dirac

Ted Hughes letters

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Newly published letters by Ted Hughes, in The Telegraph, with links to a recording and video.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml...it/boted106.xml

[…] The Feast of Lupercal was a Roman festival held on 15th of February, in honour of Zeus as a Wolf. […]

It’s strange how since the title occurred to me an entire vision of life seems to have grown up for me around the notion of God as the devourer — as the mouth & gut, which is brainless & the whole of evil, & from which we can only get certain concessions. […]

When I look through them, almost all the poems I have in this batch are about nothing else but this. God, the Creator, isn’t protective love, but simply absolute power – the irrefutable authority of the need to devour to live […]

It is basically a simple family situation.

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Thanks Dirac, for posting that. I can no longer access The Telegraph - they want money - but somehow a link like this works.

Anyway, recently I bought The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath in a book sale. In Swedish unfortunately, but it was cheap. It would be most interesting to read these two books side by side, it is quite a hefty tome, 863 pages. I havent had time to read it yet, just dipped into it here and there. She seemed definitely unhinged and for that matter so did he. Such tragic lives.

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Thanks Dirac, for posting that. I can no longer access The Telegraph - they want money - but somehow a link like this works.

Anyway, recently I bought The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath in a book sale. In Swedish unfortunately, but it was cheap. It would be most interesting to read these two books side by side, it is quite a hefty tome, 863 pages. I havent had time to read it yet, just dipped into it here and there. She seemed definitely unhinged and for that matter so did he. Such tragic lives.

Glad to be of service. :bow: I have always liked Hughes' poetry, apart from any considerations of Le Mariage. I've seen other letters written by him and he generally comes across as a most attractive personality on the page. In life he seems to have been the same, apart from a chronic inability to keep it in his pants, a not uncommon failing. I've never read Plath's journals except in quoted excerpts -- have tried not to, in fact.....

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I don’t want ever to be forgiven. I don’t mean that I shall become a public shrine of mourning and remorse, I would sooner become the opposite. But if there is an eternity, I am damned in it.
I was the one could have helped her, and the only one that couldn’t see that she really needed it this time. No doubt where the blame lies.

Reminds me of a poem he wrote later in life, in which he goes to the underworld, Orpheus-like, and sees Sylvia. And she tells him (in the poem), "This time, don't fail me." :bow:

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Yes, but - there is always residual guilt after a loved one dies, especially when the loved one is a suicide, and such admissions should be taken in that context.

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Oh no I'm not blaming Hughes. I'm just saying that it must have been horrible to carry around that guilt his entire life. Judging by "Birthday Letters" and some other poems that guilt never left him.

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A sad note: Nicholas Hughes, the son of Hughes and Plath, has killed himself.

Her brother never resurfaced in the same way, but his life had also moved on. A family friend said last night: “Nick wasn’t just the baby son of Plath and Hughes and it would be wrong to think of him as some kind of inevitably tragic figure. He was a man who reached his mid-forties, an adventurous marine biologist with a distinguished academic career behind him and a host of friends and achievements in his own right. That is the man who is mourned by those who knew him.”

Frieda Hughes was travelling to Alaska yesterday but said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow that I must announce the death of my brother, Nicholas Hughes, who died by his own hand on Monday 16th March 2009 at his home in Alaska. He had been battling depression for some time.”

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