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World Authors Project - Sylvia Plath

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Confessional Poetry

     Sylvia Plath was part of the confessional poetry movement of the mid-twentieth century, most prominent in the fifties and the sixties. The movement emphasizes intimate and unflattering details about the author in order to confess something to the reader.

     Since her poetry touched on personal pain and loneliness, Plath’s poetry was thought to be confessional. Other poets linked to the movement include Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell.

     Lately, speculation has occurred in the labeling of Plath as “confessional.” It is suggested that Plath fantasized her life and tragedy and did not write in complete honestly which would disqualify her status as a confessional poet. It is said that confessional poetry “cures” the writer by passing on the burden of sins to the reader.


World Authors Project - Sylvia Plath - Sarah Zemach