I'm very interested by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.There are the obvious reasons but also I feel ,rightly or wrongly an affinity, a connection.
Sylvia was the first poet I ever came across, ok , she was in her grave, but still. I was in Heptonstall with Miss EEjit and had never heard of Sylvia (or any poet) and Miss E had to explain to me who she was.It was shortly after thast I started writing poems.
Something about that place always stayed with me.I've been back once since, but would love to go again.
As for Ted, Birthday letters is perhaps the best book of poetry I've ever read.Ok there aren't many in my list, but still.
And here is a clip of Ted reading Sylvia's poetry , just reading it. How does that feel for him, reading his dead wife's poetry , a poetry above or beyond or behind the shadow of his own,the world looking, listening? What degree of responsibility does he apportion himself , how does it feel? Does he read her poetry as another poet or as the poets husband?Though totally different, paradoxically, I'm struck by the similarities in their delivery, Sylvia though American sounds (almost grand) English in many ways, Ted pure Yorkshire, and yet......
I have my own opinions but all is speculation.Both are now dead, but what a story, what a legacy. Ted's mistress Assia Wevill also gassed herself and their young daughter.Ted and Sylvia's own son, Nicholas, commited suicide earlier this year.Ted and Sylvia gave themselves totally to poetry, they did as it bid.They gave us a lot from poetry but they, and those around them, paid a high price.