Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual
Author: Kathleen Connors, Sally Bayley, Sylvia Plath
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: December 01, 2007
Here is the first book to bring long-overdue attention to Sylvia Plath's surprisingly accomplished visual art and to place that art in relation to her literary career. Plath trained as a studio artist before her sophomore year at Smith and her work in tempera and watercolor paintings, pastels, ink, crayon and pencil drawings, and other media reveals a talent that both complements and illuminates her genius as a writer.
Eye Rhymes brings together essays by six Plath scholars-including renowned authors Diane Middlebrook, Landgon Hammer and Christiana Britzolakis, book editors Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley, and Fan Jinghua-and contextualizes approximately sixty of Plath's visual works within her writing oeuvre, starting with juvenilia that reveal the extensive play between her two disciplines. Special attention is given to Plath's unpublished teen diaries and book reports containing drawings and early textual experiments, created years before her famous "I am I" diary notes of age seventeen, when critical examination of her writing usually begins. The book offers new critical approaches to the artist's multidimensional output, including writing that appropriates sophisticated visual and color effects years after painting and drawing became her hobby and writing her chosen profession. The essays gathered here also relate Plath's visual art interests to her early identity as a writer in Cambridge, her teen artwork and writing on war, mid-career "art poems" on the works of de Chirico, her representations of womanhood within mid-century commercial culture, and her visual aesthetics in poetry.
Filled with stunning reproductions of her art and fresh readings of many of her most important poems, Eye Rhymes offers readers a new way of understanding the full range of Plath's creative expression.