Illustration by David Downton
“We decided to stop drinking and spend Sunday at the zoo. It was going nicely until she worked herself up over the observation that it was a horrible thing to cage the animals.
“‘That’s not very profound,’ I said, ‘everybody who goes to the zoo feels that sometime.’
“‘Oh, you cruel bastard,’ she screamed, ‘I’m not everybody!’
“She bellied over the guard rail and flung herself against the bars of the wolves’ cage.
“Three wolves had been circling and as soon as she touched the bar they froze, fur bristling along their spines.
“She had her arms stuck in between the bars up to her shoulders and as much of her face as she could wedge in yelling, ‘Eat me! Eat me!’ to the wolves.”
Sylvia Plath’s sketches: The delicacy and precision of her execution will come as no surprise to fans of Plath’s writing; her mastery of the medium may.