“I drink sherry and wine by myself because I like it and I get the sensuous feeling of indulgence…luxury, bliss, erotic-tinged.”
The Colossus and Other Poems, The Bell Jar, Ariel
Sylvia Plath's Biography
Sylvia Plath was an American poet and novelist, best known for her poetry collections and the semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar. Her work dealt with numerous eclectic themes, including nature, death, and personal confession, and she’s considered by many to be a pioneer of confessional poetry. Plath suffered from clinical depression throughout her life, and committed suicide in 1963.
Though she only lived to be 30 years old, Plath led an extraordinary life, distinguishing herself as a poet and prose writer by her mid-20s. However, it was not until the posthumous publication of the poetry collection Ariel in 1965 that she was recognized as one of the great poets of the 20th century. She was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1982 for her Collected Poems.
Sylvia Plath wrote often about drinking, both in her prose and her journals, specifically mentioning her love of sherry. Aside from admitting that she enjoyed an “immense amount of it” on occasion, she also waxed lyrical about the drink: “I drink sherry and wine by myself because I like it and I get the sensuous feeling of indulgence…luxury, bliss, erotic-tinged.” She was also known to sip Martinis with her friend and fellow poet Anne Sexton. In a story as tragic as hers, we can at least take heart that she found joy in such simple pleasures.
Sylvia Plath Quotes
"I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike."