With just two exceptions, these 88 poems, in the form of a narrative, are addressed to Sylvia Plath, the American poet to whom Ted Hughes was married. They were written over a period of more than 25 years, the first a few years after her suicide in 1963. Intimate and candid, they cover the whole period of their relationship, from the first meeting to the aftermath of Plath's death, but are largely concerned with the psychological drama that led to the writing of her finest poems and to her death.
Hughes' sparse style and pinpoint word choice make his poetry highly readable, even without the controversy associated with this collection. Released as an 'answer' to the critics and feminists, and as an exploration of his marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath, the collection follows their relationship, from 'Fulbright Scholars' (Plath's arrival in Britain) to 'Red', a poem about life, death and love. There are 88 poems in the collection, which may be read in order, or randomly picked through. Regardless of which side you are on in the Hughes-Plath war, this is modern poetry well worth reading.
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