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Analysis and comments on Lesbos by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 19 of 32, added on February 7th, 2011 at 9:28 AM.


Comment 18 of 32, added on September 3rd, 2010 at 8:24 AM.

In regard to the last line in the previous comment: It is absurd to say
that Ted Hughes "...did not allow her work to be published until after her
suicide..." Just absurd.

During her lifetime Plath had numerous publications in prestigious
periodicals, had a contract with The New Yorker which required her to give
them a first look at new poems, and had submitted for consideration many of
the Ariel poems before her death.

Hughes' actions can be fairly questioned in regard to other things, but
flatly suppressing her work, not "allowing" her to publish during her
lifetime, is not one of them.

Suzanne from United States
Comment 17 of 32, added on July 12th, 2010 at 4:56 PM.

Sylvia Plath shows her frustration through this poem specifically. She is
hiding the fact that she knows about her husbands mistress, and she feels
the pressures of a married woman with a spirited mind. She is trapped
performing menial jobs such as peeling potatoes and watching her daughter,
who lies on the floor not knowing what is going on except that her poor
kitten has somehow been mangled by the patriarchal figure, in a sense that
is Plath, trapped beneath a patriarchal roof and even thought they are
split up she cannot have an affair like he can, she cannot be free she has
two children to attend to! Plath is such a literary genius it is a shame
that Hughes would not allow her work to published until after her

Mikaela from United States
Comment 16 of 32, added on April 22nd, 2010 at 3:55 PM.

i just dont get the poem :/

laura cortez from United States
Comment 15 of 32, added on March 9th, 2010 at 9:27 PM.

I can't believe how many idiots there are here!
1. learn to spell
2. this poem is NOT about lesbians! It's about Plath insulting and
demeaning her husband for leaving her for his mistress! It's quite obvious!

Jenn from United States
Comment 14 of 32, added on January 4th, 2010 at 5:24 PM.

In her introduction to the restored edition of 'Ariel' Frieda Hughes
mentions this poem as one which Ted Hughes kept out of the original British
edition of Ariel because 'the couple so wickedly depicted in it lived in
Cornwall' and I thought I'd point this out if for no other reason than to
(hopefully) dispel the idea that this poem was about Assia
Wevill--something I'd have argued against long before I reread Lesbos in
the restored 'Ariel' ...obviously a poem belongs to the reader, each
reader, but for heaven's sake, when you read a poem, please try (at least
on a first reading!) to set aside what you know or surmise about the poet!

Castiza from United States
Comment 13 of 32, added on February 9th, 2009 at 11:07 PM.

This poem is pretty much an insult to Assia Wevill, her best friend and
mistress to Ted Hughes, her husband. This poem was written four months
before she died, and the same month that Ted and Sylvia split up.
Literally, its describing a dinner party in which Assia attends, and Sylvia
tries to deny what she knows is true, being the "pathological liar" she
refers to herself as. She can't help but to realize the life her husband
is living, and wants to end it but doesn't know how.

The cool thing about this poem is that it's a combination of an insult to
Ted and Assia, one revelation of the adultery thats been occurring under
her nose, and goodbye to her husband, and a method of self-empowerment and
acceptance telling herself she can live without Ted, despite all he had
done for her writing career.


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Information about Lesbos

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Lesbos
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1962
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 26655 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 5 2007

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