Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ted Hughes, Richard Armitage, Sylvia Plath

I have a growing interest in Sylvia Plath that started earlier this year when I was diving headlong into Brontemania. I read about Plath visiting Haworth and Top Withins with Hughes, and I read both of their poems about Top Withins. I liked Plath's better, btw.

Yesterday, when I was following a trail of bloggers, I found this wonderful post in which a recording of Richard Armitage reading Ted Hughes's letter to Sylvia's mother regarding Sylvia's death was coupled with scenes from Sylvia.

As Maria Garza says in her posting, "Get ready to shiver..."

Updated (July 23): I was particularly moved by Hughes's comment that if there is an afterlife, then he is surely damned. Maybe, but can one person take the responsibility for another person's act so completely? I read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book a few months ago, and we are all accountable only for our own actions. Of course, everything I know about their relationship I learned from Maria's movie clip and the letter so maybe I should reserve judgment until after I've read The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes


  1. Thanks for mentioning me! What an honour,Jane. Have a wonderful evening. Maria Grazia.

  2. Wow. What an amazing reading! By the end I had tears in my eyes. I could hear Ted in the pauses, in the words, I could see Sylvia again. What a powerful letter also. and done so perfectly by Richard! thanks so much for providing the link.

    I have to see the movie too. I haven't been able to yet. Sylvia Plath was the first poet I came to as a young adult. And I'm reading The Birthday Letters over the past several months. I have to take it slowly because they are so full of passion, love and despair as he looks back, that they are searing. Like that letter was.

  3. I'd like to read more of both Plath and Hughes. I really loved Janet Malcolm's book on their relationship, The Silent Woman, if you're ever looking for some nonfiction about them.