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Birthday Letters By Ted Hughes Birthday Letters Formerly Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II the late Ted Hughes is recognized as one of the few contemporary poets whose work has mythic scope and power And few episodes in postwar literatur

  • Title: Birthday Letters
  • Author: Ted Hughes
  • ISBN: 9780374525811
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Paperback
  • Birthday Letters By Ted Hughes Formerly Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II, the late Ted Hughes 1930 98 is recognized as one of the few contemporary poets whose work has mythic scope and power And few episodes in postwar literature have the legendary stature of Hughes s romance with, and marriage to, the great American poet Sylvia Plath.The poems in Birthday Letters are addressed with just two exceFormerly Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II, the late Ted Hughes 1930 98 is recognized as one of the few contemporary poets whose work has mythic scope and power And few episodes in postwar literature have the legendary stature of Hughes s romance with, and marriage to, the great American poet Sylvia Plath.The poems in Birthday Letters are addressed with just two exceptions to Plath, and were written over a period of than twenty five years, the first a few years after her suicide in 1963 Some are love letters, others haunted recollections and ruminations In them, Hughes recalls his and Plath s time together, drawing on the powerful imagery of his work animal, vegetable, mythological as well as on Plath s famous verse.Countless books have discussed the subject of this intense relationship from a necessary distance, but this volume at last offers us Hughes s own account Moreover, it is a truly remarkable collection of poems in its own right.
    Birthday Letters By Ted Hughes

    • ☆ Birthday Letters ñ Ted Hughes
      Ted Hughes

    About "Ted Hughes"

    1. Ted Hughes

      Edward James Hughes was an English poet and children s writer, known as Ted Hughes His most characteristic verse is without sentimentality, emphasizing the cunning and savagery of animal life in harsh, sometimes disjunctive lines.The dialect of Hughes s native West Riding area of Yorkshire set the tone of his verse At Pembroke College, Cambridge, he found folklore and anthropology of particular interest, a concern that was reflected in a number of his poems In 1956 he married the American poet Sylvia Plath The couple made a visit to the United States in 1957, the year that his first volume of verse, The Hawk in the Rain, was published Other works soon followed Hughes stopped writing poetry almost completely for nearly three years following Plath s suicide in 1963 the couple had separated earlier , but thereafter he published prolifically, often in collaboration with photographers and illustrators, as in Under the North Star 1981 He wrote many volumes for children, including Remains of Elmet 1979 , in which he recalled the world of his childhood From 1965 he was co editor of the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation in London Some of Hughes s essays on subjects of literary and cultural criticism were published as Winter Pollen 1994 After decades of silence on the subject of his marriage to Plath, Hughes addressed it in the poems of Birthday Letters 1998 In 1984 he was appointed Britain s poet laureate.Ted Hughes was the father of Frieda Hughes and the brother of Gerald Hughes.

    532 thoughts on “Birthday Letters”

    1. 88 What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want.When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking Is this the one I am too appear for,Is this the elect one, the one with black eye pits and a scar Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus,Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules.Is this the one for the annunciation My god, what a laugh But it shimmers, it does not s [...]


    2. I need to get something off my chest with this one I d read Birthday Letters a few years ago, I guess when I was first getting into Plath and was not particularly interested in the warzone of the Plath Hughes legacy I also didn t really give much thought to poetry at the time if it was pretty or vaguely shocking, I d nod and think, Well, look how smart I am, for reading this So I think I let Hughes off the hook last time and I should clarify to say that I don t hate Hughes poetry I m not familia [...]


    3. Ted Hughes has an uncomfortable place in the room where Sylvia Plath killed herself and another in the room where his next wife, Assia Wevill, killed herself and their only daughter he was the gas, he was the ovens, or he was the mark to which the the dial was turned Maybe he was the sealed doors InBirthday Lettershe places himself in and around that first room, Plath s room And those places are horrifying, those he occupies and also those spaces he seems to have to leave empty.


    4. Some of the poetry in this novel is absolutely amazing and gripping, others in my opinion not so much There does seem to be some, for lack of a better phrase, filler Either way it s still a good collection with a lot of creativity to it.


    5. I wanted to hate this I ve read enough by Sylvia Plath to know that I love her I ve read enough about her relationship with Ted Hughes to know that I hate him What bullshit is that Of course I know nothing about either of them I know what s been written of their marriage, it s breakdown and the next chapter of suicides in Ted s life That tells me nothing What I read in this collection was rawness of love and loss His side of their relationship Was it any truer than the accusations that followed [...]


    6. Given Hughes notorious reluctance to speak about his volatile marriage to Sylvia Plath, this collection came as a shock when it appeared in 1998 Comprising poems written since Plath s suicide in 1963 this is both intimate and a public dialogue, a way of speaking back to Plath, her poems, and also the world which sometimes turned Hughes into a patriarchal monster of a husband.The best of the poems draw on Plath s own works, re using her texts, titles, imagery and language to offer Hughes side of [...]


    7. Ted Hughes wrote Birthday Letters across his life and published it shortly before his death Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath had once been married and divorced before Plath committed suicide This anthology of poetry is as a result a collection of poems addressing Plath as you like a letter, a response to her Ariel as seen in the references to ariel and bees in various poems One problem of criticism of the poetry however, is a criticism that haunts many books unfairly That this is merely about Plath a [...]



    8. I m not actually a huge fan of Ted Hughes as a writer.As a human being whose life and misdeeds are basically publicly property I have no comment.I like this, I m almost afraid to say, because it is ugly Self justifying and painful and tender and unpleasant An raw mixture of unspeakable things.



    9. My last review for a book of poetry Plath s Ariel was only a few lines long Perhaps it was because I was tired, I d just written another review or, the plausible, I was scared of reviewing poetry Poetry is not something you casually bring up with your mates after a few beers or during a penniless poker game because chances are that they couldn t care less Or, you just don t want to sound like a fool My reason was the latter I was convinced that to review poetry one is required to have a fancy v [...]


    10. A new soul, still not understanding, Thinking it is still your honeymoon In the happy world, with your whole life waiting, Happy, and all your poems still to be found In Birthday Letters Ted Hughes offers 88 responses to Sylvia Plath in chronological order, beginning when he first met her, following her 1963 suicide and the years after as he raised their two children amidst the legend his wife left behind following her early death Although I knew both Plath and Hughes were poets, I had never man [...]


    11. I read this alongside the Feinstein biography of Hughes, which was illuminating i d recommend doing the same as it helps place the locations and events that inspired the poetry The collection is raw in places and reflective in others, frequently nail on the head brilliant He s a poet who teaches that the big fancy words aren t what s always needed wet shops God, can you think of a better description of Yorkshire the canteen clutter of the British restaurant this is pre coffee shop time but never [...]


    12. This was a reread I ve read a lot of Hughes in the 10 years since I first read it, his poetic memoir of his and Plath s life together Enjoyed it , I think, saw in it, being 10 years improved as a reader Some of these poems are beautiful Some are powerful One or two are elegant Many of them see their relationship in cosmic terms, a treatment I like a lot Toward the end they spiral into the surreal as if they follow the arc of her madness Like everyone else I was gobsmacked by Ariel, the poems sh [...]


    13. The freezing soilOf the garden, as I clawed it.All around me that midnight sGiant clock of frost And somewhereInside it, wanting to feel nothing,A pulse of fever SomewhereInside that numbness of the earthOur future trying to happen.I look up as if to meet your voiceWith all its urgent futureThat has burst in on me Then look backAt the book of the printed words.You are ten years dead It is only a story.


    14. I read this because I am teaching a postwar American fiction class this spring and we are reading Sylvia Plath s The Bell Jar and some of her poetry for the class I hadn t wanted to read it so much, I hadn t wanted to revisit my anguished feelings about her life and poetry prior to her suicide, but I had given the enrolled students a chance to choose novels from this period, and some of the class wanted to read it, so I added it Then, I recalled never having read this book by Ted Hughes, her for [...]


    15. Ugh, what a chore this was to get through I ve read random Hughes poems before and have liked them, so I was surprised and disappointed that I did not like this collection at all Where to begin Maybe with You had a fever You had a real ailment This was the condescending tone that Hughes employed throughout many of his poems I am sure he had a very complicated relationship with Plath, and being involved with someone with mental illness is very challenging and I can imagine the anger I d feel for [...]


    16. Picked this up at the library after viewing the 2003 biopic Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig as Literature Kingdom s second best star crossed angel handed demon scratched lovers Very intriguing how again and again Hughes fetishizes Plath s apple pie eating, horseback riding blonde tall muttmix Americaness as some sort of alluring alien Otherness we in the New World might as well be stepping down from a hovering silvership when we she, really, she, pretty Plutonian Plath visit ed [...]


    17. maybe one day i will revisit these poems with a comprehensive biographical knowledge maybe one day i will join the mythological dots to form a constellation of further meaning that i cannot, at this moment, with my fragmented and disjointed understanding fully discern maybe one day i will approach these poems as things to be understood, rather than experienced but not this time, my first time reading them i have gathered only impressions, brief glimpses of memory, resonating with guilt and sadn [...]



    18. Ted Hughes is definitely now one of my favourite poets and I look forward to reading of his work I m sure a lot of these poems flew right over my head but I look forward to retreading this collection and learning about his life


    19. I feel like Plath has become a becon for many women writers, and Hughes is cast as the villain in her life, the man holding the knife This collection finally gives readers access to his perspective Through his lens, we see Plath s unpredictability, self loathing, and the pressure she put on him he was her lightning rod In particular, I loved his verson of the Rabbit Catcher, as that is my favorite of Plath s poems, and his take on it brings the story to fascinating new light I enjoyed the way Hu [...]



    20. I noticed that my understanding of these poems is far better seven years after I first read them I felt less like I needed to study them than I once did The rawness of the emotion and the sometimes startlingly clear biographical references make these very important poems The best poems in this collection are, in my opinion The Shot , Fullbright Scholars , Freedom of Speech , Isis , Being Christ like , Epiphany , Setebos , The Tender Place , and Telos There is a beautiful line in Fidelity Everyth [...]


    21. Drawing calmed you Your poker infernal pen Was like a branding iron Objects Suffered into their new presence, tortured Into final position I like two or three of the than eighty poems here But in general I find Ted Hughes an abominable figure and this aestheticized denigration of Sylvia Plath distasteful For instance What I remember Is thinking She ll do something crazy And I ripped the door open and jumped in beside you Most unfortunate is the fact that Plath can no longer speak for her side, [...]


    22. I know a lot about Plath Like many women, I discovered her as a teenager The Bell Jar was on a required summer reading list for my high school, and I loved it at the time I started reading her poetry, then her unabridged journals, then the published collection of her letters to her mother, the collection of essays and short fiction Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts, then all the biographies I could find Even the verse fictionalization of her life, Winte [...]


    23. I really liked about 80% of these poems The other 20% just didn t interest me, perhaps because they were so specific that I couldn t grasp Hughes intent I loved the way in which Hughes used this book as sort of a good bye to Sylvia Though everybody has their theories about the reason behind her suicide, and no one can necessarily say Ted was a good husband, I have to admit that I found a good handful of the poems quite romantic They were tragic, yes, but I do think, despite Ted s screwed up ways [...]


    24. Intrigerend po tisch getuigenis van Hughes over zijn relatie met Plath Na haar zelfmoord had hij 35 jaar gezwegen en zich ook niet willen verdedigen tegen de vele publicaties vooral vanuit feministische hoek waarin Plath een slachtoffer werd genoemd van de onmens Hughes Deze uitgebreide bundel, verschenen in 1998, toont een heel andere Hughes die misschien wel fouten heeft gemaakt, maar heel veel van haar heeft gehouden en die met bovenmenselijk geduld geprobeerd heeft haar psychiatrische angste [...]


    25. I m sure that many Plath fans will have read Birthday Letters and wished that they could have been a fly on the wall of Sylvia and Ted s marriage This collection of reflective and emotionally charged poetry will be the closest any of us will come to gaining such a private insight Although it s painfully clear in these works that Hughes loved Plath dearly, there s also an uneasy tone of sadness and judgement which made some of the poems especially difficult to read Birthday Letters is a book that [...]


    26. Ted Hughes can do no wrong, poetically speaking, in my mind However I only gave 4 stars instead of the 5 I usually give to all his works, because I feel these poems don t quite match up to the lyrical intensity of his wildlife focused poems of either his youth Lupercal, Crow or his older, wiser age Wolfwatching These poems are remembrances of his former life many if not all with S Plath and as such they can t really steer clear of sentimentality because that s the whole point Nonetheless the ups [...]


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