“The son of the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has taken his own life, 46 years after his mother gassed herself while he slept.
Nicholas Hughes hanged himself at his home in Alaska after battling against depression for some time, his sister Frieda said yesterday.”
Read Ben Hoyle’s article in The Times.
Dermot Cole’s thoughtful post about Nicholas Hughes is worth reading.
Read Edward Byrne’s post at One Poet’s Notes.
“I was sitting on a train on the Northern Line some years ago, when I looked up and saw my name where usually there were adverts: Full Moon and Little Frieda. The poem had been selected as one of the Poems on the Underground. I looked away in disbelief; it must be some other Frieda. But when I looked again it was the poem my father had written about me when I was a child. My face was scarlet with self-consciousness; I had to remind myself that there were no gigantic arrows pointing down at me saying “this is the Frieda the poem is about”.
I wanted to share the moment with someone; I turned to the man sitting beside me and wondered how he would react if I grabbed him by the arm, shook him into consciousness and pointed, saying: “Look, look what my daddy wrote for me!”
Instead, I wrapped the idea of the poem around me like a coat, keeping my secret.”
Read The Times article by Frieda Hughes here.
“Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting
“Which Side Are You On?”
And Ezra Pound and T S Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers …”
- Bob Dylan
“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”
- Eskimo proverb
“There are so many little dyings that it doesn’t matter which one of them is death.”
- Kenneth Patchen
“From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.”
- Edvard Munch
“I want a priest, a rabbi, and a Protestant clergyman. I want to hedge my bets.”
- Wilson Mizner
“I meant, said Ipslore bitterly, what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?
Death thought about it, Cats, he said eventually, Cats are nice.”
- Terry Pratchett
“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice; there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.”
- Frank Zappa
“I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return.”
- Frida Kahlo
“Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.”
- Jim Morrison
“For the Persian poet Rumi, each human life is analogous to a bowl floating on the surface of an infinite ocean. As it moves along, it is slowly filling with the water around it. That’s a metaphor for the acquisition of knowledge. When the water in the bowl finally reaches the same level as the water outside, there is no longer any need for the container, and it drops away as the inner water merges with the outside water. We call this the moment of death. That analogy returns to me over and over as a metaphor for ourselves.”
- Bill Viola
“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. “
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
- Meister Eckhart
“… and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
- William Shakespeare
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting …”
- Walt Whitman
“He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.”
- William Shakespeare
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
- Leonard Cohen
“Live every day like your hair was on fire.”
- Zen proverb
Stop all the clocks
W H Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
“Now let us welcome the New Year,
Full of things that have never been.”
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Happy New Year from South Africa.
May your year ahead be filled with creativity, love and extraordinary adventures.