Birthday Letters

Birthday Letters

Book - 1998
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With just two exceptions, these 88 poems, in the form of a narrative, are addressed to Sylvia Plath, the American poet to whom Hughes was married. They were written over a period of more than 25 years, the first a few years after her suicide in 1963. Intimate and candid, they cover the whole period of their relationship, from the first meeting to the aftermath of Plath's death, but are largely concerned with the psychological drama that led to the writing of her finest poems and to her death.
Publisher: London, Eng. : Faber & Faber, c1998.
ISBN: 9780571194728
Characteristics: ix, 198 p. ;,23 cm.


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debwalker Oct 07, 2010

Hughes died in 1998, the same year Birthday Letters was published. The collection addressed his marriage to Plath, but did not specifically comment on her death.

Plath, a poet and novelist best known for The Bell Jar, killed herself in February 1963, shortly after separating from Hughes.

In October 2010, a new poem "Last Letter" has surfaced:

“What happened that night, your final night?”
“And I had started to write when the telephone

Jerked awake, in jabbering alarm,

Remembering everything. It recovered in my hand.

Then a voice like a selected weapon

Or a measured injection,

Coolly delivered its four words

Deep into my ear: ‘Your wife is dead.’”

It’s believed that the poem was written in the early ’70s.

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