The Weekly Text, 11 March 2022, Women’s History Month 2022 Week II: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Sylvia Plath

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for the second Friday of Women’s History Month 2022 is this reading on Sylvia Plath and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

I cannot think of Sylvia Plath, or hear her name for that matter, without thinking of the scene in Annie Hall  in which Woody Allen (and yes, I am well aware that Woody Allen is for good reason in bad odour these days, which, alas, does not change my assessment of Annie Hall as one of the great American films), playing comedy writer Alvy Singer and visiting Annie Hall’s apartment (Diane Keaton, whose real name is Diane Hall–probably not a coincidence–plays Annie). Alvy (Allen) picks up a copy of Ms. Plath’s Ariel and remarks, “Interesting poetess, whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college-girl mentality.”

I’ve not read Ariel, published in 1965 two years after Ms. Plath’s death, which I’d wrongly assumed was her sole volume of verse. In researching this post, however, I learned that she published in 1960 The Colossus and Other Poems. Many years ago, while still possessed of callow literary sensibilities, I did read The Bell Jar, which I recall as at once humane, bitter, and mordant. Did you know Ms. Plath originally published this roman a clef under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas? I didn’t until I did the preliminary work for this post. In any event, if you happen to stumble across a first edition of the book with a dust jacket, it is worth relatively serious money, as the article under the foregoing link explains.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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