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Academics have discovered two new Sylvia Plath poems


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Two academics, Gail Crowther and Peter K Steinberg, have discovered new poems written early in Sylvia Plath’s career.  

Both poems have lain undiscovered on a duplicating sheet for nearly 50 years and were found alongside unpublished work by her husband, Ted Hughes, detailing their tumultuous relationship. 

The first of Plath’s new poems, 'To a Refectory Santa Claus', is set in Spain and sees the speaker wishing to escape the English weather - a feeling expereinced by Plath on her honeymoon in Benidorm. 

In contrast, the second poem, 'Megrims', tells the story of a paranoid patient telling their doctor about a range of peculiar incidents incluidng a spider in a coffee cup. 

Although both academics agree that the poetry, as part of her early work, is less developed than the poems she produced later, they nevertheless agree that the imagery is “spectacular”, especially that of the wet, bleak climate of English winters which forms a recurring theme. Crowther also adds that both poems provide a rare insight into Plath's early life when she was still "grappling with personal issues".

In addition to these two new poems, there is also the possiblity that there is at least one, if not more, additional undiscovered poems. Indeed, Steinberg admits that although the chance of such discovery "requires hope and faith, possible delusion" he still has a feeling that "there are caches of paper still to find the light of day”. 

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