For Sylvia Plath’s birthday, an illustrated anatomy of her influences by Wendy MacNaughton for Plath’s meditations on life, death, hope, and happiness

Do you recognize any of your favorites on this illustration? Auden, Gluck, Sexton, and Jong are some of mine; I can definitely see the influence. I need to read more of Ted Hughes’ work–I love his translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses!


“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 was born on this day 82 years ago.


Sylvia Plath’s work has always been an inspiration to me, and she communicates beautifully what it means to be a writer. I’m definitely going to treat myself to a re-read of my favorite poems to celebrate her birthday!