Be the Cat's Meow

Sylvia Plath Revisited

Posted on: 10/08/2010

Drafts of a poem focused on the suicide of Sylvia Plath by ex-husband Ted Hughes are now available for viewing in the British Library’s archives. Last Letter is said to be a missing piece of the Birthday Letters, his final collection which detailed his life with Plath. Last Letter details the three days leading up to Plath’s tragic end addresses his reaction to the her suicide.

The two had only been separated for five months when she took her own life in the most morbid (yet fitting) fashion- carbon monoxide poisoning by putting her head in the oven. It is uncertain whether or not the separation pushed Plath over the edge. She had struggled with depression most of her life as it was.

The copies of the poem were obviously drafts since Hughes was known for clean typed copies of finished work. The drafts of the poem were found handwritten on paper. These were the only excerpts I found posted online. I am very curious about the rest of the piece, but it will most likely be kept in the British Library and not published.


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