The mother of so much: Sylvia Plath

From The Guardian:

Plath1 Sylvia Plath was the first poet to write great poetry about childbirth. Her suicide at the age of 30 made her a legend, but she left a legacy far richer than the story of her tragic death. Her poetry is appalling but it is also exhilarating. She embodied a seismic shift in consciousness which enabled us to feel and think as we do today, and of which she was a supremely vulnerable and willing casualty. She changed our world.

In 1953, while still at college, she had a mental breakdown culminating in a suicide attempt and was treated with ECT, an experience which, like her father’s death, was to provide her with a store of images, and which she describes in her one novel, The Bell Jar. She recovered to make the fateful journey to England where, in Cambridge, she met Ted Hughes, whom she married in 1956. Their careers collided in a period of creativity and mutual inspiration; they were acknowledged as the stars of their generation. Their work was primal, visceral, intensely physical. Technically accomplished, both wrote from the body, not the head.

More here.