The Life of the Talented Tragic Poet Sylvia Plath Through Amazing Photos

Writer Joyce Carol Oates described Sylvia Plath as “one of the most celebrated and controversial of postwar poets writing in English.” Sylvia Plath was one of the most dynamic and admired poets of the 20th century. When she took her life at 30, Plath had a huge following in the literary community.

Her work attracted the attention of a multitude of readers, who saw in her singular verse an attempt to catalogue despair, violent emotion, and obsession with death.

Beautiful Sylvia Plath during a beach holiday, three years before she met Ted Hughes (1953)

Sylvia Plath was married to another poet Ted Hughes from 1956 until they separated in September 1962. They lived together in the United States and then in England. They had two children, Frieda and Nicholas.

Plath was clinically depressed for most of her adult life. She was treated multiple times with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She committed suicide in 1963. Since her suicide at 30, Sylvia Plath has been celebrated for her impeccable and ruthless poetry.

Let’s take a look to see the life of this talented tragic poet through this collection of photos.

Baby Plath, October 13th, 1933

Plath was about nine months old with her parents Otto and Aurelia, July 1933

Plath as a young child, 1934


Sylvia Plath and her brother Warren in Winthrop, Massachusetts, August 1940

Plath sunbathing in the backyard at 26 Elmwood Road, June 1946

Fifteen-year-old Sylvia Plath in 1947

Plath at the Powley’s country home in East Colrain, Massachusetts, February 1947

Enjoying a cola in 1947

Sylvia Plath, almost seventeen, with her brother Warren and mother in September 1949

Portrait of Syvia Plath in 1949

Sylvia Plath, September 1950

Portrait of Sylvia Plath, 1952

Plath at Smith College, Northampton, Mass in 1952

Plath in her dormitory, Haven House, at Smith College, 1952

Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Cantor at Nauset Beach, Cape Cod, 1952

Sylvia Plath at Cambridge, 1952

Plath with her mother and brother, circa 1952

Blonde Sylvia in 1953

At the beach in 1953

At the beach in 1953

Plath during a beach holiday, three years before she met Ted Hughes, 1953

Sylvia Plath interviewing Elizabeth Bowen for Mademoiselle, summer of 1953

With friend Myron in 1953

With Gordon Lameyer, 1953

Plath with her typewriter, 1953

Sylvia Plath on the Smith College campus, April 1954

At the Quadigras dance, Smith College, May 1954

Sylvia Plath with brown hair, 1954

Sylvia Plath, Spring 1954

Plath as maid of honour, 1955

Portrait of Sylvia Plath at Yale University in 1955

Plath in 1956

Plath in 1956

Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in Paris just after their honeymoon in Benidorm, Spain, 1956

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Yorkshire, England, 1956

Sylvia Plath in Italy, 1956

Sylvia Plath in Italy, 1956

Sylvia Plath with typewriter in Yorkshire, September 1956

Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and his parents, 1956

Plath, 1956

Plath, 1956

Plath, 1956

Ted Hughed and Sylvia Plath, 1956

Sylvia Plath feeding deer in Ontario, Canada, 1959

Plath rowing on Yellowstone Lake, 1959

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in Concord, Massachusetts, December 1959

With her daughter, 1960

Plath in 1960

Plath and her son Nicholas, December 1962

Sylvia Plath and her children at Court Green, fall 1962

Sylvia Plath and her son Nicholas Hughes in Devonshire, December 1962