h's Reviews > Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters

Ariel's Gift by Erica Wagner
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's review
Nov 13, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: 2007, about-poetry, biography
Read in November, 2007

it's true that poetry is not biography. and yet, confessional poets abound and their life stories do provide context for their work. the work, however, stands as well alone (at least, it does if it's well-written). plath is among the most controversial and confessional poets of all-time. hughes, her widower, broke his lifelong silence about his first wife, her suicide, and the aftermath when he published his first confessional work in birthday letters the year before his death. in this book, the intersections of biography and the works of both poets are explored. the book is more than just a tour through the lurid details of the poets' lives, it's a worthwhile critical investigation. a good read for anyone who cares about hughes and plath as poets rather than as dramatic characters.
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