The Colossus and Other Poems

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First edition, 1960

The Colossus and Other Poems is a poetry collection by American poet Sylvia Plath, first published by William Heinemann, in 1960.


The 44 poems presented here are in the published order.[1] It should be noted, however, that the below list contains the poems published in the US version of the collection, which omits several poems from the original UK edition, including most of the seven sections of "Poem for a Birthday", only two of which ("Flute Notes from a Reedy Pond" and "The Stones") are included in the US edition.

  1. "The Manor Garden"
  2. "Two Views of a Cadaver Room"
  3. "Night Shift"
  4. "Sow"
  5. "The Eye-mote"
  6. "Hardcastle Crags"
  7. "Faun"
  8. "Departure"
  9. "The Colossus"
  10. "Lorelei"
  11. "Point Shirley"
  12. "The Bull of Bendylaw"
  13. "All the Dead Dears"
  14. "Aftermath"
  15. "The Thin People"
  16. "Suicide Off Egg Rock"
  17. "Mushrooms"
  18. "I Want, I Want"
  19. "Watercolor of Grantchester Meadows"
  20. "The Ghost's Leavetaking"
  21. "A Winter Ship"
  22. "Full Fathom Five"
  23. "Blue Moles"
  24. "Strumpet Song"
  25. "Man in Black"
  26. "Snakecharmer"
  27. "The Hermit at Outermost House"
  28. "The Disquieting Muses"
  29. "Medallion"
  30. "The Companionable Ills"
  31. "Moonrise"
  32. "Spinster"
  33. "Frog Autumn"
  34. "Mussel Hunter at Rock Harbor"
  35. "The Beekeeper's Daughter"
  36. "The Times Are Tidy"
  37. "The Burnt-out Spa"
  38. "Sculptor"
  39. "Flute Notes from a Reedy Pond"
  40. "The Stones"

Critical reception[edit]

Prominent journalist, poet and literary critic for The Observer newspaper, Al Alvarez, called the posthumous re-release of the book, after the success of Ariel, a "major literary event" and wrote of Plath's work:

"She steers clear of feminine charm, deliciousness, gentility, supersensitivity and the act of being a poetess. She simply writes good poetry. And she does so with a seriousness that demands only that she be judged equally seriously... There is an admirable no-nonsense air about this; the language is bare but vivid and precise, with a concentration that implies a good deal of disturbance with proportionately little fuss."[2]

Seamus Heaney said of The Colossus: "On every page, a poet is serving notice that she has earned her credentials and knows her trade." [3]


  1. ^ Plath, Sylvia (1987) The Colossus Faber and Faber ISBN 0-571-09864-9
  2. ^ Plath, Sylvia. The Colossus and Other Poems, Faber and Faber, 1967.
  3. ^ Heaney, Seamus. "The Indefatigable Hoof-taps: Sylvia Plath." The Government of the Tongue. NY: Faber, 1988, p. 154.