Nancy D. Hargrove -- The journey toward Ariel

Sylvia Plath's Poems of 1956-1959

This study of Plath's early poetry makes a number of contributions to Plath scholarship and should force a re-examination of the order and worth of her early poems. First, it establishes a more accurate chronology for the composition dates of these poems, correcting many of the errors in dating in the order presented in The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath. Further, based on this revised chronology, it traces Plath's development as a poet in these crucial years through a close examination of the poems, thus presenting a more comprehensive study of this part of her career and of the poems produced then than has appeared previously. For many of these poems, the book gives new or alternative readings; for poems which have heretofore been entirely ignored, it offers first-time readings, thereby filling a gap in Plath studies. Finally, it contains reproductions of the paintings which serve as subjects of ten poems, and reproductions of some of Plath's own sketches depicting scenes in a number of poems, as well as photographs of settings on which various poems are based.

Nancy D. Hargrove is a Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University, where she teaches American Literature of the 20th century. She has held three Fulbright Lectureships and has won numerous teaching awards. The author of an award-winning book on T.S. Eliot, she has published widely on a variety of modern writers, including Plath, Faulkner, and Welty.

You can order the book at Chartwell-Bratt online .

books on Sylvia Plath