad flu But that’s when I just gotta remind myself this was meant to be If it wasn’t you’d still be with me We walk different paths Just this time not hand in hand Soon we’ll be on different roads I’m sure one they they’ll cross, but only God really knows I hope that day, years in the future We can be friends and not feel any torture I don’t know what will happen It’ll hit us like an unwanted fashion For now, I’ll think of you from time to time And maybe even wish I had you by my side Some days I will break down Do nothing but sit around Only because our past Has some ability of keeping me back I’ll go through old things And reminisce in the thoughts and feelings they bring Then there will be days I’m perfectly fine I won’t feel like I’m stuck back in time I’ll keep my head up and throw on my smile The one that had vanished for a while It’ll be part of my normal routine That has come to be worry free And this time when I hear our song It won’t quite feel so wrong I’ll think only of the good And forget everything I never understood Because today the memories aren’t going to hurt me They’ll find a way to leave me happy. I’m still so very confused. My heart is still very much bruised I’d give anything for the love of my life to come back But he’s not real so I’ll forget about that Who needs love anyway? Feel no love and feel no pain It’s such a sad thing to say But a fact of life either way Until one day all is known That’s a day tremendous love will be shown So today marks my very first step It’ll lead me in a direction of no regret I’ll walk the path blinded and that’s okay My life is about taking chances that lead me in such a wondrous way After all taking chances is what got me here today. Memories Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

18 There is so much meaning behind every word I think my hearts about to burst Forever may be just a sound, A sound my whole world is based around. A time we thought so meaningless Brought about all our pieces To live for a reason more than me Leaves me baffled beyond belief Yet still I’d have it no other way Because our love is forever and a day Seeing life through another eyes Brings about a paradise A million wonders we’re left to face But forever will see us through and take its place Forever Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

19 So much love in this heart of mine Trying to find a way to pass this time My mind is stuck on the night My heart was sent on a flight To find the strength to be okay Knowing love was just sent away I’m stuck inside this subtle body Trying to keep my mind from rotting Here I sit, my mind gone numb Wondering how I am so dumb Find a way to land from this unsteadying soaring My heart is enduring No emotion to show Except this anxious anecdote Flight Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

20 Is it that I can’t get enough of the pain? Or that your name is forever engraved in my brain? That everywhere I go, you’re there And I can’t help but give a blank stare. All I want is my heart back, Is that too much to ask? I can’t seem to gather the words, I’m at a loss. Please set me free with a gentle toss. Maybe I’ll find someone strong enough to hold all my love; Someone who was sent from above We’ll share forever without any trials or despair. You may say that’s what makes us stronger, but to me it’s just not fair. I can’t do it much longer. If only I was stronger. All I did was love you, as I always will. Not man enough to handle my love that you feel? Does it scare you to death Every time I take your breath? Do you know what you have when you have it? You’ve become my bad habit Maybe love is just a game A game to make me feel some pain Just a joke Handin’ out a few laughs only to make me choke There’s really no one to blame but me My foolish mind led me on this journey I tried to just believe But what I’ve come to see I believe in something too good to be true And all it’s done is left me blue The passing of all this time Has left me nothing but behind I wish I could rewind my heart, Go back to the very start Save me this confusion That’s left my heart full of bruises Filled with pain Forever a stain Words just keep flowing from my head Stopping me from saying all the things that should have been said Is it too late? What’s at stake? Is it even worth it though? My eyes are about to overflow With no one to wipe my tears I might as well just hide my fears. It will forever haunt me, never leave me, Always betray me, keep me from being free. Captured by your nasty lies You’d think I’d only despise So much on my mind, Now has got to be the time If it’s not, I’m going to break I think it’s too late It’s absolutely never ending My heart just keeps spending Now it’s broke I’m ready to choke. You must not have a heart Because you never loved me from the start I’m under attack There’s no going back Happily ever after? More like a devastating disaster Your beautiful blue eyes once so caring and warm Now you do nothing but cause me harm Where’d you go? What happened to all the love you used to show? I’m going crazy, can’t you see? We were supposed to love perfectly I guess we’ll learn from all of this Let me go with just one kiss Going our separate ways is probably best Just know my love for you will never rest. Can I Have My Heart Back? Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

21 Tonight, all I wanna do is write Take away everything in sight Numb my feelings Make pain not so appealing Who knew an empty feeling could fill this much space Making me suffocate The nothing that I feel Is insanely surreal Like I’m not really hear Just drowning in my fear Barely holding on Cutting my heart with this song Just one more thing to make me feel the sting Wounds so deep That even when I sleep My dreams Filled with your face screams Reminding me of everything I tried hard to forget Each day slowly drags on, I try to make it best Nothing seems to work I just keep getting hurt I wish there was an easy solution Or for when I fall, simply a cushion Because I’m falling With no one to catch me, I’m stalling Avoiding everything I’m afraid to admit Since I faced everything, I gave in to commit Now look at what’s left You took part in a theft Stealing my life away one heart beat at a time And now, I simply feel like I’m dying All I Wanna Do Is Write Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

22 Biography List of works Sample Poems Inspired Poems Original Poems Bibliography

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