Sylvia Plath Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 444 quotes)
My world falls apart, crumbles, “The centre cannot hold.” There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation. I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralysed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness. I never thought. I never wrote, I never suffered. I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb. I do not know who I am, where I am going—and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions. I long for a noble escape from freedom—I am weak, tired, in revolt from the strong constructive humanitarian faith which presupposes a healthy, active intellect and will. There is nowhere to go.
My mind is, to use a disgustingly obvious simile, like a wastebasket full of waste paper; bits of hair, and rotting apple cores. I am feeling depressed from being exposed to so many lives, so many of them exciting, new to my realm of experience. I pass by people, grazing them on the edges, and it bothers me. I've got to admire someone to really like them deeply - to value them as friends. It was that way with Ann: I admired her wit, her riding, her vivacious imagination - all the things that made her the way she was. I could lean on her as she leaned on me. Together the two of us could face anything - only not quite anything, or she would be back. And so she is gone, and I am bereft for awhile. But what do I know of sorrow?
What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don't know and ?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. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And what do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited. Yet I am not a cretin: lame, blind, and stupid.
Strange, when one thinks of all the other boys, infinite experimental kisses, test tube infatuations, crushes, pseudo-loves.All through this physical separation, through the testing and the trying of the others, there has been this peculiar rapport, comradeship, of us two so alike, so similar, but for science-boy and humanities-girl - the introspection, self examination, biannual deep summarizing conversations, and then the platonic parting.
But the life of a Willa Cather, a Lillian Helman, and Virginia Woolf - - - would it not be a series of rapid ascents and probing descents into shades and meanings? into more people, ideas and conceptions? Would it not be in color, rather than black-and-white, or more gray? I think it would. And thus, I not being them, could try to be more like them: to listen, observe, and feel, and try to live more fully.
I believe that there are people who think as I do, who have thought as I do, who will think as I do. There are those who will live, unconscious of me, but continuing my attitude, so to speak, as I continue, unknowingly, the similar attitude of those before me. I could write and write. All it takes is a motion of the hand in response to a brain impulse, trained from childhood to record in our own American brand of hieroglyphics the translations of external stimuli. How much of my brain is wilfully my own? How much is not a rubber stamp of what I have read and heard and lived? Sure, I make a sort of synthesis of what I come across, but that is all that differentiates me from another person? - - - That I have banged into and assimilated various things? That my environment and a chance combination of genes got me where I am?
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.
I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I’ll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time.