07 October 2010

Last Letter read on BBC Devon

Hear more of Ted Hughes' "Last Letter" to Sylvia Plath read by Melvyn Bragg on BBC Devon.


Kristina Zimbakova said...


Peter K Steinberg said...

Isn't it! Sylvia Plath Info Blog promotes skiving.

Anna said...

Hey Peter, did you find (or search for) the poem online somewhere?

Peter K Steinberg said...

Yes, I have the poem.

Anonymous said...


I would love to read the poem in its entirety. The BBC video buffers too much. I hope you post it soon b/c from what Bragg read it sounds so emotional. It would clarify a "hole" in the BL sequence for me as well. Thanks in advance.


panther said...

As my other posts on this subject demonstrate, I've been taken aback by the utter hype around this story. The hype, the prurience,the inaccuracies.

And I'd wondered why Melvyn Bragg seemed to care so very much. Not saying he shouldn't-and who knows. perhaps he has ALWAYS admired Hughes' work ?-but he is a broadcaster on all sorts of cultural issues and I'd never had him down as a poetry person in particular. But now I do recall that he himself lost a wife to suicide, a long time ago. This obviously carries a lot of resonance for him on a personal level.
And I daresay it strikes a chord with a lot of people.

But I'm still dismayed by the barely concealed voyeurism. Do we NEED to know everything that happened that weekend ? (Hughes wasn't even with Plath, she was at her friends' the Beckers, along with her children.) Exactly what happened, who said what to whom, how SP SEEMED emotionally at any given point,these are things that Hughes (and the Beckers) would have gone through over and over in their own minds.This is one of the legacies of any suicide. But as an outsider (albeit one who admires the work of Plath and Hughes a lot) I don't feel it's my business.

Anna said...


If you ask the question about NEEDING to know something or call it some kind of voyeurism, than you should be also an opponent of the Birthday Letters volume as well as of Howls and Whispers and Capriccio or maybe of confessional poetry in general.
I'm not really sure what your problem is with people being excited, with the poem being published, with it being written and with people wanting to read it and to KNOW...
Sylvia Plat's life and death in particular fascinates thousands of people and it's only understandable that we get excited about news like this! I really don't see anything bad about it, sorry.
Did you read the poem? I bet, you did. If so... why did you do it, since you don't want to be a voyeur and it's not of your business?
Because it's big news and a sensation and we are all curious. And, as I mentioned somewhere before in my comments, I'm pretty sure the excitement is mostly about A new poem, because we arrived at a point, when we read (almost) all of it and we are just grateful about SOMETHING NEW!

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