Your Own, Sylvia: a Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill

Sylvia Plath poetry needs to be spoken out loud and listened to.
Her words are sharp as diamonds – a dark necklace that sparkles and cuts at the same time. It is not for the faint of heart.
In 1973, the year I was 20, I was introduced to her work through The Bell Jar.  I read it out loud while traveling with a friend from Kamloops to Vancouver. We were both hooked. I couldn’t stop coming back for more. I read everything of hers I could get my hands on.

This book about her life came to my attention as a runner up for the Michael Printz award (an award for best young adult novels - if you read nothing else, read the books on this list)  
Your Own Sylvia has been around for a while, but I recently found it as an audio book and got it.

I just finished it.

I loved it.
 Hemphill tells Sylvia’s life story in verse. While it is fiction, it is based on real events and real characters. The reader (or in my case) listener gets to know her through the different poetry and different voices of these many characters.  Like Sylvia's life, this book will take you on an emotional roller coaster.  
I was completely enthralled.  
I loved for her.
I hated for her.  
I wept for her. 
Most of all, 
I feared for her.

I loved it.
I learned much more about Sylvia Plath’s life, but at the same time came away wanting to know more.
I was introduced to different categories of poetry. I want to go back and reread Plath’s work to find them. 
I came to understand more profoundly what it meant to be a woman - an incredibly brilliant women during the 40's 50's and 60's.  If she were alive, she would be a year older than my mother.  I am left full of questions to ask my mother about her experiences growing up in those times.

This is a truly glorious book. But alas, not one I will get for our elementary school library. I will however be getting one for my own bookshelf.
I loved it.

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