Tag Archives: Ted Hughes

Nicholas Hughes’ death

“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.

Frieda Hughes on reading her father’s poetry

“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.

Letters of Ted Hughes

“I hang on tooth and nail to my own view of what I do — which is a view from the inside.  It is fatally easy to acquire, through other people, a view of one’s own work from the outside.  As when a child is admired, in its hearing, for something it does naturally.  Ever after — that something is corrupted with self-consciousness.”

– Ted Hughes

Read David Orr’s review of the Letters of Ted Hughes (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), edited by Christopher Reid, in The New York Times here.

The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. 3

I know an author who, catching sight of one of those “why not be a writer?” advertisements, made a scornful noise and then said, “for the following reasons . . .”, rattling off an impressively long list of harrowing psychological and financial pitfalls.  The writers interviewed here are or were at the top of their game, or the top of the pile, but even they can express discomfort or unhappiness with their chosen profession.  Writing fiction “involves stuff that isn’t agreeable”, says Norman Mailer; “It seems as if I was fated to write,” says Jean Rhys, “which is horrible”.  (Joyce Carol Oates does enjoy writing, which is just as well, considering how much of it she does.)

Read Nicholas Lezard’s review of The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. 3 here.