Curated Quotes

The 122 Best Sylvia Plath Quotes

Tammy Lamoureux from

Sylvia Plath was one of the most breathtaking writers of all time. She wrote of love and death and loneliness with a voice that was honest – and often – tragic.

We celebrate her words here with quotes from her poems, letters, and journals. And, of course, many lines from The Bell Jar.

We usually try to keep our collections below 100 quotes, but this time we just couldn’t whittle it down any more. Enjoy.

Best Sylvia Plath Quotes

Related Quotes: The Best Anaïs Nin Quotes

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am. 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

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

Sylvia Plath The Sea

Is there no way out of the mind? Sylvia Plath

Wear your heart on your skin in this life. Sylvia Plath

When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever. Sylvia Plath

How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into. Sylvia Plath

It is a terrible thing to be so open: it is as if my heart put on a face and walked into the world. 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

But everybody has exactly the same smiling frightened face, with the look that says: ‘I’m important. If you only get to know me you will see how important I am. Look into my eyes. Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.’ 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 write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still. Sylvia Plath

I want to taste glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of non-feeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and to think; to think and to live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight new understanding, and new love. 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… Sylvia Plath

I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe? Sylvia Plath

How can you be so many women to so many strange people, oh you strange girl? Sylvia Plath

I Made You Up In My Head

Do we always grind through the present, doomed to throw a gold haze of fond retrospect over the past? 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 do not know who I am tonight. Sylvia Plath

Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently. Sylvia Plath

She stared at her reflection in the glossed shop windows as if to make sure, moment by moment, that she continued to exist. 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

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

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. Sylvia Plath

I Don't Want To Get Up

God, how I ricochet between certainties and doubts. Sylvia Plath

I am so hungry for a big smashing creative burgeoning burdened love. Sylvia Plath

What did my fingers do before they held him? What did my heart do, with its love? Sylvia Plath

Dancing is the normal prelude to intercourse. 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. 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 love him to hell and back and heaven and back, and have and do and will. Sylvia Plath

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between. 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

Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? Sylvia Plath

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed. And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane. Sylvia Plath

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

Hot Bath Sylvia Plath

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 or too full. 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

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

The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past. Sylvia Plath

Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on. Sylvia Plath

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

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

I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Sylvia Plath

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

Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming? Sylvia Plath

Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it. Sylvia Plath

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 felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’ Sylvia Plath

Tell Me I'm Here

I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn’t hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might just as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me. Sylvia Plath

I hate handing over money for what I could just as easily do myself, it makes me nervous. Sylvia Plath

And there’s the fallacy of existence: the idea that one could be happy forever and age with a given situation or series of accomplishments. Sylvia Plath

If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating. Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again. 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

Amid the hectic music and cocktail talk, she hears the caustic ticking of the clock. Sylvia Plath

There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It’s like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction–every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it’s really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour. Sylvia Plath

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

I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath. Sylvia Plath

It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water. Sylvia Plath

I must get my soul back from you… Sylvia Plath

I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual. Sylvia Plath

With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can’t start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It’s like quicksand… hopeless from the start. Sylvia Plath

To look at her, you might not guess that inside she is laughing and crying, at her own stupidities and luckiness, and at the strange enigmatic ways of the world which she will spend lifetime trying to learn and understand. Sylvia Plath

I was supposed to be having the time of my life. Sylvia Plath

If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier; if I didn’t have any sex organs, I wouldn’t waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time. Sylvia Plath

I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip an hour more of sleep and live. Sylvia Plath

I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give. Sylvia Plath

I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who ski better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I. Sylvia Plath

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

I wish to cry. Yet, I laugh, and my lipstick leaves a red stain like a bloody crescent moon on the top of the beer can. Sylvia Plath

Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: ‘I’ll go take a hot bath.’ Sylvia Plath

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. 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

So come, and slowly we will walk through green gardens and marvel at this strange and sweet world. Sylvia Plath

I love my rejection slips. They show me I try. Sylvia Plath

I’m willing to let you know me if you do the same. Then tonight won’t be a total loss. You’ll say: I know a little about a person that no one else knows very well. Sylvia Plath

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

Yes, I was infatuated with you: I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those. Sylvia Plath

No day is safe from news of you. Sylvia Plath

I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come. Sylvia Plath

I’d say go to hell, but I never want to see you again. Sylvia Plath

I am so busy keeping my head above water that I scarcely know who I am, much less who anyone else is. Sylvia Plath

I wanted to tell you how you are beginning to be the one I can talk to. Sylvia Plath

What have I eaten? Lies and smiles. Sylvia Plath

I remember a blue eye,
A briefcase of tangerines. Sylvia Plath

I would catch sight of some flawless man off in the distance, but as soon as he moved closer I immediately saw he wouldn’t do at all. Sylvia Plath

She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea. Sylvia Plath

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

We all like to think we are important enough to need psychiatrists. Sylvia Plath

I’ve gone quite mad with the accepting of the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, people I can never be. Sylvia Plath

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

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

I sat listlessly on my porch at home, crying over the way summer would not come again – never the same. Sylvia Plath

And so it seems I must always write you letters that I can never send. Sylvia Plath

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

Sylvia Plath Love Heart

I deserve that, don’t I, some sort of blazing love that I can live with. Sylvia Plath

Is anyone anywhere happy? Sylvia Plath

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

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

I kept very still, waiting for a clue that would give me some notion of what to do. Sylvia Plath

Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. Sylvia Plath

So I kiss him, and there is the great dark sea ahead… Sylvia Plath

Love is the bone and sinew of my curse. Sylvia Plath

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

So learn about life. Cut yourself a big slice with the silver server, a big slice of pie. Open your eyes. Let life happen. Sylvia Plath

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

There is a certain unique and strange delight about walking down an empty street alone. Sylvia Plath

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

You’ve only got so long to live. Sylvia Plath

I have the one person I could ever love in this world. Now I must work to be a person worthy of that. Sylvia Plath

You are a dream; I hope I never meet you. Sylvia Plath

Please, I want so badly for the good things to happen. Sylvia Plath

O heart, such disorganization! Sylvia Plath

I may never be happy, but tonight I am content. At times like this I’d call myself a fool to ask for more. Sylvia Plath

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