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."

6 comments :

Anna said...

OMG!!!!! THIS IS CRAZY!!!!!

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:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1318398/Ted-Hughess-letter-Unearthed-poets-lament-Sylvia-Plaths-suicide.html

Anna said...

@Anonymous - DON'T SPREAD WRONG NEWS!

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.

-Christy

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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." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • 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 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: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • 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.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (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. 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. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • 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. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • 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. "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. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.

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