A 30 year-old woman describes with chilling power her three suicide attempts. She compares herself to a cat with nine lives and to a concentration camp victim; yet "dying / is an art . . . / I do it exceptionally well." The doctors/men that save her are the enemy, and she warns them to "beware."


This is one of the poems which made Plath famous posthumously, written during the last half year of her life, before she succeeded in killing herself at age 31. The poems are brilliant, angry, energetic and highly personal (confessional). They may provide insight into the frame of mind of a conflicted, talented woman attempting to make her mark during the period before "woman's lib."

Primary Source



Harper & Row

Place Published

New York