Sylvia Plath- Ariel

Ariel – Sylvia Plath

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.


  * Ariel"'s short length and seeming simplicity – a woman rides her horse through the countryside at dawn.  Plath’s poetry deals with life and death from her own, female perspective. 

  * It is considered one of Plath's most accomplished and enigmatic poems, for it explores far more than a simple daybreak ride. It must be noted that this poem provides the title for her collection Ariel, selected after she rejected the title "Daddy." The poem justifies its centrality through a use of dazzling imagery, vivid emotional resonance, historical and biblical allusions, and a breathtaking sense of movement. Critics tend to discuss the poem as explorations of several different subjects, including: poetic creativity; sexuality; Judaism; animism; suicide and death; c.

  * To begin with, the name Ariel refers to three different things: Sylvia Plath's own horse, which she loved to ride; the androgynous sprite from Shakespeare's play The Tempest; and Jerusalem, which was also called Ariel in the Old Testament. Critics who discuss Shakespeare's Ariel tend to read Plath's poem as an exploration of poetic creativity and process. Shakespeare's Ariel embodies this power, and Plath may be attempting to fashion a metaphor for the process of writing a poem. The poet begins in darkness, but...