Excerpt from the New Yorker’s Page-Turner:
The feeling that “Ariel” is a discovery, a revelation, has never really faded. For me, it is the great book of earliest morning—the “substanceless blue” of predawn, as the gathering light reveals a world of sense—data previously obscured. Many poets have prized that hour of the day for its clarity, for the clamor of the dawn chorus, or because of its vestigial associations with prayer. Plath took these essentially languorous, and deeply male, associations and added her own stopwatch urgency.
Read the full here.