Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath In his his introduction to ‘Poetry in the Making’, the then Poet Laureate of Britain had the following words of advice for those of us whose passion is Writing, be it poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, or something in between: Do you relate to these words? ‘You write interestingly only about the things that genuinely interest you. This is an infallible rule.. in writing, you have to be able to distinguish between those things about which you are merely curious –things you heard about last week or read about yesterday- and things which are a deep part of your life… So you say, ‘What part of my life would I die to be separated from?’ –Ted Hughes, Poetry in the Making ‘It is occasionally possible, just for brief moments, to find the words that will unlock the doors of all those many mansions in the head and express something – perhaps not much, just something – of the crush of information that presses in on us from the way a crow flies over and the way a man walks and the look of a street and from what we did one day a dozen years ago. Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are.’-Ted Hughes Dina Davis Convenor Randwick Writers’ Group 📚 0418 115748
Excerpt from Capriccio: the Haunting of Sylvia Plath. Dear Readers, how does my new sub-title ‘The Haunting of Sylvia Plath’ work for you? The emphasis in my novel about Assia Wevill, Plath’s rival and the mistress of Ted Hughes, is on the insidious influence Sylvia’s suicide had on both Ted and Assia. I’ve invented all journal entries and letters, and […]
I’ve been shortlisted for the Essay Section of this award, and achieved second place as a finalist. A modest achievement, but still gratifying. A friend commented: ‘Your essay on Capriccio is a wonderful piece of literary criticism and a great explanation of your purpose in writing the book. Could the essay be a kind of prologue to your your ‘Capriccio’? Surely this essay should be published in some kind of literary criticism journal.’ In my essay, I argue that the poems in Capriccio have been largely lost to the public, and are not a true reflection of Hughes’ relationship with Assia Wevill. In fact, Hughes told Assia’s biographers that these poems ‘were perhaps not the ones I should have written’, So what’s my next step? Is there a literary journal out there who’d consider my essay? There’s a version of it on this Blog: see my Post ‘The Lost Poems of Ted Hughes’.
EXCERPT from my Article: ‘On Ted Hughes’ Capriccio’ Hughes’ collection of twenty poems, Capriccio, was produced in 1990 as a beautiful boxed volume with leather covers. Printed on hand-made paper, and at $4000 a copy, the book was designed to be rare. Each of the fifty volumes was signed by the author, and also by the illustrator, Leonard Baskin, whose company […]