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by Sylvia Plath

Ariel Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

Stasis in darkness. (1)

The poem begins with a still, even deathly still image. Nothing is moving. All we have is quiet, still darkness.

Quote #2

Berries cast dark

Black sweet blood mouthfuls (11-13)

Nothing is innocent in this poem; even berries have a sense of foreboding to them. The speaker imagines her mouth filling up with blood as she tastes the juice of the berries. This lady's got a pretty serious dark streak.

Quote #3

I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies. (20-21)

In this transformative moment, the speaker imagines herself stripping away the "dead" aspects of her former life—she strips away the body and the rules that are holding her down. After this, she'll be free as a bird (or… horse).