Excerpts from previously unseen Ted Hughes poem detailing his wife Sylvia Plath’s suicideBy AP
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Excerpts from Ted Hughes poem on Sylvia Plath
Excerpts from drafts of an unpublished poem by poet laureate Ted Hughes, which details his feelings about his wife Sylvia Plath’s suicide in February 1963. The poem, called “Last Letter,” is available for viewing in the British Library’s archives in London.
What did happen that Sunday night?
Your last night? Over what I remember of it
Double-exposed to my last sight of you
Burning your farewell letter to me
As if you had not meant it
Yet with that strange smile. As if you had meant
Had it reached me sooner than you planned?
Had you thought out a plan?
… If it had reached me
Saturday morning as it should have - by then
You would have vanished from me. You would have vanished
From behind those simple loving words
Of your farewell note…
What happened that night, inside your … (unlegible)
Is as unknown as if it never happened.
What accumulation of your whole life,
Like effort unconscious, like birth
Pushing through each slow second into the next
Happened only as if it could not happen
As if it was not happening.