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Encyclopedia > Birthday Letters

Birthday Letters, published in 1998, is the last collection of poetry by English poet and children's writer Ted Hughes. It received the T. S. Eliot Prize. This collection of eighty-eight poems is widely considered to be Hughes's most explicit response to his ex-wife, Sylvia Plath's suicide and to their widely discussed, politicised and 'explosive' marriage. Up until the publication of this anthology, some 35 years after Plath's suicide, Hughes had said and published barely anything about his relationship and life with Plath. His silence was taken by many as arrogant and uncaring, or commended by others as noble and dignified. He has, in many ways, been subject to a continued persecution surrounding his supposed culpability in Plath's depression and eventual suicide. Over the years the fiercest supporters of either Hughes or Plath have far from gone away; if anything, the public response to the publication proves that the interest, and for some, the anger towards Hughes for his alleged mistreatment of Plath is still very much prevalent, even among those uninterested in poetry or literature in general. The bulk of the interest in Plath, and subsequently/consequently the interest in Hughes and his volume, is partly, or even predominately, extra-literary. 1998 (MCMXCVIII in Roman) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the British Isles Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK... Poet is a term applied to a person who composes poetry, including extended forms such as dramatic verse. ... // Basic characteristics There is some debate as to what constitutes childrens literature. ... Edward James Hughes, OM, referred to normally as Ted Hughes, (August 17, 1930 – October 28, 1998) was an English poet and childrens writer. ... The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry is a British literary award. ... A self-portrait circa 1951. ...

After her death in 1963, Plath's wish to leave behind a meaningful legacy was fulfilled when her Ariel collection of poetry, along with her semi-autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar", was hailed as a masterpiece of modern feminism, also prompting her to become a feminist icon in the 1970's. Hughes' apparent wish for redemption is realised in this autobiographical and incredibly powerful collection of poetry. The literary response to the publication of this collection was one of sensation. It was unknown at the time that Hughes was suffering from a terminal disease that may have prompted this unexpected release. Hughes' The Birthday Letters topped the best-seller lists immediately. This was arguably due to public fascination with a persistant mystery surrounding the lives of two icons. Within a short period of time the collection was awarded the Forward Prize for Poetry, the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and the Whitbread Poetry and Whitbread Book of the Year prizes.

This volume is studied by students of the New South Wales HSC in Australia, amongst others. Motto: Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites (Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine) Nickname: First State, Premier State Other Australian states and territories Capital Sydney Government Governor Premier Const. ... HSC may refer to Higher School Certificate, the final examination in secondary school education in New South Wales, Australia. ...



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