Could this have been an act of sabotage by the outraged burghers of bucolic Stedham, deep in the Sussex countryside?
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Friday 27 November 2009
In dreams, as another poet wrote, begin responsibilities. Whatever else happens in the lurching trajectory as poet, critic and national icon that these addictive letters record, Ted Hughes stays a serious dreamer.
Wednesday 17 June 2009
Monday 15 June 2009
Since she last appeared at the National six years ago, Helen Mirren has become a dame and played the Queen. So she's no stranger to the purple in Jean Racine's great classical 17th-century tragedy about a dysfunctional royal expiring with incestuous love for her stepson.
Friday 12 June 2009
Sunday 03 May 2009
Tuesday 24 March 2009
Monday 23 March 2009
Nicholas Hughes, the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, has killed himself. His death was 46 years after his mother committed suicide and almost 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, did the same. He was 47.
Sunday 04 January 2009
Towards the end of this collection, Ted Hughes reads passages from an occasional diary which he kept while farming in Devon. He'd intended to mould his experiences into poems, but saw that their raw immediacy had its own value. So there he is, out on a winter's night with an overgrown, asphyxiated lamb resolutely refusing to be born. No detail is spared: you listen with breathless, fascinated revulsion, and with a new respect for the exhausting travails of the shepherd – and indeed of the sheep.
Sunday 07 December 2008
Sunday 28 September 2008
The work of Ted Hughes has only recently begun to influence poets in significant numbers, most notably Alice Oswald and now Jen Hadfield, whose Nigh-No-Place is in the running for this year's Forward Prize. Not that Hadfield's restless eco-poetics sound especially like Hughes. There is a backpacker feel to the volume's twin locations of Canada and Shetland, yet the writing is rooted in both places because, for all the comically unflattering self-portraits, the poet usually faces outwards, on to landscapes dazzling after rain or blurred by mist.
Sunday 31 August 2008
Sunday 10 August 2008
The excruciatingly painful end of this fascinating biography – Assia Wevill would gas herself and Shura, her daughter by Ted Hughes, to death – overshadows everything we can learn about this unfortunate woman, even as we fantasize, as with all suicides, that we can still save her somehow before the last page and rewrite her story.
Tuesday 10 June 2008
Three of the leading contenders to be Britain's first female Poet Laureate have ruled themselves out of contention for the post.
Sunday 03 February 2008
Monday 22 May 2006
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