Brian's Reviews > Birthday Letters

Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
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's review
Nov 02, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

Along with his collected letters, this volume of poems (published towards the end of his life, when he felt the time was right to expose his POV concerning his wife, Sylvia Plath) provides an interesting perspective on the life and work of Plath, as well as further insight into their love and marriage. After reading these poems ("birthday letters" to Plath, written over the years after her death), it is hard to hold with the image of Hughes as purely a selfish pig who was largely responsible for Plath's suicide. There is a genuine love and appreciation for his wife and her genuis that comes across in this work. I'm not sure I'd have read them all without the historical interest; it will be interesting to finally read some of his other poetry now. (Full disclosure: Sylvia Plath is my favorite poet, and it was not easy changing my initial impression of Hughes.)

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