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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Relat­ed Con­tent

Hear Sylvia Plath Read 50+ of Her Dark, Com­pelling Poems

Hear Sylvia Plath Read Fif­teen Poems From Her Final Col­lec­tion, Ariel, in 1962 Record­ing

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Sylvia Plath, Girl Detec­tive Offers a Hilar­i­ous­ly Cheery Take on the Poet’s Col­lege Years

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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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