Essays On Ted Hughes

Hughes’s lengthy career included over a dozen books of poetry, translations, non-fiction and children’s books, such as the famous The Iron Man (1968).His books of poems include: Wolfwatching (1990), Flowers and Insects (1986), Selected Poems 1957–1981 (1982), Moortown (1980), Cave Birds (1979), Crow (1971), and Lupercal (1960).Named executor of Plath’s literary estate, he edited several volumes of her work.

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Edward James (Ted) Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, in the West Riding district of Yorkshire, on August 17, 1930. When he was seven years old his family moved to the small town of Mexborough in South Yorkshire, and the landscape of the moors of that area informed his poetry throughout his life.

After high school, Hughes entered the Royal Air Force and served for two years as a ground wireless mechanic.

In 1956 he met and married the American poet Sylvia Plath, who encouraged him to submit his manuscript to a first book contest run by The Poetry Center. The stereotypical poem of the time was determined not to risk too much: politely domestic in its subject matter, understated and mildly ironic in style.

By contrast, Hughes marshaled a language of nearly Shakespearean resonance to explore themes which were mythic and elemental.” Hughes’s long career included unprecedented best-selling volumes such as (1997).

His final collection, The Birthday Letters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998), published the year of his death, documented his relationship with Plath.

Hughes's work is marked by a mythical framework, using the lyric and dramatic monologue to illustrate intense subject matter.They returned to England in 1959, and their first child, Freida, was born the following year.Their second child, Nicholas, was born two years later.Four years later, like Plath, she also commited suicide, killing Shura as well.The following year, in 1970, Hughes married Carol Orchard, with whom he remained married until his death.An incredibly prolific poet, translator, editor, and children’s book author, Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, a post he held until his death.Among his many awards, he was appointed to the Order of Merit, one of Britain’s highest honors.In 1962, Hughes left Plath for Assia Gutmann Wevill. Hughes did not write again for years, as he focused all of his energy on editing and promoting Plath’s poems.He was also roundly lambasted by the public, who saw him as responsible for his wife’s suicide.Using figures such as “Crow” to approximate a mythic everyman, Hughes’s work speaks to his concern with poetry’s vatic, even shamanic powers.Working in sequences and lists, Hughes frequently uncovered a kind of autochthonous, yet literary, English language.


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