It Should Have Ended With Bees

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Plath chose to end her Ariel with four of the five-poem sequence Hughes buried in the middle, the so-called “bee poems.”

When Sylvia Plath died, her husband Ted Hughes rearranged the poems in Ariel, Plath’s most famous collection, to reflect his wife’s biographical arc, thus putting the darker writing at the end. Turns out that’s not the way the book was intended: Plath wanted her more optimistic “bee poems” as an ending, reports Katie Kilkenny at the Atlantic.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →