Sylvia Plath Quotes on Life, Love & The Mind

Sylvia Plath was an American poet and writer who was credited with pioneering the genre of confessional poetry.

What did Sylvia Plath write?

Sylvia Plath wrote a wide range of poems, from her early works which were often inspired by nature, to her later, more personal and confessional poems. Her most famous poem, “Daddy”, is a prime example of her skill in writing about difficult and dark subjects in an accessible way.

Sylvia Plath’s life and work were often overshadowed by her mental illness and eventual suicide. However, her legacy as a talented and ground-breaking poet continues to inspire new generations of writers today.

The following quotes by Plath help to articulate her insights on life, love, poetry and the human mind.


Sylvia Plath Quotes


“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.” Sylvia Plath



“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Sylvia Plath



“Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.” Sylvia Plath



“Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.” Sylvia Plath



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



“There is an increasing market for mental hospital stuff. I am a fool if I don’t relive it, recreate it.”



“It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative – whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.” Sylvia Plath



“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter—for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself … Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. Sylvia Plath



“Is there no way out of the mind?” Sylvia Plath



“Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.” Sylvia Plath



“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Sylvia Plath



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



“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which fits best and is more becoming?” Sylvia Plath



“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath



“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” Sylvia Plath



“My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.” Sylvia Plath



“What I want back is what I was.” Sylvia Plath



“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” 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 my life. And I am horribly limited.” Sylvia Plath



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


Sylvia Plath Quotes on Love


“There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game and turn away in tears.” Sylvia Plath



“I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” Sylvia Plath



“A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.” Sylvia Plath



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


For more famous quotes and sayings, be sure to check out:

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