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Formerly Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II, the late Ted Hughes (1930-98) is recognized as one of the few contemporary poets whose work has mythic scope and power. And few episodes in postwar literature have the legendary stature of Hughes's romance with, and marriage to, the great American poet Sylvia Plath. The poems in Birthday Letters are addressed (with just two exceptions) to Plath, and were written over a period of more than twenty-five years, the first a few years after her suicide in 1963. Some are love letters, others haunted recollections and ruminations. In them, Hughes recalls his and Plath's time together, drawing on the powerful imagery of his work--animal, vegetable, mythological--as well as on Plath's famous verse. Countless books have discussed the subject of this intense relationship from a necessary distance, but this volume--at last--offers us Hughes's own account. Moreover, it is a truly remarkable collection of poems in its own right.
Shakespeare's best as chosen by the Ted Hughes. According to most anthologies, Shakespeare wrote only sonnets and songs for his plays. The reason for this is the reluctance of anthologists to break into the sacred precincts of his drama and start looting portable chunks ... Yet when the great speeches of his plays are taken out of context they are no more difficult to understand and appropriate than those by other great poets. This clear, compact, inviting selection of Shakespeare's verse opens the door to new readers of our greatest writer and deepens lifelong readers' understanding of his work. Ted Hughes spent his life considering Shakespeare's works and drawing on them for his own poetry; his book-length account of Shakespeare's development, Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being, was one of the most distinctive works of literary criticism of recent years. For this selection, Hughes deliberately took strong, relatively self-contained passages of Shakespeare's verse out of the plays and arranged them in a pattern, like beads on a string, including the best-known songs and sonnets. The result is at once a revealing sequence of Shakespeare's verse and an anthology of his greatest bits.
This collection brings together the more than 250 children's poems that Ted Hughes wrote throughout his career. They are arranged by volume, beginning with those published for younger readers and progressing to more complex and sophisticated poems that he felt were written "within hearing" of children. Throughout, Hughes reveals his instinctive grasp of a child's insatiable wonderment and sense of humor as well as his own instinctive and illuminating perspective on people and other creatures of the natural world. With drawings that capture the wit, range, and richness of these poems, acclaimed illustrator Raymond Briggs helps make this a book any reader can return to again and again for amusement, inspiration, and reassurance.
"This first collection of short fiction by England's Poet Laureate ranges in setting from Yorkshire to Africa, and addresses themes that have preoccupied Ted Hughes throughout his career." "These stories may be read as an accompaniment to his poetry, or independently as examples of craft and linguistic vigor. The collection includes "Sunday," an early story written in 1957, in which the death of a rat provides an escape from the routine of an English sabbath, "The Rain Horse" and "The Harvesting," about the rural violence of the author's boyhood in Yorkshire, the previously unpublished "O'Kelly's Angel," about a man who captures and cages an angel like a circus attraction - a fable that foreshadowed the troubles in Northern Ireland; "Snow," a monologue of an air crash survivor; a fairy story, "The Head"; the radio play "The Wound," about an episode in World War II; and a ghost story; "The Deadfall," about a young boy's camping expedition with his bloodthirsty brother."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A mysterious creature stalks the land, eating barbed wire and devouring tractors and plows. The farmers are mystified - and afraid.And then they glimpse him in the night: the Iron Giant, taller than a house, with glowing headlight eyes and an insatiable taste for metal. Where has he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. What they do know is that the Iron Giant must be stopped.But the real threat hovers above, darkening the sky with its scaly wings: a space-bat as big as Australia, hungry for every living thing it sees. And suddenly, the world needs a hero - a giant hero - like never before...First published in 1968, Ted Hughes's classic tale is a powerful tribute to peace on earth - and in all the universe.From the Hardcover edition.
When a giant iron woman arises from a marsh near a waste disposal factory, all men over eighteen turn into water creatures, and an entire country must confront the problems of pollution. Sequel to The Iron Man.
An exact and complete transcription of the journals kept by Sylvia Plath over the last twelve years of her life. Sylvia Plath kept a record of her life from the age of eleven until her death at thirty. The journals are characterized by the vigorous immediacy with which she records her inner thoughts and feelings and the intricacies of her daily life. Apart from being a key source for her early writing, they give us an intimate portrait of the writer who was to produce in the last seven months of her life the extraordinary poems which have secured her reputation as one of the greatest of twentieth century poets. Plath's adult years, from 1950 to 1962, are the focus of this edition, which includes an exact transcription of the twenty-three journals and journal fragments owned by Smith College. They offer a chronicle of her life: student days at Smith College; her time at Cambridge University where she met and later married the poet Ted Hughes; the two years spent working and living in New England; the couple's return to England and life in Devon, including the birth of their two children, before the marriage broke down in 1962.
Other folk's folks get so well known, And nobody knows about my own. Meet a host of strange and wonderful characters as Ted Hughes introduces us to his family.
A poet's evocation of animals and plants which live on the moon of his imagination.
The Rattle Bagis an anthology of poetry (mostly in English but occasionally in translation) for general readers and students of all ages and backgrounds. These poems have been selected by the simple yet telling criteria that they are the personal favorites of the editors, themselves two of contemporary literature's leading poets. Moreover, Heaney and Hughes have elected to list their favorites not by theme or by author but simply by title (or by first line, when no title is given). As they explain in their Introduction: "We hope that our decision to impose an arbitrary alphabetical order allows the contents [of this book] to discover themselves as we ourselves gradually discovered them--each poem full of its singular appeal, transmitting its own signals, taking its chances in a big, voluble world. " With undisputed masterpieces and rare discoveries, with both classics and surprises galore,The Rattle Bagincludes the work of such key poets as William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath among its hundreds of poems. A helpful Glossary as well as an Index of Poets and Works are offered at the conclusion of this hefty, unorthodox, diverse, inspired, and inspiring collection of poetry.
This is a wonderful collection of poems, by Ted Hughes the poet working with a subject matter he had mastered and revisited for most of his life: the world of animals, plants and nature.
This selection of Ted Hughes's poetry, made by the author himself in 1995, includes poems from every phase of his four-decade career. Here are poems from Hughes's first book, The Hawk in the Rain, and its successor, Lupercal, which introduced him as a major poet; from Wodwo, Crow, and Gaudete, book-length poetic sequences in which the natural world is made into a thrilling and terror-filled analogue to our human one; and from six volumes of his maturity, here arranged thematically, in which the poet is at once rural chronicler and form-breaking modern artist. The volume also includes many previously uncollected poems and eight poems later incorporated into Birthday Letters, Hughes's meditation in verse on his marriage to Sylvia Plath, which became a bestseller the year after his death.
The late, great poet's version of poems ancient and modern. Known (with Philip Larkin) as the most distinctly English of the postwar British poets, Ted Hughes was a boundlessly curious reader and translator of poetry from other languages. This generous selection of his translations at once rounds out the publication of his major work and gives us a fresh view of his poetic achievement. In 1965, Hughes, already famous in Britain, founded the journal Modern Poetry in Translation, and a number of the translations here are of poems by his contemporaries: the Israeli Yehuda Amichai, the Hungarian János Pilinszky, and the Serbian Vasko Popa. At the same time, Hughes was forever in search of older precursors, whether Homer, Lorenzo de' Medici, or the authors of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and his translations of them deepen our sense of his interest in pagan ritual and esoteric religion. These two strains of his work as translator were brought together late in his career, when, with supple and radiant versions of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Aeschylus' Oresteia, and Euripides' Alcestis--all amply represented here--he established himself as one of the foremost interpreters of the classics in English. Selected Translations is a vital addition to the Hughes oeuvre.
Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus is the most famous of ancient tragedies and a literary masterpiece. It is not, however, the only classical dramatization of Oedipus' quest to discover his identity. Between four and five hundred years after Sophocles' play was first performed, Seneca composed a fine, but neglected and often disparaged Latin tragedy on the same subject, which, in some ways, comes closer to our common understanding of the Oedipus myth. Now, modern readers can compare the two versions, in new translations by Frederick Ahl. Balancing poetry and clarity, yet staying scrupulously close to the original texts, Ahl's English versions are designed to be both read and performed, and are alert to the literary and historical complexities of each. In approaching Sophocles anew, Ahl is careful to preserve the richly allusive nature and rhetorical power of the Greek, including the intricate use of language that gives the original its brilliant force. For Ahl, Seneca's tragedy is vastly and intriguingly different from that of Sophocles, and a poetic masterpiece in its own right. Seneca takes us inside the mind of Oedipus in ways that Sophocles does not, making his inner conflicts a major part of the drama itself in his soliloquies and asides. Two Faces of Oedipus opens with a wide-ranging introduction that examines the conflicting traditions of Oedipus in Greek literature, the different theatrical worlds of Sophocles and Seneca, and how cultural and political differences between Athenian democracy and Roman imperial rule affect the nature and conditions under which the two tragedies were composed. This book brings two dramatic traditions into conversation while providing elegant, accurate, and exciting new versions of Sophocles' and Seneca's tragedies.
A powerful version of the Latin classic by England's late Poet Laureate. When it was published in 1997, Tales from Ovid was immediately recognized as a classic in its own right, as the best rendering of Ovid in generations, and as a major book in Ted Hughes's oeuvre. The Metamorphoses of Ovid stands with the works of Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton as a classic of world poetry; Hughes translated twenty-four of its stories with great power and directness. The result is the liveliest twentieth-century version of the classic, at once a delight for the Latinist and an appealing introduction to Ovid for the general reader.