Of Cabbages and Kings

November 7, 2006

Marriage made in hell and heaven

Filed under: Poetry, Random musing — Chinmayi @ 7:27 pm

Poet Sylvia Plath first saw poet Ted Hughes across a room full of people at a party held for the launch of the  St. Botoloph’s Review (in which Hughes’ poetry was first published)

Her description of their first meeting:

”the one man in the room who was as big as his poems, huge, with hulk and dynamic chunks of words; his poems are strong and blasting like a high wind in steel girders. And I screamed in myself, thinking: oh, to give myself crashing, fighting, to you.”

”I was stamping and he was stamping on the floor, and then he kissed me bang smash on the mouth and ripped my hairband off . . . and my favorite silver earrings: hah, I shall keep, he barked. And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on the cheek, and when we came out of the room, blood was running down his face. . . . Such violence, and I can see how women lie down for artists.”

His description:

First sight. First snapshot isolated
Unalterable, stilled in the camera’s glare.
Than you ever were again.
Swaying so slender
It seemed your long, perfect, American legs
Simply went on up.
That flaring hand,
Those long, balletic, monkey-elegant fingers.
And the face – a tight ball of joy.
I see you there, clearer, more real Than in any of the years in its shadow – As if I saw you that once, then never again.

 So beautifully odd and so oddly beautiful that they spent part of their honeymoon visiting the dark moors that Emily Bronte roamed, when Heathcliffe and Catherine were forming in her mind… Heathcliffe and Catherine, whose violent cruel passion was of the same spirit as the whirlwinds which held Plath and Hughes in thrall.


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