125+ Best Sylvia Plath Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. Profoundly inspirational Sylvia Plath quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Sylvia Plath Quotes

I opened the door and blinked out into the bright hall. I had the impression it wasn’t night and it wasn’t day, but some lurid third interval that had suddenly slipped between them and would never end. – Sylvia Plath

How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought. – Sylvia Plath

The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther. – Sylvia Plath

If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier. – Sylvia Plath

If the body is a temple, then tattoos are its stained glass windows. – Sylvia Plath

I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I’d never seen before in my life. – Sylvia Plath

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends. – Sylvia Plath

When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know. – Sylvia Plath

The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower. – Sylvia Plath

It’s a hell of a responsibility to be yourself. It’s much easier to be somebody else or nobody at all. – Sylvia Plath

What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination. – Sylvia Plath

The constant struggle in mature life, I think, is to accept the necessity of tragedy and conflict, and not to try to escape to some falsely simple solution which does not include these more somber complexities. – Sylvia Plath

I think I made you up inside my head. – Sylvia Plath

I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me. – Sylvia Plath

I am afraid of getting older … I am afraid of getting married. Spare me from cooking three meals a day-spare me from the relentless cage of routine and rote. I want to be free…. I want, I want to think, to be omniscient…. I think I would like to call myself ‘The girl who wanted to be God. – Sylvia Plath

I had been alone more than I could have been had I gone by myself. – Sylvia Plath

So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them. – Sylvia Plath

That afternoon my mother had brought me the roses. Save them for my funeral, I’d said. – Sylvia Plath

Hour by hour, day by day, life becomes possible. – Sylvia Plath

I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralyzed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness. – Sylvia Plath

Don’t let the wicked city get you down. – Sylvia Plath

A man’s world is different from a woman’s world and a man’s emotions are different from a woman’s emotions and only marriage can bring the two different sets of emotions together properly. – Sylvia Plath

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream. – Sylvia Plath

Let me not be weak and tell others how bleeding I am internally; how day by day it drips, and gathers, and congeals. – Sylvia Plath

Winning or losing an argument, receiving an acceptance or rejection, is no proof of the validity or value of personal identity. One may be wrong, mistaken, or a poor craftsman, or just ignorant – but this is no indication of the true worth of one’s total human identity: past, present and future! – Sylvia Plath

Cheers for spring; for life; for a growing soul. – Sylvia Plath

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time. – Sylvia Plath

Every day is precious and I feel infinitely sad at this time melting away from me. – Sylvia Plath

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited. – Sylvia Plath

I sank back in the gray, plush seat and closed my eyes. The air of the bell jar wadded round me and I couldn’t stir. – Sylvia Plath

Feel oddly barren. My sickness is when words draw in their horns and the physical world refuses to be ordered, recreated, arranged and selected. I am a victim of it then, not a master. – Sylvia Plath

Happy! That is indefinable as far as states of being go. – Sylvia Plath

If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed. – Sylvia Plath

Perhaps you considered yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other. Thirty years now I have labored To dredge the silt from your throat. I am none the wiser. – Sylvia Plath

The hardest thing, I think, is to live richly in the present, without letting it be tainted & spoiled out of fear for the future or regret for a badly-managed past. – Sylvia Plath

Intoxicated with madness, I’m in love with my sadness – Sylvia Plath

The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it. – Sylvia Plath

My thoughts are crabbed and sallow, My tears like vinegar, Or the bitter blinking yellow Of an acetic star. Tonight the caustic wind, love, Gossips late and soon, And I wear the wry-faced pucker of The sour lemon moon. While like an early summer plum, Puny, green, and tart, Droops upon its wizened stem My lean, unripened heart. – Sylvia Plath

I am too pure for you or anyone. – Sylvia Plath

After all, we are nothing more or less than we choose to reveal. – Sylvia Plath

I must not be selfless: develop a sense of self. A solidness that can’t be attacked. – Sylvia Plath

The future is what matters – because one never reaches it, but always stays in the present – like the White Queen who had to run like the wind to remain in the same spot. – Sylvia Plath

What I cannot forgive is dishonesty – and no matter what, or how hard, I would rather know the truth of which I today had such a clear & devastating vision from his mouth than hear foul evasions, blurrings and rattiness. – Sylvia Plath

Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow. – Sylvia Plath

You have lost all delight in life. Ahead is a large array of blind alleys. You are half-deliberately, half-desperately cutting off your grip on creative life. You are becoming a neuter machine. You cannot love, even if you knew how to begin to love. Every thought is a devil, a hell-if you could do a lot of things over again, ah, how differently you would do them! You want to go home, back to the womb. You watch the world bang door after door in your face, numbly, bitterly. You have forgotten the secret you knew, once, ah, once, of being joyous, of laughing, of opening doors. – Sylvia Plath

We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine. – Sylvia Plath

As a poet, one lives a bit on air. I always like someone who can teach me something practical. – Sylvia Plath

love, how did you get here? – Sylvia Plath

I have stitched life into me like a rare organ – Sylvia Plath

If you love her, I said, you’ll love somebody else someday. – Sylvia Plath

I have done, this year, what I said I would: overcome my fear of facing a blank page day after day, acknowledging myself, in my deepest emotions, a writer, come what may. – Sylvia Plath

Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. – Sylvia Plath

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you. – Sylvia Plath

Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both. – Sylvia Plath

I write only because There is a voice within me That will not be still – Sylvia Plath

I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them. – Sylvia Plath

Love life day by day, color by color, touch by touch. – Sylvia Plath

Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning. – Sylvia Plath

I have a violence in me that is hot as death-blood. – Sylvia Plath

I woke to the sound of rain. – Sylvia Plath

I wish you’d find the exit out of my head. – Sylvia Plath

Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that – I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn. – Sylvia Plath

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. – Sylvia Plath

I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted. – Sylvia Plath

Clouds pass and disperse. Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables? Is it for such I agitate my heart? – Sylvia Plath

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

Love set you going like a fat gold watch. The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements. – Sylvia Plath

Oh what a poet I will flay myself into. – Sylvia Plath

No day is safe from news of you. – Sylvia Plath

Opinions are like orgasms…mine matters most and I really don’t care if you have one. – Sylvia Plath

Tomorrow is another day toward death. – Sylvia Plath

It is so much safer not to feel, not to let the world touch me. – Sylvia Plath

The body is amazingly stubborn when it comes to sacrificing itself to the annihilating directions of the mind. – Sylvia Plath

Your room is not your prison. You are. – Sylvia Plath

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. – Sylvia Plath

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane. (I think I made you up inside my head.) – Sylvia Plath

I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be. – Sylvia Plath

Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars – to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording – all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night. – Sylvia Plath

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. – Sylvia Plath

I talk to God but the sky is empty. – Sylvia Plath

I want so obviously, so desperately to be loved, and to be capable of love. – Sylvia Plath

I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn’t need food, she is one of the real saints. At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality- She lay in bed with me like a dead body And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn’t sleep for a week she was so cold. – Sylvia Plath

Kiss me and you will see how important I am. – Sylvia Plath

I am what I feel and think and do. – Sylvia Plath

It is a feeling that no matter what the ideas or conduct of others, there is a unique rightness and beauty to life which can be shared in openness, in wind and sunlight, with a fellow human being who believes in the same basic principles. – Sylvia Plath

Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences. – Sylvia Plath

I need not to be more with others, but to be more & more deeply, richly alone. Recreating worlds. – Sylvia Plath

Sure, I’m dramatic and sloppily semi-cynical and semi-sentimental. But, in leisure years I could grow and choose my way. Now I am living on the edge. We all are on the brink, and it takes a lot of nerve, a lot of energy, to teeter on the edge, looking over, looking down into the windy blackness and not being quite able to make out, through the yellow, stinking mist, just what lies below in the slime, in the oozing, vomit-streaked slime; and so I could go on, my thoughts, writing much, trying to find the core, the meaning for myself. – Sylvia Plath

We shall board our imagined ship and wildly sail among sacred islands of the mad till death shatters the fabulous stars and makes us real. – Sylvia Plath

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people’s eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth. – Sylvia Plath

I desire the things that will destroy me in the end. – Sylvia Plath

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. – Sylvia Plath

Some pale, hueless flicker of sensitivity is in me. God, must I lose it in cooking scrambled eggs for a man. – Sylvia Plath

I thought if only I had a keen, shapely bone structure to my face or could discuss politics shrewdly or was a famous writer Constantin might find me interesting enough to sleep with. And then I wondered if as soon as he came to like me he would sink into ordinariness, and if as soon as he came to love me I would find fault, the way I did with Buddy Willard and the boys before him. – Sylvia Plath

Let’s face it: I’m scared, scared and frozen. First, I guess, I’m afraid for myself … the old primitive urge for survival. It’s getting so I live every moment with terrible intensity. Last night, driving back from Boston, I lay back in the car and let the colored lights come at me, the music from the radio, the reflection of the guy driving. It all flowed over me with a screaming ache of pain … 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. When you feel that this may be the good-bye, the last time, it hits you harder. – Sylvia Plath

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. – Sylvia Plath

There is more than one good way to drown. – Sylvia Plath

I ride earth’s burning carousel. Day in, day out. – Sylvia Plath

Because wherever I sat-on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok-I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air. – Sylvia Plath

Please don’t expect me to always be good and kind and loving. There are times when I will be cold and thoughtless and hard to understand. – Sylvia Plath

Why am I obsessed with the idea I can justify myself by getting manuscripts published? Is it an escape-an excuse for any social failure-so I can say No, I don’t go out for many extracurricular activities, but I spend a lot of time writing. – Sylvia Plath

Aloneness and selfness are too important to betray for company. – Sylvia Plath

I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full. – Sylvia Plath

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant loosing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. – Sylvia Plath

That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket. – Sylvia Plath

I am myself. That is not enough. – Sylvia Plath

Out of the ash I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air. – Sylvia Plath

I felt overstuffed and dull and disappointed, the way I always do the day after Christmas, as if whatever it was the pine boughs and the candles and the silver and gilt-ribboned presents and the birch-log fires and the Christmas turkey and the carols at the piano promised never came to pass. – Sylvia Plath

God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of parties with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship – but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering. – Sylvia Plath

There ought, I thought, to be a ritual for being born twice – patched, retreaded and approved for the road. – Sylvia Plath

What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid. I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. – Sylvia Plath

I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo. – Sylvia Plath

Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. – Sylvia Plath

I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I’m here. – Sylvia Plath

At this rate, I’d be lucky if I wrote a page a day. Then I knew what the problem was. I needed experience. How could I write about life when I’d never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing? – Sylvia Plath

Go out and do something. It isn’t your room that’s a prison, it’s yourself. – Sylvia Plath

See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks. I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life. – Sylvia Plath

I always was interested in prose. As a teenager, I published short stories. And I always wanted to write the long short story, I wanted to write a novel. Now that I have attained, shall I say, a respectable age, and have had experiences, I feel much more interested in prose, in the novel. I feel that in a novel, for example, you can get in toothbrushes and all the paraphernalia that one finds in dally life, and I find this more difficult in poetry. – Sylvia Plath

But when it came right down to it, the skin of my wrist looked so white and defensless that I couldn’t do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn’t in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get. – Sylvia Plath

I smile, now, thinking: we all like to think we are important enough to need psychiatrists. – Sylvia Plath

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. – Sylvia Plath

And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter- they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. – Sylvia Plath

I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head. – Sylvia Plath

I’m about fifty years behind as far as my preferences go and I must say that the poets who excite me most are the Americans. There are very few contemporary English poets that I admire. – Sylvia Plath

It is awful to want to go away and to want to go nowhere. – Sylvia Plath

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