Sylvia committed suicide in 1963 and is buried in the graveyard there, high on a hill overlooking the steep wooded valleys where Ted grew up, and found inspiration for his poetry.
Her grave has become something of a shrine. Yesterday I stood with a friend (who co-incidentally comes from the same part of the US as Sylvia) in the pouring rain, studying the wilting flowers, little goddess figures, polished pebbles and all sorts of other odds and ends that people had left, but the main image that has stuck in my mind was the big pot of pens tucked in beside the headstone. Old pens, new pens, cheap pens, and some that could have been relatively expensive. Their value, though, wasn’t in what they may or may not have cost originally, but in the fact that someone had put each one there as a tribute to Sylvia Plath. And I wonder too, how many of those people were also budding poets, who whispered a little message asking the woman lying in the grave for inspiration.