16 June 2018

Ted Hughes scrapbook at Emory

As I did last year with Sylvia Plath's High School and Smith College scrapbooks, I wanted to get a catalog of the items in Ted Hughes' publications scrapbook help at Emory University. The scrapbook was started and probably largely put together by Plath; however there are a few post-Plath entries here so it is clearly something Hughes, his sister, or possibly Assia Wevill continued for a short while.

I am grateful to the staff at the Rose Library at Emory for their assistance with this project, as well as to Amy S. Li, recommended to me by Amanda Golden, for her assistance as well.

The original scrapbook is very fragile and closed for researcher use, understandably. However, there are two sets of photocopies that are available. I worked with two sets of photographs of the scrapbook, one labelled "chronological" and the other as "facing pages". I have not (yet!) visited Emory but desperately want to so as such I feel slightly less connected to this scrapbook. However, I hope the information is as correct and accurate as possible given these limitations. So the page numbers here reflect the order of those photographs and not necessarily that of the original scrapbook.

I have tried to find as much information as I could for each item in the scrapbook. Should any information be incorrect please do not hesitate to contact me so that we can fix it.

Page 1
Letter: Henry Rago (Poetry) to Ted Hughes, 1 June 1956
Clipping: TH contributor note, Poetry (August 1956): 345
Letter: Notice of acceptance, Poetry, 1 June 1956

Page 2
Clipping: Poetry (cover), August 1956
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Bawdry Embraced", Poetry (August 1956): 295-7

Page 3
Letter: M.L. Rosenthal (The Nation) to Ted Hughes, 3 July 1956
Letter: M.L. Rosenthal (The Nation) to Ted Hughes, 17 October 1956
Clipping: The Nation, Date and volume number
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Hag", The Nation (18 August 1956): 144

Page 4
Clipping: The Nation (cover), 10 November 1956
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Wind", The Nation (10 November 1956): 408

Page 5
Letter: Robert Hatch (The Nation) to Ted Hughes, 27 November 1956
Clipping: Table of Contents, The Nation, 22 December 1956
Payment stub: The Nation, "Roarers in a Ring", $15.00
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Roarers in a Ring", The Nation (22 December 1956): 543

Page 6
Clipping: Poetry (cover), February 1957
Letter: Henry Rago (Poetry) to Ted Hughes 2 November 1956
Clipping: TH contributor note, Poetry (February 1957): 331
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Drowned Woman", Poetry (February 1957): 296-7

Page 7
Clipping: The Atlantic (cover) February 1957
Letter: Phoebe Lou Adams to Ted Hughes, 2 November 1956
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Hawk in the Storm", The Atlantic (February 1957): 53

Page 8
Clipping: "The Poet's Voice", Radio Times (14 April 1957): 33
Payment invoice: BBC, "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar", 15.15.2
Payment stub: BBC, "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar", 15.15.2
Payment stub: BBC, earning income year ending 5 April 1957

Page 9
Letter: Daniel Curley (Accent) to Ted Hughes, 2 March 1957
Letter: Daniel Curley (Accent) to Ted Hughes, 1 April 1957

Page 10
Clipping: Accent (cover), Spring 1957
Clipping: TH contributor note, Accent (Spring 1957)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Little Boys and the Seasons" and "Billet-Doux", Accent (Spring 1957): 82-3

Page 11
Clipping: Spectator (cover), 19 July 1957
Letter: Anthony Hartley (The Spectator) to Ted Hughes, undated
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Meeting", The Spectator, 19 July 1957: 111
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Parting", The Spectator, 2 August 1957: 116
Letter: Anthony Hartley (The Spectator) to Ted Hughes, 2 [August 1957?] (date obscured)

Page 12
Letter: John Lehmann (London Magazine) to Ted Hughes, 12 April 1957
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Famous Poet" (galley proof)
Letter: James Michie (London Magazine) to Ted Hughes, 15 July 1957

Page 13
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Casualty" and "The Ancient Heroes and the Pilot", Poetry (August 1957): 279-80
Clipping: Poetry (cover), August 1957
Clipping: TH contributor note, Poetry (August 1957): 333
Letter: Henry Rago (Poetry) to Ted Hughes, 15 March 1957

Page 14
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Ancient Heroes and the Pilot", "The Jaguar", and "The Martyrdom of Bishop Ferrar", Poetry (August 1957): 281-3
Clipping: Poetry (cover), August 1957

Page 15
Clipping: The Nation (cover), 20 July 1957
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Incompatibilities", The Nation (20 July 1957): 34
Clipping: Table of Contents, The Nation (cover), 20 July 1957
Letter: M.L. Rosenthal (The Nation) to Ted Hughes (18 May 1957)

Page 16
Telegram: John Bleibtreu to Ted Hughes, 22 February 1957
Telegram: Elizabeth Lawrence to Ted Hughes, 17 September 1957

Page 17
Letter: John Bleibtreu to Ted Hughes, 11 March 1957, (page 1)

Page 18
Letter: John Bleibtreu to Ted Hughes, 11 March 1957, (page 2)

Page 19
Letter: Elizabeth Lawrence (Harper & Brothers) to Ted Hughes, 15 March 1957

Page 20
Letter: Charles Monteith (Faber) to Ted Hughes, 9 May 1957
Page 21
Telegram: Charles Monteith (Faber) to Ted Hughes, 29 June 1957
Letter: T.L. Marks (Guinness Poetry Award) to Ted Hughes, 1 September 1958

Page 22
Clipping: TH contributor note, Harper's (August 1957)
Letter: Russell Lynes (Harper's to Ted Hughes, 17 May 1957
Clipping: Table of Contents, Harper's (August 1957)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Dove-Breeder", Harper's (August 1957): 65

Page 23
Letter: Howard Moss (The New Yorker) to Frances Lindley, 17 July 1957
Payment stub: The New Yorker, undated, $63

Page 24
Letter: Howard Moss (The New Yorker) to Ted Hughes, 30 July 1957
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Thought-Fox", The New Yorker (31 August 1957): 28
Clipping: The New Yorker (cover), 31 August 1957

Page 25
Clipping: Masthead, The Cape Codder, 15 August 1957
Clipping: "British Poet Visiting Eastham", The Cape Codder (15 August 1957)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, The Hawk in the Rain, Harper & Brothers, catalog
Clipping: New Books Published by Faber & Faber Autumn-Winter 1957-1958 (cover)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, The Hawk in the Rain, Faber & Faber, catalog

Page 26
Clipping: Masthead, The Cape Codder, 15 August 1957
Clipping: The Poetry Calendar of Events, October 1957, 92nd Street Y
Clipping: "Success of Heptonstall Poet", Yorkshire Post [? Unknown Newspaper], circa 1957
Letter: Anthony Hartley (The Spectator) to Ted Hughes, 15 August 1957
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Secretary", The Spectator, 30 August 1957: 279
Letter: The Spectator, complimentary slip, undated

Page 27
Clipping: The Hawk in the Rain, dust jacket flap
Clipping: "Achievement of Local Poet", Hebden Bridge Times (8 November 1957)
Clipping: "Mexborough Poet Acclaimed in U.S.A.", South Yorkshire Times (21 September 1957)
Clipping: "We See by the Papers", Smith Alumnae Quarterly (Fall 1957): 22; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 28
Clipping: The Hawk in the Rain (cover), Harper & Brothers
Clipping: "Prize winning poems", [Times?] Book Review (22 September 1957): 12
Clipping: "Local poet with more than local stature", Halifax Daily Courier & Guardian, 6 December 1957; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 29
Clipping: Austin Clarke, "The Western Word", The Irish Times (14 September 1957)
Clipping: Robin Skelton, "Current Verses", Manchester Guardian (4 October 1957)
Clipping: E.E., "Three Modern Poets", Oxford Times (20 September 1957)
Clipping: Edwin Muir, "Kinds of Poetry", The New Statesman (28 September 1957): 391-2 annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 30
Clipping: Kenneth Young, "Poets Telling Tales", The Daily Telegraph (6 October 1957)
Clipping: Artemesia Bryson, "Poetry Marked by Power, Sensibility", Fort Worth Star-Telegram (6 October 1957): 4
Clipping: [Patric Dickinson], "Poems of Substance", Times Literary Substance (18 October 1957): 626
Clipping: "Yuletide Checklist", Saturday Review (7 December 1957): 39; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 31
Clipping: W. S. Merwin, "Something of His Own to Say", New York Times Book Review (6 October 1957): 43; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Harry M. Meacham, "Two Poetry Volumes", Richmond News Leader (24 October 1957)
Clipping: A. Alvarez, "Tough Young Poet", The Observer (6 October 1957): 12; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Irving H. Bucher, "Praise For A New Poet", Baltimore Sun (6 October 1957): FE6

Page 32:
Clipping: John Press, "A Poet Arrives", The Sunday Times (3 November 1957): 7
Clipping: Graham Hough, "Landmarks and Turbulences", Encounter (November 1957): 83-7; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Picture of Ted Hughes, Saturday Review (9 November 1957): 42
Clipping: Philip Booth, "From a Violent World", Saturday Review (9 November 1957): 43; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Selden Rodman, "Moments in the West Indies" Saturday Review (9 November 1957): 44 ; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 33
Letter: Louis F. Haynis (Harper & Brothers) to Ted Hughes, 2 October 1957
Clipping:Judith Spink, "Poetry", The Isis (23 October 1957)
Clipping: J. C. Hall, "Drunk with Hopkins", Books and Bookmen (November 1957)

Page 34
Clipping: Vernon Watkins (ed.), Landmarks and Voyages (Christmas 1957): prints Ted Hughes, "Everyman's Odyssey"
Clipping: John Heath-Stubbs, "New Poetry", Time and Tide (19 October 1957)
Clipping: Charles Higham, "Poetic Styles", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 November 1957)

Page 35
Clipping: Robert Conquest, "Intercontinental Missiles", The Spectator (11 October 1957)
Clipping: G. J. Warnock, "Book Reviews", Oxford Magazine (22 May 1958)
Clipping: "Third Programme" [review by Elizabeth Jennings] (13 December 1957)
Clipping: Eric Gillett, [Book Review], The National and English Review (January 1958)
Clipping: Edwin Muir, "Books of the Year", The Observer (22 December 1957)
Clipping: Sir Ifor Evans, "Poets Old & New", Birmingham Post (26 November 1957)

Page 36
Clipping: Edwin Morgan, "Poetic Temptations: Varieties of Deliverance", Glasgow Herald (5 December 1957)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "November", [unidentified newspaper], 3 January 1958
Clipping: "Worthwhile Reading", American Weave: A Poetic Quarterly (Autumn 1957)
Clipping: "The Poetry Society of Australia", Prism (February 1958)
Clipping: "London Letter", Prism (February 1958)

Page 37
Clipping: The Bookman Annual (Christmas 1957): 52
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Quest", The Grapevine 5 (February 1958): 9
Clipping: "Descend, Ye Nine! Descent and Sing", The Times (23 January 1958): 13
Clipping: Rosaleen McCoola, "Ted Hughes", The Grapevine 5, (February 1958)
Clipping: "Great Praises", The Listener (23 January 1958): 169-70

Page 38
Clipping: "Comment", Prism (January 1958):
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Crow Hill", The New Statesman (15 March 1958): 352
Letter: Janet Adam Smith (The New Statesman) to Ted Hughes, 5 February 1958

Page 39
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Thrushes", Encounter (March 1958):
Letter: Stephen Spender (Encounter) to Ted Hughes, date illegible
Payment stub: Harvard University, Morris Gray Lecture, 2 April 1958, $100.00
Clipping: "Honours and Distinctions", Pembroke College Cambridge Society: Annual Gazette (1957/8?)
Clipping: "Ted Hughes to Read Poetry at Harvard", The Boston Sunday Herald (30 March 1958): 44

Page 40
Clipping: The New Yorker (cover), 19 April 1958
Clipping: "Verse", The New Yorker (19 April 1958): 152
Broadside: "Ted Hughes" [poetry reading], 11 April 1958

Page 41
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Good Life", "Things Present", "Witches", published as ‘Four Poems’, Sewanee Review (Spring 1958): 256-7
Payment stub: The Sewanee Review, $38

Page 42
Clipping: (cont.) Ted Hughes, "Witches", and "Everyman’s Odyssey", published as ‘Four Poems’, Sewanee Review (Spring 1958): 257-8
Clipping: Sewanee Review (cover), Spring 1958
Clipping: Sewanee Review (cover), Spring 1958; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: James Dickey, "In the Presence of Anthologies", Sewanee Review (Spring 1958): 294-314; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 43
Clipping: "Three Modern Poets", Church Times (28 March 1958)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Witches", New Statesman (9 August 1958): 173; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Missing
Clipping: Padraic Fallon, The Dublin Review; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 44
Clipping: The Beloit Poetry Review (24 January 1958)
Clipping: William Kean Seymour, "To Note & Observe", Poetry Review (January 1958) ; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 45
Clipping: "Third Programme", Radio Times (22 January 1958): 35
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Billy Hook and the Three Souvenirs, Jack and Jill (July 1958): 26
Clipping: "Of Cats" (galley proof), The New Statesman (25 October 1958); annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Of Cats", Harper's (June 1958): 30

Page 46
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Billy Hook and the Three Souvenirs, Jack and Jill (July 1958): 27
Clipping: "Work by a Local Poet to be given on B.B.C. programme" [circa 21-26 August 1958]
Clipping: "Poetry Reading" [circa 21-26 August 1958]
Clipping: "Today: Network Three" [circa 27 August 1958]
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Relic", Harper's (November 1958): 36
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Retired Colonel", The Spectator (22 August 1958): 260; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 47
Letter: Eric W. White (Poetry Book Society) to Ted Hughes, 3 July 1957
Clipping: "Poetry", The Bookseller (21 September 1957)
Telegram: T.L. Marks (Guinness Poetry Award) to Ted Hughes, 9 September 1958

Page 48
Telegram: Charles Monteith (Faber) to Ted Hughes, 28 October 1958
Clipping: Lewis Nichols, "In and Out of Books", The New York Times Book Review (9 November 1958); annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: "Ted Hughes Wins Poetry Prize", The New York Times (23 October 1958)
Clipping: "Prize Winner", Hebden Bridge Times
Clipping: "The Top Poet", Daily Express ()
Clipping: "Calder Valley born poet wins 300 award", ()
Clipping: "Poet's 300 prize", Yorkshire Post ()
Clipping: "Boston Poet Wins Award In Britain", (###). SP mentioned in article: "Mr. Hughes resides at 9 Willow st., Beacon Hill, with his American wife, poetess Sylvia Plath..."

Page 49
Letter: T.S. Eliot (Faber) to Ted Hughes, 30 October 1958
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Historian", The Nation (15 November 1958): 364; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Things Present", The Spectator (3 October 1958): 454; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 50
Telegram: Terence Kilmartin (The Observer) to Ted Hughes, 13 November 1958
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Thrushes", The Observer (23 November 1957): 7
Clipping: "Six Young Poets" [photograph of Ted Hughes], Books and Bookmen (June 1958)
Clipping: Philip Henderson, "The Spoken Word: A New Poet and a Dead Dog", The Listener (4 September 1958): 356; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: "Dialer's Guide Tonight", Christian Science Monitor (25 November 1958); annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 51
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "A Woman Unconscious", "Cat and Mouse", and "To Paint a Water-Lily", Poetry (August 1959): 296-7; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Historian", Encounter (July 1959): 43; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Wilfred Owen's Photographs", The Spectator (2 January 1959): 22; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 52
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "To Paint a Water-Lily" and "Lupercalia", Poetry (August 1959): 298-300
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Crow Hill", Paris Review (Summer 1959): 71; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 53
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Thrushes", "The Bull Moses", "The Voyage", Audience (Summer 1959): 55-7; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Bullfrog", The New Yorker (8 August 1959): 26; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 54
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Nicholas Ferrer", Audience (Summer 1959): 58–9; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Relic", Encounter (September 1959): 32; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Sunstroke", The Observer (17 May 1959): 21; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 55
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Pike", Audience (Summer 1959): 60-1; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Crag Jack's Apostasy" and "The Good Life", The Spectator (4 July 1958): 19; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Payment stub: Boston University, 5 March 1959, $35

Page 56
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Dick Straightup", Northern Broadsheet (Summer 1959); annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: "45 Guggenheim Winners Here", The Boston Herald (20 April 1959)
Payment Stub: Smith College, 8 April 1959, $50

Page 57
Ted Hughes, "Hawk Roosting", "Strawberry Hill", and "November", Critical Quarterly (Summer 1959): 124-5; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Payment stub: The New Yorker, 23 October 1957, $46
Payment stub: The New Yorker, 7 January 1958, $34

Page 58
Payment stub: The New Yorker, 3 November 1958, $63
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Groom's Dream" and "Constancy", London Magazine (August 1958): 17-18; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Roosting Hawk", Grecourt Review (May 1959): 235; annotated by Sylvia Plath

Page 59
Payment stub: Harper's, undated, $200
Letter: Katherine G. Jackson (Harper's) to Ted Hughes, 30 June 1959
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "February", London Magazine (April 1959): 47; annotated by Sylvia Plath
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Voyage, London Magazine (April 1959): 48(?)

Page 60
Clipping: "Three Speakers in Sloane Square", The Sunday Times (14 July 1963): 24
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "The Poetry of Keith Douglas", Critical Quarterly (Spring 1963):43
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "It was like this", The Guardian (8 February 1963): 8

Page 61
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Is Poetry Your Hobby?", The New Statesman (9 August 1963): 172
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Gulls Aloft", Christian Science Monitor (12 December 1959): 12
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Snails", Christian Science Monitor (15 December 1959): 8; annotated by Aurelia Schober Plath
Clipping: "Ted Hughes" (prints "Lupercalia"), [Neue Zurcher Zeitung], 21 May 1961

Page 62
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Bowled Over", New Statesman (28 September 1962): 406
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "A fable", Mademoiselle (March 1961): 204, 206
Clipping: "Ted Hughes", [photograph], Harper's Bazaar (October? 1961)
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Fishing at Dawn", New Statesman (26 May 1961): 838
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Flanders", The Spectator (26 May 1961): 768

Page 63
Clipping: "Hawthornden Prize Winner at Mexborough Speech Day", South Yorkshire
(22 July 1961); prints photograph of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
Clipping: "Five Ton Phantom", New Statesman (2 June 1961): 887

Page 64
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "Last Lines", "Sugar-Loaf", "Gog", "Wino", and "Toll of Aid Raids", The Observer (16 April 1961): 31 (missing? "Flanders, 1960")
Clipping: "In the Picture", The Observer (16 April 1961): 31

Page 65
Clipping: Ted Hughes, "England’s Toughest Community", The Nation (2 July 1960): 14; a review of Clancy Sigal, Weekend in Dinlock (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960).

Page 66

Page 67
Clipping: "Poetry Readings", The Guardian (18 July 1961): 8 (misdated on page in an unidentified hand)

Page 68
Clipping: Philip Toynbee, "From Virgil to Kingsley Amis", The Observer (22 April 1962): 20

All links accessed 18 March 2018.

11 June 2018

The Covers for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963

This morning I noticed on Amazon.co.uk that the Faber & Faber cover for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963 was displaying. So, I guess that means it is alright to show it here and elsewhere and let you all start thinking about it, discussing it, offering opinions, and everything else we are free to do with the information.

So, here are the Faber and HarperCollins covers side by side.

And for a reminder, here are the covers for the first volume.

All links accessed: 11 June 2018

03 June 2018

The Curious History of Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song"

Sylvia Plath wrote her most famous villanelle on 21 February 1953 about Myron "Mike" Lotz, of Yale, whom she met over the Thanksgiving holiday in November 1952. I suspect many of us have been in that position before about a love interest; and in fact maybe some of you feel this degree of beautifully painful longing waiting for the next exciting Sylvia Plath Info Blog post? Right…

Anyway, Plath sent the poem off to The New Yorker and Harper's. A typescript copy of "Mad Girl’s Love Song" held by Lilly Library, probably sent by Plath to her mother in her letter dated the same day of composition, includes the following note typed at the top: "this one had the honor of being inspired by one myron lotz…" (Letters of Sylvia Plath, 567).

The poem has quite an interesting publication history. "Mad Girl's Love Song" was first published in the Smith Review (Spring 1953). It then appeared in the August 1953 issue of Mademoiselle.

Mademoiselle authorized "Mad Girl's Love Song" to be reprinted in at least three editions of the Boston Evening American which was then covering Plath's disappearance during her first suicide attempt. It accompanied articles with some lurid headlines. First in "Police, Kin Fear Smith Girl Suicide" (Final Edition), and then in two articles from later editions with headlines "Smith Girl in Coma At Own Home" ((Sports Charts Entries Edition) and (Sports Entries Results Edition). You can see the 256 articles on Plath suicide attempt that I have found here.

After several years off, Plath saw "Mad Girl's Love Song" published along with "Soliloquy of the Solipsist" in Granta, 4 May 1957. In a letter home written on 22 October 1956, Plath called Granta, "the 'new yorker' of Cambridge undergraduate life" (Letters of Sylvia Plath, 1322).

A decade later, after Plath's death, the Estate of Sylvia Plath allowed "Mad Girl's Love Song" to be published in the Harvard Advocate, May 1967. This appearance featured a number of other other poems Plath wrote as an undergraduate at Smith: "Danse Macabre", "Admonition" [from "Trio of Love Songs"], "Doomsday", "Dialogue en Route", and "Circus in Three Rings".

In 1971 it was printed twice. It appeared in Lois Ames' "Afterword" in the American edition of The Bell Jar and in the limited edition Crystal Gazer and Other Poems. Crystal Gazer includes poems written over a ten year period from 1952 to 1962.

After this: Nothing. The poem may have appeared in some anthologies but this is a rabbit hole down which I have no intention to go. "Mad Girl's Love Song" was not included in Plath's Pulitzer Prize winning Collected Poems, either as poem in the "Juvenilia" section or even listed as a poem she wrote in the "Uncollected Juvenilia: A complete list of poems composed before 1956" in the Index; which is thus hardly "complete". Though to be honest this is one of many pre-1956 omissions.

All links accessed 24 December 2017.

24 May 2018

Update: The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963

Just a friendly blog post today to let you know that The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963 was sent off recently to the printers! This is true the point of no return.

You can pre-order the Faber UK edition via Amazon.co.uk and the HarperCollins US edition via Amazon.com. If it is free international shipping you fancy, give Book Depository a shot: Faber edition; HarperCollins edition.

All links accessed: 21 and 24 May 2018

20 May 2018

Sylvia Plath Anthologized

I recently learned (or rather was reminded) that two of Sylvia Plath's poems and a photograph of her were printed in an anthology in 1963, just a few months after her death. Two poems and a photo of Ted Hughes were included, too. This book and the poems are not listed in Stephen Tabor's Analytical Bibliography.

The book is The Modern Poets: An American-British Anthology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963). It was edited by John Malcolm Brinnin and Bill Read and includes photographs by Rollie McKenna. Brinnin would have known McKenna for years as she famously photographed his Welsh buddy, the poet Dylan Thomas. And McKenna photographed Plath and Hughes in Boston sometime during the Boston year in 1958-1959. A review of the book, "Handsomest of Poetry Anthologies", appeared in the Boston Globe on 19 May 1963, next to the article "Anne Sexton Plans Tour of Europe: Commitment Necessary To Be Poet".

The two Hughes poems are "Hawk Roosting" and "View of a Pig".

The two Plath poems are "Black Rook in Rainy Weather" and "The Colossus".

I think it is great Plath was included. (And it possibly might have given her the smile of accomplishment that Adrienne Rich was not!) But I cannot help but wonder when the poems were selected for inclusion? Perhaps it was when Brinnin and Read visited Plath & Hughes at Court Green on 25 August 1962 (reported in Stevenson, see also Trinidad; during this visit offered Hughes a teaching position at the University of Connecticut. Plath refers to this visit and these men in some of the worksheets for "Death & Co.)". The thing that really floors me was that Plath's mini-biography includes the detail that she died by suicide.

It is always, always strange for me to recall that as poems like "Black Rook in Rainy Weather" and "The Colossus" were appearing in anthologies such as this, Plath has already moved so far beyond them. Remember, "Black Rook" was written in November 1956 and "The Colossus" in October 1959. By May 1963, Plath had died, obviously, but she was a full year removed from some of her most powerful verses such as "Three Women", "Elm" and "The Rabbit Catcher". This is not the only example. "Leaving Early" was published by London Magazine in August 1961 and then in Harper's in December 1962, just a few months before "The Arrival of the Bee Box" and "Wintering" in The Atlantic Monthly.

Because it is contemporary, here is the photo of the American poet W.S. Merwin that is in the book.

I like looking at the photographs of the poets (and reading their poems). Especially their photographs as many look just as Plath would have known them. Such as, for example, Merwin, Robert Bagg, Philip Booth, John Lehmann, Marianne Moore, Howard Moss (pretty sure they never met in person, but he was an important figure), Anne Sexton, and George Starbuck, among many others. E.E. Cummings and Ezra Pound were not photographed; Cummings because he passed away in September 1962 when the book was still being compiled and Pound was in Italy doing what Ezra Pound did.

Ted Hughes' copy, which he received in May 1963, is held by Emory University. A copy is available to view via Archive.org. There was a second edition of the book published in 1970.

All links accessed 17-18 May 2018.

16 May 2018

Sylvia Plath in the Grecourt Review

Sylvia Plath's colleague at Smith College, Marlies Kallmann Danziger, passed away in March 2018. She taught at Smith when Plath was a student and a colleague in the department of English at Smith College in the 1957-1958 academic year.

This copy of the Grecourt Review 1 from November 1957, which prints Plath's poem "All the Dead Dears", may have been her's as it bears the ownership inscription "Miss Kallman" on the cover (bottom left). I acquired this copy back in 2012 and never did anything with it (I had always meant to present it on the blog but just never did; got distracted by a little project on her Letters). But, having just learned of her passing, I felt it was worth writing about now.

Danziger appears in Plath's journals in several entries (12 January 1958, 22 January 1958, 8 February 1958, 27 February 1958, 5 May 1958 (twice), and 19 May 1958).

Kallman apparently lived in Albright House and had her office in Library 52, according to a staff directory for Smith (pictured below). Smith College archivist Nanci Young informed me that back then, each house had a house mother and a faculty adviser living in residence with the students. However, according to Plath' journals, Marlies lived with her husband, Erwin, at the weekends... which makes sense as after seeing a performance of Denis Johnston's adaptation of Finnegans Wake in Holyoke, Plath and Hughes went to Marlies' house for whiskey and it is not likely that this was in Albright House!

I have not yet tracked down where Erwin Danzinger lived at the time but if I do I will add it to the post.

All links accessed 7 May 2018.

10 May 2018

These Ghostly Archives Turns 1

Happy Birthday to us.
Happy Anniversary to us.
Happy Birthiversary to These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath.
Happy Anniverthday to us.

Just a small blog post today to say that These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath by Gail Crowther and some other person was published one year ago tomorrow, 11 May 2017!

After it was published, the bombshell that we had located lost Plath poems made international news, which is still hard to believe.

You can still buy it on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and via other retailers. Some Waterstones stores even stock it, which tickles us!

A big heartfelt and sincere thank you to anyone and everyone who has purchase the book, the ebook, or even borrowed it from your library. And of course, my deepest, most sincere gratitude to Gail Crowther for letting me write with and to her.

All links accessed 10 May 2018.

01 May 2018

Update: The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2

Hello! It is with great pleasure to let  you know that Sunday night, 29 April 2018, I sent in the files to Faber & Faber for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963.

[twiddling thumbs]

        [still twiddling thumbs]

                       [now what to do?]

The HarperCollins edition,
to be published on 30 October 2018.

The files included the final, final, final, final, final, final (etc.) proof of book itself, the front matter, the image plates & captions, and the index. Having read the volume four times since last August already, I feel it a good book and certainly, obviously, picks up from where Volume 1 concludes. I am sure you have questions. However, as in the aftermath of finishing Volume 1, I am not able at the moment to discuss anything about the volume, so I do appreciate that each of you will not ask questions!  The UK cover is under review; so as soon as it is finalized and I have permission I will post in here and on Twitter, etc. 

Within the turning of one calendar year---the volumes are Irish twins, essentially---we have produced out two massive volumes of Plath's letters! All for you! And my head is spinning at how we did it. Of course the project started years ago and it is hard to remember a time when I was not working on the letters! The two volumes have more than 960,000 words! (The front matter and index easily bumps the word count to more than one million!) I nearly single-handedly transcribed and proofed Plath's letters (more than 1300 of them) and created the vast majority of the more than 3,600 footnotes. In addition, I selected the images, wrote all the captions, secured permissions, etc. My mantra throughout the project was a line from Plath's poem "The Rabbit Catcher": "There was only one place to get to." Well, we are just about there and to know that the second volume is 128 days (or just over 4 months) from publication, and thus into your hands, fills me with an enormous sense of happiness.  

It has been the privilege of my life to work on these books for you. I did my best and gave everything that I could to try to ensure that the text you read is as close as possible to the text of Plath's original letters (look for my tell-all book later in the year to be published by Career Enders, Inc.). Early mornings, sleepless nights: day in and day out, in sickness and in health, with probably fewer than a week of days off in the course of the project. My deepest thanks for the trust placed in my by Frieda Hughes. 

Look for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2, to be published by Faber and Faber on 6 September 2018; and by HarperCollins on 30 October 2018

All links accessed 29 April 2018.

18 April 2018

Guest Blog Post: A Blue Wool Hooded Coat

The below is a generous guest blog post by Tammy MacNeil on her recent Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes: The Property of Frieda Hughes Bonhams auction victory. Congratulations on the win, but more importantly on your pregnancy. ~pks

A Blue Wool Hooded Coat
by Tammy MacNeil, 17 April 2018

The announcement in late January 2018 that Frieda Hughes would be selling a large lot of her famous parents' personal possessions garnered attention in the press on both sides of the Atlantic. More than one Plath devotee wondered if this would be their opportunity to own something that had once belonged to Sylvia Plath herself. I have been a follower of Plath's for about twenty years, having written my Master's thesis on her work's influence on Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters. I believed that this auction was my chance to own a small piece of Plath history.

But what piece? Much as Peter K. Steinberg describes in his telling of winning Plath's fishing rod, narrowing my focus to one or two lots was a challenge. I decided to focus my attention on something tangible, such as an article of clothing or a piece of jewellery, rather than one of the auction's archival offerings. My long list included the copper hairband with earrings (lot 318), the dragon pendant (lot 319), blue ceramic necklace (lot 320), Court Green carpet (lot 347), Plath's fishing pole (lot 351), and Frieda's little blue jacket (lot 353). After considering the additional cost of shipping one of these items to Canada, I eliminated the carpet and the fishing pole. I placed a bid on the iconic dragon pendant (how could I not?), and the blue jacket, hoping against hope that I wouldn't win the pendant for financial reasons. Which left all of my hopes pinned on the blue jacket.

In truth, the reason why I wanted to win Frieda's blue jacket is because I am pregnant with my first child, at 40 years of age, and I wanted something that I could share with him or her in the future. Blue has always been my lucky colour, and I felt very strongly that this treasure should be mine as an item that once belonged to Sylvia Plath, but ultimately it belonged to her daughter. Like Plath herself, I have struggled with fertility issues for the last number of years and her writings about loss and doubt have been a comfort to me. I had all but given up hope on the idea but discovered I was pregnant shortly before the Bonham's auction was announced, so when it came time to consider the lots for offer, I was drawn to lot 353.

I must commend the staff at Bonham's as polite, informative, and genuinely helpful. I told the agents that I would not be placing a high bid (no £60,000 typewriters for me), but that didn't seem to affect the way they treated me. For anyone who did not register to bid, I was required to provide a copy of a valid passport, proof of financial means (I submitted a recent credit card statement), and a letter from my financial institution in order to register to bid. The Bonham's agent granted me bidding rights without the letter, likely because I stated that I would not be placing any large bids.

I wanted to be as informed as possible about my two most coveted items, so I requested a condition report on the dragon pendant and Frieda's jacket. The same senior valuer responded to both of my requests. The pendant's condition report describes it as having "some wear to surface. Small balls at tips of crowns in upper half but not lower half. Reverse with slight cracking to surface at tips." In his message to me, the senior valuer states "…of course it is the history of it that mainly counts." How true, Mr. Roberts!

I was surprised to read Gail Crowther's description of the necklace as being "light" and "flimsy." It certainly looks like it weighs a lot, especially with that chain.

Once live bidding started online, I was surprised to see how quickly the auctioneer moved through the lots. The winner of Plath's brown dress got the deal of the day in my opinion. I was less surprised to see that the majority of lots were selling for much higher than the auction house had estimated. When lot 319 appeared on the docket, there was a pleasant ringing sound to alert me to pay attention. The price quickly surpassed my bid and soared to more than three times the estimated high bid. I had never participated in a live bid quite like this one before. Sure I buy the occasional item on eBay, but with "Buy It Now" for most items the thrill -- and stress!-- of a live auction are now a rare occurrence.

As luck would have it, I miscalculated the time difference between London and Nova Scotia so I had to return to work before the appearance of lot 353. My sister sat with me through the auction at her home, and I told her I was willing to double my £550 bid for Frieda's blue jacket but she would have to bid on my behalf. There was a challenger, who must have set their maximum at £1000. If you are reading this, dear Bidder, please know that this was the one item I truly wanted, and I hope that you were able to buy something else at the auction.

I couldn't believe that I had won! I kept checking my email for confirmation from Bonham's that I was indeed the winner and could I please send them a large sum of money. My winning bid of £1100 quickly ballooned once the hammer price of 25% was added, the exchange rate to British pounds was calculated, and the insane amount of shipping and Canadian import fees were settled. Still, I do not regret my purchase for a second. This is a tangible item that Plath herself helped her two-year old daughter in to on the day of her christening on 25 March 1962. This garment appears to have been a much-loved item, and was evidently worn by Frieda more frequently than just the one special occasion.

Condition report: "exterior generally clean and in good condition. Lining torn at inner seam and frayed at edges, with some staining."

Overall the jacket is beautiful, a deep shade of blue with light blue and cream detail.

Detail of right side of jacket. Notice the individual stitches.

Each swirl is actually indented into the fabric, and they feel like little bumps on the underside.

The left side of the jacket has two small tears, one is quite noticeable. I wonder if Frieda is left-handed and had picked at that side of the jacket when she was wearing it as a child?

The seams in the lining are torn. The lining itself it also stained.

Here you can clearly see that both seams are torn; the left side is more frayed than the right.

Back of the jacket.

Sincere gratitude to Peter K. Steinberg for welcoming other Plath enthusiasts to share their stories on his blog. Thank you for maintaining such an informative and enduring record of Plath studies and activities, and for providing a space where this intelligent and passionate community can come together to share our appreciation for a truly remarkable woman: Sylvia Plath. Like so many others, I am looking forward to reading The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2 later in 2018.

Thank you, Tammy, for this lovely post! You were an auction viewer, winner, or even loser and what to write about your own experiences, please do consider writing a guest blog post, too.

All links accessed 17 April 2018.

10 April 2018

Go Fish with Sylvia Plath

Going into Bonhams fascinating Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, The Property of Frieda Hughes auction I was completely torn about bidding. Of course Plath herself, in the guise and persona of "Lady Lazarus", predicted how her readers would covet "a piece of my hair or my clothes". And having been lucky enough to acquire, previously, something that Plath created as well as being gifted a typescript story, there is always the desire to have more.

I ranked some of the lots that most interested me and that would not completely destroy my meagre piggy bank from the moment I saw the draft sales catalogue in January. I was completely taken with the idea of owning something as random and frivolous as Plath's fishing rod (Lot 351). But something in me said go for something else. So I marked down Lot 334 ("A Winter Ship") as being idea. Copies are available but not one that was retained for 58 years by the family. I was interested also in the small lot of books (381) and well as the lot of 6 editions of The Colossus (336). So, yea, I was all over the place.

I discussed with a few friends what they might be interested in bidding on so as to not bid against a friend. It was also interesting to see what other items people were attracted to. So I put in a bid on those Colossus editions but then immediately cancelled it and went for "A Winter Ship". I put in the low estimate and had no faith it would hold. And it didn't… it sold for £5,500 (£6,875)... five and a half times the low estimate.

Watching the auction live was an event; an experience. Truly glued to my seat and incapable of leaving it, I weighed my other option. I put a bid in that held for about 2 seconds on the Oxford Book of Wild Flowers (340), misheard the bidding price on the wooden tray (350) which sold for what I consider to be "chump change". I did bid a couple of times on Lot 380 as I have convinced myself some of those items were actually once the property of Sylvia Plath directly… Of course I could be and probably am delusional… The mind is a funny thing. The last things I bid on were lots 400 and 401, the Laureate's Choice sherry. I lost those, too, as I just could not make myself click "bid" once more. For what they were I felt the went for reasonable prices of, respectively, £187 and £112.

After the auction ended I reached out to Frieda Hughes about the unsold lot 328 of "Tobias and the Angel" by Leonard Baskin. But, because I did actually win a lot in the auction I opted in the end not to try for the additional item. I regretted it the minute I passed on it, and still do. Massively. The extra expense just could not work itself out in my mind. I regret it more and more and more each day.

If you read that previous paragraph you will see that I did successfully bid on one of the lots. In the end it was the first thing that I was initially drawn to that saw me walking away slightly lighter in my wallet but with an item that is to me both bizarre and unique. The catalogue description of the fishing rod read, "Sylvia Plath's 2-piece cane fishing rod, made by Forrest & Sons, Kelso, 5 loops, cork handle, length approximately 1220mm." And it was accompanied with a footnote: "Ted Hughes wrote to his brother Gerald in late summer 1958 that 'Sylvia loves fishing, and has luck' (Letters of Ted Hughes, Faber, 2007, p.131)". In addition to this in Hughes' letters, there is more than likely additional material about fishing in Plath's forthcoming letters.

Gail Crowther took this photo which shows many
lots, including the fishing rod in the back corner.

Like my "Dark River" experience in December, this item had me on tenterhooks. It was collected on the 28th of March and so should have shipped on the 29th. However, the shipper had a "glitch" that coincidentally lasted the entire four-day Easter weekend. This delayed delivery by several days which I am not impressed with. But, the fishing rod made its way from Bonhams in London, to Oxford where it was packed, then to Stansted and on to Indianapolis before coming back east to me in Massachusetts.

The day it was delivered was comical. I knew it was nearby but the scheduled delivery date was Tuesday 10 April. So, I went to work thinking it would frustratingly hang out for a few days and collect dust. But by the time I got to work, it had moved to a distribution center two towns from my house... Once it was marked as out for delivery I knew I had to leave work to try to be home to sign for it. I had wanted it sent to work, but Bonhams failed to follow my instructions.

Anyway, I get off the train and start walking home. Huffing and puffing up a hill I see a FedEx truck pull onto my street. So naturally I start running after it. I am not faster than a truck. And it wasn't, in the end, my FedEx truck. No, my truck came conveniently about 20 minutes after I got home. Had I stayed home from work I do fully believe it would not have been delivered that day.

The tube in which it came and the padding...

The fishing rod in in two pieces that fit together. It came with a nice dark green carrying bag that has "Shakespeare 1575-240" on it. I have to ask Frieda Hughes about this!

When together, the rod is just shy of seven feet long... here it is on the floor and then propped up by a bookcase.

Now for some close ups...

I am really thrilled about this and will have to figure out what, exactly, to do with it. I have heard from some friends about their winnings; so of course I am pleased for them too.

Did you win something? Do you have it? Do you want to write a guest blog post about it? It can be anonymous if you want. Contact me via this page if you are interested.

All links accessed: 22 March 2018.
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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.