Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Ted Hughes poem details pain at wife Sylvia Plath's death

A previously unpublished poem describing Ted Hughes' pain at the death of Sylvia Plath has been discovered, it was revealed today.

Last Letter details events in the three days leading up to his first wife's suicide in February 1963.

It will appear in print for the first time in tomorrow's edition of the New Statesman, which has been guest-edited by Lord Bragg, after being unearthed in the British Library's Ted Hughes archive.

The first line reads: "What happened that night? Your final night."

The poem ends with the moment Hughes is informed of his wife's death.

In his 1998 collection Birthday Letters, Hughes detailed his relationship with The Bell Jar author Plath but none of the poems directly dealt with the circumstances of her death.

According to the New Statesman, Last Letter - the earliest draft of which was found in an exercise book believed to date from the 1970s - appears to be the "missing link" in the sequence.

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