In 1957, as an English instructor at Smith, [Sylvia Plath] wrote to her brother, “I am simply not a careerwoman, and the sacrifice of energy and lifeblood I’m making for this job is out of all proportion to the good I’m doing in it… I wanted to write first, and being kept apart from writing, from giving myself a chance to really devote myself to developing this ‘spectacular promise’ that the literary editors write me about when they reject my stories, is really very hard.
Also, I don’t like meeting only students and teachers… this life is not the life of a writer… I am needing to apprentice myself to my real trade… how I long to write again! When I’m describing Henry James’s use of metaphor to make emotional states vivid and concrete, I’m dying to be making up my own metaphors. When I hear a professor saying, ‘Yes, the wood is shady, but it’s a green shade -- connotations of sickness, death, etc,’ I feel like throwing up my books and writing my own bad poems and bad stories and living outside the neat, gray secondary air of the university. I don’t like talking about D.H. Lawrence and about critics’ views of him. I like reading him selfishly for an influence on my own life and my own writing.”