Hear Sylvia Plath’s Barely-Known Radio Play, Three Women

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

Over the years, we’ve let you hear Sylvia Plath reading many of her poems, all written before she took her life at the age of 30. What you likely haven’t heard — until today — is Three Women, one of Plath’s lesser-known pieces of writing. “Originally written as a radio verse drama for three voices,” notes The Guardian, the play “was broadcast in 1962 on the BBC Third Programme and later included in Winter Trees, a poetry collection first published in 1971.” “With its themes of pregnancy, birth, miscarriage and adoption, it perfectly encapsulates the experience of becoming – or not becoming – a mother, including all the ecstasy and terror of childbirth.” Below you can hear a recording with actress Judith Binder as the wife, Ann Bernstein as the secretary, and Rachelle Towers as the girl. The program is made available on Archive.org by Pacifica Radio Archives. Find more Sylvia Plath audio in our collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

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  • MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel says:

    I have just found out that my daughter-in-law is pregnant with our first grandchild! But since she’s only ten weeks along, she and our son don’t want us to tell anyone. I am about to burst with excitement and fear.

  • Marl CA says:

    My very best wishes to you – it’s now 15Sep2021 – and a time when I should not be on the computer. However, for some reason, I am here – and found you, as I listen to Three Women by Sylvia Plath.

    When my d-i-l was pregnant, she told me “I only want my family involved” so my being 3,000 miles away made that rather easy and phone calls were not welcomed – if she answered, she handed the phone to my son; if he answered, my “hi, how are you?” was met with his snary ‘What do you mean by that?!”

    Alas, he did call to tell me the baby had to be taken by C-Section in her 7th month – and did not live long after holding his daddy’s finger and left to go back to whence he came.

    Fast forward: the next year another child was born but no one let me know – and 6 years after that his third child was born – I was also not informed.

    A few years later, I did a Search of the Internet and found the d-i-l’s picture and a separate picture of two cute children. I copied the photo and sent it to my daughter with “Children?” and her response was “Yes.” So …

    I am in my 80s and undoubtedly will never get to meet those children … and so I am happy for you and hope you will be acceptable to your d-i-l so you can see their children as your grands!

    Amen! and {{{Hugs}}}

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