Sylvia Plath is one of the most famous, best-selling, widely anthologized, and universally recognized poets of the twentieth century. Her poems, electric with figurative language and flights of mythic imagination, have thrilled millions of readers and continue to top lists of the most popular and artistically significant poems in American history. Her poetry has earned tens of millions of dollars and continues to sell while most modern poets, even the most celebrated, are read by only a handful of literati.
Plath’s life and work have spawned scores of biographies, plays, critical works, and films. She is widely regarded, along with Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell, as being a founder of the Confessional movement. Her reputation as a feminist, ecologist, novelist, poet, and even mystic is assured in history.
How is it possible that this poet, dead by the age of thirty by her own hand, was able to attain such a magnitude of influence and mastery?
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