Your Own, Sylvia : A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath

Written by Stephanie Hemphill
Review by Nancy Castaldo

Stephanie Hemphill, a poet in her own right, has fashioned a book of verse worthy of her subject. In chronological poems, she tells the story of the life of poet Sylvia Plath through the eyes of those who knew her well. Readers discover Sylvia’s life as experienced by her college boyfriends, roommates, friends, doctors, and her husband, Ted Hughes. Firsthand we see the struggles she faced juggling her life as a wife, mother and artist. The resulting poems comprise an intimate portrait of her life. Readers cannot help but feel Hemphill’s passion for her subject in what seems to be a work of reverence for her fellow writer. Brief notes offer helpful details to fill in Sylvia’s life. Your Own, Sylvia will find a place beside The Bell Jar on your shelf. Ages 12 and up.