- Hughes, Ted
orig. Edward James Hughesborn Aug. 16, 1930, Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire, Eng.died Oct. 28, 1998, DevonBritish poet.The son of shopkeepers, he studied at Cambridge University. He married the American poet Sylvia Plath in 1956. His first volumes of verse were The Hawk in the Rain (1957) and Lupercal (1960). After Plath's 1963 suicide he wrote little for three years, then began publishing prolifically, often in collaboration with illustrators or photographers. His collections include Wodwo (1967), Crow (1970), Cave Birds (1975), Gaudete (1977), and Wolf Watching (1989). His most characteristic work emphasizes the cunning and savagery of animal life in harsh, sometimes disjunctive lines. He wrote many volumes for children (including The Iron Man, 1968) and edited the journal Modern Poetry in Translation. In 1984 he became Britain's poet laureate. Birthday Letters (1998), published shortly before his death, consists of revealing poems about his relationship with Plath.
* * *▪ British poetbyname of Edward J. Hughesborn Aug. 16, 1930, Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire, Eng.died Oct. 28, 1998, LondonEnglish poet whose most characteristic verse is without sentimentality, emphasizing the cunning and savagery of animal life in harsh, sometimes disjunctive lines.At Pembroke College, Cambridge, he found folklore and anthropology of particular interest, a concern that was reflected in a number of his poems. In 1956 he married the American poet Sylvia Plath (Plath, Sylvia). The couple moved to the United States in 1957, the year that his first volume of verse, The Hawk in the Rain, was published. Other works soon followed, including the highly praised Lupercal (1960) and Selected Poems (1962, with Thom Gunn (Gunn, Thom), a poet whose work is frequently associated with Hughes's as marking a new turn in English verse).Hughes stopped writing poetry almost completely for nearly three years following Plath's suicide in 1963 (the couple had separated earlier), but thereafter he published prolifically, with volumes of poetry such as Wodwo (1967), Crow (1970), Wolfwatching (1989), and New Selected Poems, 1957–1994 (1995). In his Birthday Letters (1998), he addressed his relationship with Plath after decades of silence. He wrote many books for children, notably The Iron Man (1968; also published as The Iron Giant). Remains of Elmet (1979), in which he recalled the world of his childhood, is one of many publications he created in collaboration with photographers and artists. His works also include plays, such as an adaptation of Seneca's Oedipus (1968), nonfiction (Winter Pollen, 1994), and translations. He edited many collections of poetry, such as The Rattle Bag (1982, with Seamus Heaney). In 1984 he was appointed Britain's poet laureate.
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