Hughes and Plath

Ted Hughes was writing a paper about Joyce’s “Ulysses” when Sylvia and Ted first started to become friends. Later they married, had children, wrote poetry, lived by the ocean, he cheated, she got lost in depression, and stuck her head in an oven…
The point is my coworker loves Joyce and hates Plath. I secretly think he would have fallen in love with her if he’d known her personally as a young woman at Cambridge. I think he would have been intimidated by her surprising intellect, and cavernous depth, by her intensity and frailty and strength. The openness in her eyes as she peered honestly at him, and the surrender with which she consumed him. Of course that was all energy given to Hughes, her knight, but I am thinking of this coworker because his favorite book is Ulysses, and his fiance girlfriend has a lot of frailty and strength and intelligence left unvocalized as he himself talks with arrogance and a charm girls may find appealing…
But Plath saw in Hughes something deeper, with which he was in awe, and which made him love her but feel threatened and weak, and in turn he hurt her and her own frailty well you know the rest…
I suppose I shouldn’t take so seriously the lives of others, while I have my own to worry about, but particular souls catch my interest, and written in journals I can peer behind the scenes of the poetry and plots that make up the imaginations of these private lives.


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