06 October 2010

Breaking Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes News

The BBC Reports "Ted Hughes poem on Sylvia Plath's death published."

"A poem in which Ted Hughes describes the night his first wife Sylvia Plath took her own life in 1963 has been published for the first time."

The poem, called "Last Letter" appears in the New Statesman and was culled from the recent British Library acquisition of Ted Hughes' papers which opened for research earlier this year.

The BBC report says,

"The poem begins: 'What happened that night? Your final night.'

"It then details, in chronological order, the last weekend of Plath's life, in February 1963, when she and Hughes were still married but living apart.

"It begins with Plath sending Hughes a letter, which is intended to arrive after the weekend, but is delivered early.

"The poem goes on to describe Hughes rushing to her house, where Plath reassures him that everything is fine. He leaves and she ultimately takes her own life."

See the New Statesman piece concerning this find here.

Maev Kennedy at the Guardian writes "Unknown poem reveals Ted Hughes' torment over death of Sylvia Plath."


Anna said...


Thank you sooo much for posting this!!!

Can't wait! Hopefully, you can read it online tomorrow!!!

Melanie Smith said...

Very very excited - love Howls and Whispers.

Paull Hammond-Davies said...

Do we know if there is a typed transcript of this poem yet?

Anonymous said...

Poem can be read in full at:


Anna said...


I don't think it's the WHOLE poem, because 1) it's meant to be published in The NewStatesman and 2) I watched the BBC report where Jonathan Pryce is reading parts of it (see Peter's post above) and around 4:27 he reads:
"How often did the phone ring there in my empty room, you hearing the ring in your receiver..." and this line doesn't appear anythwere in the dailymail article nor in the picture!

So, we need to wait for The NewStatesman article!

Anonymous said...

I read the poem in the Daily News and you are right, Anna, it is only excerpts.


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