Posts Tagged ‘sylvia plath’


image: via pinterest | a pretty accurate picture of my home

On Bengaluru Review:

Read my review of Sylvia Plath’s short story, “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom” here –

On The Bookish Elf:

Three hours of book shopping and thirty-five books later this piece happened: Yoga for Bookworms

“Any bookworm worth their salt would know that reading books, buying books, and obsessing about books require physical effort. It is not all about flexing those mental muscles to plot twists and climaxes. Reading makes great demands on the body. There’s nothing sedentary about it. Enter yoga, a cure-for-all, book worming included.”



A short story that Sylvia Plath penned as a student at Smith, “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom” takes the reader on a familiar journey marked by the conflict between light and dark. While Plath’s descriptions at times are overdone, the story is ripe with symbolism that is largely expressed through color, the train journey, and the natural views.

The story’s beginning reminded me of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” It too begins innocently enough. The first scene is of Mary boarding a train despite her better judgment. She meets an unnamed woman and over the course of the journey, her will and awareness sharpen and she realizes that she does not want to be on this journey.

While the language lacks the intensity and concision of Plath’s later work, the themes of darkness to light, apathy, and free will are familiar and hold the reader to the story. Though it isn’t one of Plath’s best works, it is relevant as part of the author’s entire body of work and in tracking Plath’s growth as a writer.

Title: Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom
Author: Sylvia Plath
Genre: Short Story, Fiction
Publisher: Faber Stories
ISBN: 978-0-571-35173-2

© Anuradha Prasad 2019


Posted: October 2, 2014 in writings
Tags: , , ,
Image - Off the Internet

Image – Off the Internet

Break into pieces
the bell jar, not spirit
Crush it beneath your feet
Dance on it
Stain the shards
with your blood
Walk in pain if you must
But walk, head held high

Breathe in the salty
summer sea air
Not the quicksand of vapor
Put pen to paper
Cry out your wild despair
Flowing words still the tears
more surely than
the merciless lap of cold steel.

Fling open the door to
where the children sleep
Tousle their hair
Whisper your care
Breathe in the salty
summer sea air.

Call on your muse, your love
Sylvia, Sylvia.
You were all that you needed.

© Anuradha Prasad