Birthday Letters

Birthday Letters

Book - 1998
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Baker & Taylor
A collection of poems addressed to Hughes' late wife, poetess Sylvia Plath, dealing with the psychological breakdown that led to some of her greatest poems and her untimely death

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, c1998.
Edition: 1st Farrar, Straus, and Giroux ed.
ISBN: 9780374112967
Branch Call Number: 821.914 HUG
Characteristics: 197 p. ; 22 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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