May 25, 2020
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
Posted by Stephanie Hemphill

On a bleak February day in 1963 a young American poet died by her own hand, and passed into a myth that has since imprinted itself on the hearts and minds of millions She was and is Sylvia Plath and Your Own, Sylvia is a portrait of her life, told in poems.With photos and an extensive list of facts and sources to round out the reading experience, Your Own, Sylvia is a greOn a bleak February day in 1963 a young American poet died by her own hand, and passed into a myth that has since imprinted itself on the hearts and minds of millions She was and is Sylvia Plath and Your Own, Sylvia is a portrait of her life, told in poems.With photos and an extensive list of facts and sources to round out the reading experience, Your Own, Sylvia is a great curriculum companion to Plath s The Bell Jar and Ariel, a welcoming introduction for newcomers, and an unflinching valentine for the devoted.

  • Title: Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
  • Author: Stephanie Hemphill
  • ISBN: 9780375837999
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Your Own Sylvia A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath On a bleak February day in a young American poet died by her own hand and passed into a myth that has since imprinted itself on the hearts and minds of millions She was and is Sylvia Plath and Y


    I don't feel like this book is deserving of Printz Honor. To write about a poet's life in a form of a series of poems from POV's of people around Sylvia is an interesting exercise, but the final product itself is not satisfying. Stephanie Hemphill is just not that great of a poet. Her best poems in this book are those that are direct imitations of Plath's own works. I caught myself wanting to read Sylvia's poetry rather than Hemphill's. Other poems are written in free verse with no rhythm or rhy [...]


    This book is extraordinary. I have limited shelf space and even when I love a book, it usually goes right out the door as a gift to someone else when I'm done reading. For example - recently I adored THE HUNGER GAMES, gave it five stars here, raved about it but as I compare my reaction to that book with my reaction to this one, well, I happily gave HUNGER GAMES away upon completion, but YOUR OWN, SYLVIA, I will keep and reread. And the book is also going to send me right back to Sylvia Plath's w [...]


    So good. So, so, so good. I thought I would be at a disadvantage because (shame on me BA English, MS Library Science) all I knew about Sylvia Plath was that she wrote poetry, wrote something called The Bell Jar which I was fairly certain (now confirmed) was depressing, and that she killed herself. This book, however, is a great introduction into the world of Sylvia Plath. The author took true events from Sylvia's life and wrote fictionalized accounts of them in verse (it makes sense when you see [...]


    Being an avid reader of online discussions, articles, and interviews regarding feminism, I stumbled upon the name "Sylvia Plath" several times. Because of this, I picked up The Bell Jar as I wanted to find out more about this ever-important authoress of the 20th century. Unfortunately, I did not get far ahead into the book (I hope to be able to read it next year). When we were assigned to read a novel written in verse in my Independent Reading Class, I noticed "Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait [...]


    Written in the style of Plath's most notable work, Hemphill creates a series of original poems influenced by and chronicling the Pulitzer prize-winning poet's childhood until her untimely suicide in 1963. Thorough research - as illustrated by the use of footnotes - illuminates the various themes and issues which arose in Plath's poetry. Hemphill avoids turning the work into a stale biography by using various individuals' point of view - those who were closest to Sylvia - as the voice for half of [...]

    Kate Stericker

    The element of Your Own, Sylvia which I appreciated the most was its accessibility. Each poem is contextualized with a date and narrator at the beginning and followed by an author's note explaining details of Plath's life relevant to the poem. Particularly after reading Wintering, a prose novel about Sylvia Plath which relies on the reader to interpret complex allusions based on their previous knowledge of her life, it was refreshing to have the author guide me through this collection. It also g [...]


    Interesting and creative. Not my favorite poems, but they still painted a picture about Sylvia Plath and I learned a bit more about her.


    I found nothing impressive in this collection. I'll admit that I learned stuff about Sylvia Plath and her family, but those things I read in the lengthy footnotes which explain every little thing so that every ounce of ambiguity would be flushed down the toilet. This isn't a poetry collection or even an insightful point of view--it's an essay written by a die-hard fan. The poems themselves are dull, uncreative, and contrived. They were all one style save for the poems that are "imagining Sylvia [...]


    An interesting and engaging exploration of the life of Sylvia Plath. I did not find the Hemphill's verse sparkled as much in this as in some of her other work, but it was readable and interesting. A good example is "Sylvia", spoken by Assia Wevill, Ted Hughes's mistress for the last part of Ted and Sylvia's marriage: She is poetry,that mother of language,and I am a Gypsy,wandering, thieving what I fancy.She is cunninglike an old watchdog,she sees the scenewithout being present.I am experienced.I [...]


    I have loved Sylvia Plath since I read Ariel and The Bell Jar in high school. This book of poems illustrates Sylvia's short life from various perspectives - her mother, brother, and husband, as well as various ex-boyfriends, roommates, friends, neighbors, therapists, and more. It gave a totally different image of Sylvia than I had imagined, but I suppose I imagined her in more of a psychoanalytic light and never imagined that others might have viewed her as some kind of beautiful celebrity in he [...]

    Cait Lackey

    "Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath" was written in a format that I had never really experienced before. Sylvia Plath is an author and writer that I am familiar with and Stephanie Hemphill created a fictional biography through this book that I think describes Plath's life and family in a very interesting way. I have always liked Sylvia Plath's poetry and other works, and I thought that "Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse" was written in a poetic style that complemented Plath's own writing [...]


    Dawn States Biography Sylvia Plath, beloved young adult author, poet, and dreamer is beautifully captured in this book of her life. The book is rendered in an unusual way, which befits Sylvia. Instead of a traditional biography, it is all written in poetry, some of which is designed to resemble poems that Sylvia wrote. The book has footnotes at the bottom of some of the pages to help fill in dates and facts that would not fit in the poems. This book is a great tribute to Sylvia and anyone who en [...]


    Whoo hoo! Today it won a Printz Honor! I just finished this last week, and if I had read this last year (a few days ago at this point) it would have definitely been on my 2007Favorites shelf! It was hard to get ahold of in libraries, though, and my hold was just filled a few days ago. Hopefully it'll win awards later this month and become more widely available (YES! It did!). It's an extremely balanced and wonderfully researched look at Plath's tumultous life. I had only read THE BELL JAR, and s [...]


    This was a very unique book and I absolutely loved it! I thought she did an excellent job with the poems and I really enjoyed learning some new things about Sylvia. The one thing that irks me, and it has nothing to do with the actual book itself, is that it is listed as young adult. Why the hell is it listed like that? To me a book that is listed YA means that it is more geared towards that age group. As an adult I tend to stay away from YA books, but I see absolutely no reason why this one shou [...]


    I tend to be skeptical of novels-in-verse, or in this case, biography-in-verse, but I'm not sure why since I always end up enjoying them. Well, saying I enjoyed this would be a bit of a stretch, but it was a fascinating read and easy to get swept up in. I came out the other side feeling incredibly sane and healthy and happy, but thinking a bit about what makes people turn out the way they do and how writing intersects with life. There's a great section at the end on the author's process of writi [...]


    Gabrielle BollandPoetryYour Own, Sylvia, is a collection of poetry written by Sylvia Plath and those who knew her. The poems were haunting, and sad. Her life was always one of sadness and great trials. Poems from her parents, teachers, friends, and old boy friends give an insight to what others thought of Sylvia. There are even some poems from her husband. With each poem the reader is shown another layer of Sylvia and stepping one-step closer to her death. There’s a bittersweet feeling about a [...]


    I listened to the audiobook.And I think I liked it more this way. It's multivoiced, with different readers reading the in-between and the poems add a texture. Having just read The Bell Jar, it was interesting getting some context. Poor Sylvia! It would be interesting to know how different her life would be in a different time, but then we didn't save David Foster Wallace either. I know want to see thaat Gwyneth Paltrow movie.And maybe read the book to see why it was deemed Printz-worthy. :-)

    Erin Vance

    This book was beautiful. It's one of the best YA books I've ever read, and I think provides a balanced portrayal of Sylvia for readers who find morbid fascination with her life and death. Most of the biographical or scholarly work I've read about Sylvia was written by men, so I found this to be an incredibly empathetic, creative, and honest portrayal of the writer and woman.

    Kelly A

    I never went through a Plath phase, even though I was the very portrait of someone who should have, with my obsession for dead artists and lifelong struggle with depression. This book makes me feel I was robbed, in a way.


    I'm not a poetry buff, and I haven't read any of Slyvia Plath's poems. This book, however, has encouraged me to read some of it as well as biographies on her and to reread The Bell Jar. Why not depress myself? :)

    The Loft

    This is beautifully written and offers a more balanced perspective of the poet's life than many other biographies.


    I was drawn to Prozac Nation, Girl, Interrupted, and of course, The Bell Jar -- so this naturally suited me. Hemphill did her research (what little can be done) and wrote some great poetry.


    Told through verse interpretations of the people who populated her life, the short and tumultuous life of Sylvia Plath unfolds in Stephanie Hemphill's Your Own, Sylvia. From her mother's observations of the birth of her firstborn to the boys she dated in high school, the various doctors she saw over the course of her life and her husband Ted Hughes, famous in his own right, and the observations of those around her in the twilight of her life, it is this variety of fictionalized accounts that all [...]

    geri chesner

    Really enjoyed this book. Sadly, I had no information about Sylvia Plath (other than knowing she was a poet/writer who committed suicide) and had never read any of her work. The poetry format made it accessible and an enjoyable format for a peek into who Sylvia was and what she achieved from the perspective of those who loved her and were a part of her life. The best part, however, were the annotations for each of the poems as Hemphill provided the context for each poem. This is where I really f [...]


    I didn't find anything particularly extraordinary about this collection of poetry and certainly didn't find it deserving of the Michael L. Printz award nomination. The concept of compiling poetry that paints a biographical portrait of Sylvia Plath was a really interesting idea, but I thought many of the poems were incredibly bland. In fact, the only poems that had substance were the ones that mimicked Plath herself. Did I learn things about Sylvia Plath's life? Yes. Did this collection spawn a b [...]

    Colleen Graves

    a. Hemphill, Stephanie. 2007. YOUR OWN, SYLVIA. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780329758790b. I’ve been intrigued with Sylvia Plath since I was a moody, depressed 17 year old reading The Bell Jar. Her semi-autobiographical novel describing shock therapy in an insane asylum really got to me as an awkward teenager. Fast-forward 15 years to the present, and now I’m teaching her poetry in my classroom. We read and analyze “Daddy,” and my students are always shocked that poetry can be so em [...]

    Hannah Klein

    This historical fiction in presented in a differt way. It is written in poems and draws on Plath's writing and through nonfiction sources, descrbing Hemphill's interpretation of Plath's life from birth to death in which she comitted suicide at 30 years old. The poems are written chronologically and is about an expereicence of Sylvia Plath's life. They are told from the perspective and voice of different family members, or other people she knew. There is an addendum after each poem the explains t [...]

    Alicia Weaver

    An interesting verse novel about the life of Sylvia Plath. The story is told from various perspectives of the people in her life at the time. The author used research from others about Plath to develop the plot and mimicked Plath's own poetry style at that time in her life to create the poems. I feel intrigued enough from this book to read The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiography about her struggle with depression.


    That was too heavy for pre-Hanukkah party reading. I just want to go back to bed now. I don't think I'll be able to eat any donuts, or sing around this lump in my throat. And I can't believe anybody dared to destroy her words, her letters. Anyway. Men are the rocks upon which we destroy ourselves and nothing ever changes and I'd rather be alone.

    Nicholas Darlinton

    I was initially resistant to the format. But I was immediately swept into how engaging this collection of poems that captures Sylvia's life and writing life were. It was awesome and absolutely achieved its duel purposes of informing me of Sylvia's life and of creating a deep desire to read her poetry.

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      Posted by:Stephanie Hemphill
      Published :2019-04-27T05:11:09+00:00