My introduction to Ted Hughes was, for better or worse, a rather bad one.
When I was in college, the poems of Sylvia Plath were all the rage. She was known as the poet who had killed herself (1962) by sticking her head in a gas oven, and it was that ghastly tragedy that seemed to provide the initial attraction. These years were also the first full rush of the feminist movement, and Plath became a symbol – the poet who had killed herself because her husband had left her for another woman.
The husband was the poet Ted Hughes, who had had an almost meteoric rise in the 1950s. He had left his marriage with Plath for another woman, the poet Assia Butmann Wevill. Four years later, in 1966, Wevill killed herself (and their daughter) in the same manner as Plath had died.
I’m not sure if this is the stuff of poetry or soap opera, but for years Hughes was called “murderer” at public readings.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph by Junior Libby via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.