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Ted Hughes (1930–1998)

Författare till Brev på födelsedagen : dikter

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Om författaren

Ted Hughes was born on August 17, 1930 in England and attended Cambridge University, where he became interested in anthropology and folklore. These interests would have a profound effect on his poetry. In 1956, Hughes married famed poet Sylvia Plath. He taught at the University of Massachusetts at visa mer Amherst from 1957 until 1959, and he stopped writing altogether for several years after Plath's suicide in 1963. Hughes's poetry is highly marked by harsh and savage language and depictions, emphasizing the animal quality of life. He soon developed a creature called Crow who appeared in several volumes of poetry including A Crow Hymn and Crow Wakes. A creature of mythic proportions, Crow symbolizes the victim, the outcast, and a witness to life and destruction. Hughes's other works also created controversy because of their style, manner, and matter, but he has won numerous honors, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1960, and the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1974. His greatest honor came in 1984, when he was named Poet Laureate of England. Ted Hughes died in 1998. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Allen and Unwin Media Centre


Verk av Ted Hughes

Brev på födelsedagen : dikter (1998) 2,284 exemplar
Tales from Ovid (1997) — Översättare — 1,094 exemplar
Kråka (1970) 983 exemplar
The Rattle Bag (1982) — Redaktör — 904 exemplar
Collected Poems (2003) 531 exemplar
The Iron Woman (1993) 269 exemplar
The Hawk in the Rain (1957) 233 exemplar
Letters of Ted Hughes (2007) 225 exemplar
The School Bag (1997) — Redaktör — 186 exemplar
Poetry in the Making (1967) 138 exemplar
Gaudete (1977) 137 exemplar
Lupercal (1960) 133 exemplar
Wodwo (1967) 124 exemplar
Season Songs (1800) 98 exemplar
Winter Pollen (1994) 96 exemplar
Collected Poems for Children (2005) 96 exemplar
A Choice of Shakespeare's Verse (1971) — Redaktör — 87 exemplar
Wolfwatching (1989) 84 exemplar
Difficulties of a Bridegroom (1995) 82 exemplar
Remains of Elmet (1979) 79 exemplar
Selected Poems, 1957–1967 (1972) 78 exemplar
Selected Translations (2006) 78 exemplar
Moortown (1979) 67 exemplar
What is the Truth? (1984) 66 exemplar
River (1983) 63 exemplar
Tales of the Early World (1988) 59 exemplar
Flowers and Insects (1986) 58 exemplar
Cave Birds (1978) 53 exemplar
My Brother Bert (2009) 49 exemplar
Meet My Folks! (1961) 49 exemplar
Three Books (1993) 46 exemplar
The Mermaid's Purse (1999) — Författare — 45 exemplar
The Cat and the Cuckoo (1987) 43 exemplar
A Ted Hughes Bestiary: Poems (2014) 43 exemplar
Moon-Whales (1976) 42 exemplar
Under the North Star (1981) 37 exemplar
Moortown Diary (1989) 37 exemplar
Nessie the Mannerless Monster (1964) 34 exemplar
Elmet (1994) 33 exemplar
Poetry Is (1967) 26 exemplar
The Iron Wolf (1995) 18 exemplar
Moon Bells and Other Poems (1978) 17 exemplar
The Thought Fox (1995) 14 exemplar
Tigers Bones (1974) 10 exemplar
Collected Animal Poems (1995) 10 exemplar
Here Today: Modern Poems (1971) — Inledning — 9 exemplar
Collected Plays for Children (2001) 8 exemplar
The Spoken Word (2008) 6 exemplar
WINNING WORDS (1991) 4 exemplar
Shaggy and Spotty (1997) 4 exemplar
The Tigerboy (2016) 4 exemplar
Five American Poets — Redaktör — 3 exemplar
Gedichte (1995) 3 exemplar
Etwas muß bleiben (2002) 3 exemplar
Marco. O Barco (2010) 3 exemplar
Earth Dances (1993) 3 exemplar
Recklings (1966) 2 exemplar
Modern Poetry in Translation 6 (1970) — Redaktör — 2 exemplar
O Fazer da Poesia (2002) 2 exemplar
The Coming of the Kings (1972) 2 exemplar
Poesie (2008) 2 exemplar
Pribehy z pociatku sveta (1994) 2 exemplar
La borsetta della Sirena (2000) 2 exemplar
Orts 2 exemplar
Poèmes: (1957-1994) (2009) 2 exemplar
Modern Poetry in Translation MPT 5 Czech (1900) — Redaktör — 2 exemplar
Spring Summer Autumn Winter (1973) 2 exemplar
Howls & Whispers 1 exemplar
Capriccio 1 exemplar
Parler en Langues 1 exemplar
The THOUGHT-FOX 1 exemplar
Horizons (1971) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
The deadfall 1 exemplar
The Rain Horse 1 exemplar
Spring Awakening 1 exemplar
Four tales told by an idiot (1979) 1 exemplar
Caçador de Sonhos, O (2000) 1 exemplar
A Solstice (1978) 1 exemplar
Earth-Moon. (1976) 1 exemplar
Shakespeare's Ovid 1 exemplar
Jernmanden (1985) 1 exemplar
Oedipus 1 exemplar
Orpheus 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

Orestien (0458) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor9,982 exemplar
Dikter (1981) — Inledning; Redaktör — 3,862 exemplar
Fedra : tragedi i fem akter (1677) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor1,921 exemplar
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 1,225 exemplar
Blodsbröllop (1933) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor1,058 exemplar
The Journals of Sylvia Plath {abridged} (1982) — Redaktör — 797 exemplar
Alkestis (0438) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor744 exemplar
The Nation's Favourite Poems (1996) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor617 exemplar
World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 436 exemplar
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor435 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 423 exemplar
Sylvia Plath: Poems Selected by Ted Hughes (1985) — Redaktör — 392 exemplar
The Faber Book of Modern Verse (1936) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor283 exemplar
The New Poetry (1962) — Bidragsgivare — 266 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Contemporary Verse (1950) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor263 exemplar
The Art of Losing (2010) — Bidragsgivare — 191 exemplar
Choice of Emily Dickinson's Verse (1968) — Redaktör — 190 exemplar
British Poetry Since 1945 (1970) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor164 exemplar
After Ovid: New Metamorphoses (1994) — Bidragsgivare — 153 exemplar
The Faber Book of Beasts (1997) — Bidragsgivare — 135 exemplar
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 122 exemplar
Emergency Kit (1996) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor107 exemplar
Seneca's Oedipus (1955) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor106 exemplar
The State of the Language [1990] (1979) — Bidragsgivare — 89 exemplar
The Complete Poems (1978) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor81 exemplar
The Everyman Anthology of Poetry for Children (1994) — Bidragsgivare — 71 exemplar
Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (1684) — Bidragsgivare — 68 exemplar
The Essential Shakespeare (1991) — Redaktör — 58 exemplar
The Faber Book of Gardens (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 45 exemplar
Science Fiction (1973) — Författare — 41 exemplar
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Bidragsgivare — 32 exemplar
Ghostly Haunts (1994) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar
Keith Douglas : Poems selected by Ted Hughes (2010) — Redaktör — 19 exemplar
Holding your eight hands; an anthology of science fiction verse (1969) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar
Environmental Handbook (1971) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar
Horse Stories (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 16 exemplar
Masters of British Literature, Volume B (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 16 exemplar
New American Review 8 (1970) — Bidragsgivare — 13 exemplar
Guardian Angels (1987) — Bidragsgivare — 11 exemplar
A Choice of Coleridge's Verse (1996) — Redaktör — 11 exemplar
The Umbral Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry (1982) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
New voices (1959) — Bidragsgivare — 6 exemplar
Poetry anthology (2000) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor6 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 8, April 1974 (1974) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 2, October 1975 (1974) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Modern Short Stories in English (Literature for Life) (1993) — Bidragsgivare — 3 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 12, August 1980 — Bidragsgivare — 3 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2, October 1980 — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar
Young Winter's Tales 1 (1970) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
Friends of Brockwell Park : 79 : Summer 2016 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Hughes, Edward James
Andra namn
Hughes, Ted
Land (för karta)
England, UK
Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, England, UK
London, England, UK
myocardial infarction
Mytholmroyd, England, UK
Mexborough, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
London, England, UK
North Tawton, England, UK
University of Cambridge (BA archaeology and anthropology, 1954)
Plath, Sylvia (echtg.)
Hughes, Frieda (dochter)
Causley, Charles (vriend)
Wevill, Assia (geliefde)
Hughes, Gerald (broer)
Priser och utmärkelser
Order of Merit (1998)
Poet Laureate of England (1984 - 1998)
Kort biografi
Notably married to Sylvia Plath (1956-1963) with whom he had two children. Also had a daughter Shura (b. 1965), killed by her mother Assia Wevill as part of her suicide in 1969. Hughes was chosen as Poet Laureate after Philip Larkin declined.



Honestly, I could write thousands of words of why this is a horrible horrible collection, but I haven't the time to waste on a review that no-one is going to read, so here's the short version. This work presents itself as a commentary on Plath and Hughes' relationship with the implication that the poems were written in real time. I don't believe this. I think this is a reputation washing exercise and therefore a different type of dishonesty than is usual in poetry. We learn nothing significant about either person, Plath or Hughes, that we couldn't have already guessed, but the arrogance and cruelty shown by Hughes in this collection regularly took my breath away. He never shows any sign of attempting to understand her mental health issues, or reflect on his own feelings about those issues. She is reduced a madwoman, a raving creature obsessed for reasons unclear with her own father, a compulsive unreflective beast dedicated to being difficult and getting in the way of him writing Important Poetry. Her behaviours are not rational or based on any set of values, they're just childish tantrums that hurt random people around here, like the imagined English countryman setting traps to catch rabbits for his pot that she starves by tearing up the snares - he gaslights her from beyond the grave, her moral values are fake whilst his are unimpeachable. Their chidren are often mentioned, but only once are either of them refered to as 'his' or 'my', otherwise only 'her', but the children's feelings or lives are not touched on, only their existence refered to obliquely to draw attention to her failings are a parent. He shows no interest in the lives of their chilren or their inner worlds, just uses them as a stick to beat her with. There are so many mocking references to Daddy and Ariel, but no engagement with the works. This is a world in which a woman's trauma is treated as a personality flaw, her bpd is treated as difficulties and troublemaking. I have seen so many people like him in my professional life, they are everything we seek to change about the world and their refusal to understand trauma and psychiatry or do any self-reflection is a major problem in the interpersonal lives of so many people. There is oh so much more, my copy has dozens of corners turned over, stickies put in to show things to raise, notes made in anger. I am a fan of Ted Hughes' work, but this is cruelty pretending to be neutrality, insults pretending to be artistic neutrality, and worst of all, there are very few poems in here that are Hughes at his best. Perhaps the best poem in the book is Wuthering Heights, or maybe The Minotaur, but mostly they are cold, like adverts, like PR bumpf, showing only excerpted versions of the human experience. Poems should make you see things in a new way, good poems should reveal the truths of the world in ways you never imagined. Not a single poem in this collection made my blood pump harder, made me exited, made me read the work out loud to my partner excitedly. There were some good poems, certainly. Hughes skill is undeniable, but there were so few moments in this where his descriptions, his rhythm, his vision grabbed me and surprised me, only depressed me with his art, a great painter leaving a portrait to posterity that is a grotesquery, handing on hatred as truth to posterity. I feel so sorry for Sylvia Plath, being handpicked as a trophy wife by a selfish man who didn't understand her and didn't want to, who felt attacked by the existence of an emotional life that was inconvenient to him, and then having her pain and art turned into mocking and dismissive poems. There is nothing in this book that tells you anything about why he loved her, what he liked about her, the good times they had together, the work they created during their relationship, how he felt and why, what she said about her subjects, their courtship, why they got married, why they had children, a whole relationship reduced to 60 or so bitter vignettes of him having the arse with her. It's the poetry equivalent of a man explaining that his ex is a nutter and you shouldn't believe anything she says. Horrible stuff, sometimes very good in a technical kind of way but mostly the only thing I felt was annoyance.… (mer)
elahrairah | 22 andra recensioner | Nov 20, 2023 |
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Way way back 40 years ago, I studied Latin for what were then called O-levels, and one of the set texts was a Belfast-teenager-friendly translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I loved it. If you don’t know, it’s a narrative poem in fifteen books re-telling classical legends, concentrating in particular on those where there is a change of shape – usually humans turned into animals, vegetables or minerals, though with other variations too. It’s breezy, vivid and sometimes funny, and it’s been a store of easily accessible ancient lore for centuries.

I’d always meant to get back to it properly, and it finally popped up on my list of books that I owned but had not yet blogged here. However, my 40-year-old copy is safely in Northern Ireland, so I acquired both the latest Penguin translation, by Stephanie McCarter, and Ted Hughes’ selection of twenty-four choice chapters, and read them – I took the McCarter translation in sequence, and then jumped across to read the relevant sections if Hughes had translated them, though he put them in a different order.

I do find Ovid fascinating. In some ways he speaks to the present day reader very directly – a lot of the emotions in the Ars Amatoria could be expressed by lovers two thousand years later. But here he’s taking material that was already very well known, the Greek and Roman classical legendarium, and repackaging it for a sophisticated audience in the greatest city in the world. The book ends (McCarter’s translation):

Where Roman power spreads through conquered lands,
I will be read on people’s lips. My fame
will last across the centuries. If poets’
prophecies can hold any truth, I’ll live.

And he did. I have been particularly struck by Ovid’s popularity among the patrons of my favourite 17th-century stuccador, Jan Christiaan Hansche. A number of his most interesting ceilings feature stories from Ovid, some of them well known, some less so. Sixteen centuries after Ovid laid down his pen, his work was still part of the standard canon of literature known to all educated Western Europeans.

So. The two translations are different and serve different purposes. McCarter’s mandate was to translate the whole of the Metamorphoses into iambic pentameter in English. She is necessarily constrained to giving us an interpretation of Ovid’s text, with all of its limitations, and confining her own original thoughts to footnotes and other supporting material.

In a very interesting introduction, she is clear about the many scenes of rape in the story. But she also makes it clear that Ovid has a lot more active female characters than are in his sources, and they get more to do. She gives some telling examples of previous translators projecting later concepts of femininity onto Ovid’s fairly unambiguous original words.

Given the contemporary debate, it’s also interesting that Ovid has several examples of gender fluidity – not really presented as a standard part of everyday life, but nonetheless as a phenomenon that happens. For Ovid, we must simply accept that someone’s current gender may not be the one that they were born with.

Ted Hughes, on the other hand, was translating favourite bits of Ovid because he had reached the stage of his career where he could do what he wanted. He could leave out all the bits he found boring (I haven’t counted, but I think he translates about only 40% of Ovid’s text), and he could add his own flourishes at will. Inevitably this makes for a more satisfactory reading experience, though it is incomplete.

Both translations bring to life Ovid’s vivid imagery, which really throws you into the narrative. For a compare and contrast passage, here is the beginning of their treatment of the story of Phaethon, the son of the Sun who crashed to disaster trying to drive his father’s chariot (a favourite topic for Hansche). I think that the differences speak for themselves:

The Sun’s child Phaethon equaled him in age
and mind. But Epaphus could not endure
his boasts, his smugness, and his arrogance
that Phoebus was his father and declared,
“You crazily trust all your mother says!
Your head is swollen by a phony father!”
Phaethon blushed as shame repressed his wrath.
He took these taunts to Clymene, his mother,
and told her, “Mother, to upset you more,
although I am free-spoken and quick-tempered,
I could not speak, ashamed these insults could
be uttered and that I could not refute them.
If I am truly born of holy stock,
give me a sign and claim me for the heavens!”
Wrapping his arms around his mother’s neck,
he begged—by his life, Merops’ life, his sisters’
weddings—that she give proof of his true father.

When Phaethon bragged about his father, Phoebus
The sun-god,
His friends mocked him.
‘Your mother must be crazy
Or you’re crazy to believe her.
How could the sun be anybody’s father?’
In a rage of humiliation
Phaethon came to his mother, Clymene.
‘They’re all laughing at me,
And I can’t answer. What can I say? It’s horrible.
I have to stand like a dumb fool and be laughed at.
‘If it’s true, Mother,’ he cried, ‘if the sun,
The high god Phoebus, if he is my father,
Give me proof.
Give me evidence that I belong to heaven.’
Then he embraced her. ‘I beg you,
‘On my life, on your husband Merops’ life,
And on the marriage hopes of my sisters,
Only give me proof that the sun is my father.’

I think I’d recommend that a reader unfamiliar with Ovid start with Hughes and then go on to McCarter to get the full story.… (mer)
nwhyte | 8 andra recensioner | Apr 1, 2023 |
Ted Hughes really likes rivers.

For my part, there were three poems toward the beginning of the collection that really stood out for me, Japanese River Tales, The Morning Before Christmas and Four March Watercolors. After that the collection just seemed repetitive.

Hughes is a bit of a word-smith and can really craft some interesting lines but there is only so much you can say about salmon before it just becomes too much. Mind you, I like nature poetry but I think that doing a thematic collection like this limits the audience to die-hard Ted Hughes fans.

So not one of my favorite books of poetry but I would still like to read more by Hughes just no more flowing water please.
… (mer)
DarrinLett | Aug 14, 2022 |
Lupercal is the second collection of poems by Ted Hughes. The poems in it continue the voice Hughes established with The Hawk in the Rain. Poems such as “To Paint a Water Lily” and “Pike” show nature without a sentimental gloss. Others, such as “Everyman’s Odyssey,” “Cleopatra to the Asp,” and “Lupercalia,” evoke the ancient world, but not in an antiquarian way. Instead, the figures in them are not so different from us.
Sometimes I wasn’t sure how a poem’s title related to the text. One example is “Wilfred Owen’s Photograph.” Another is “February,” in which the speaker regards a photo of the last wolf killed in England (who makes a surprise reappearance in “The Retired Colonel”). That wolf hovers over the entire collection, given the book’s title and its final poem.
Some poems, such as “Esther’s Tomcat,” are very accessible, whereas others are more obscure. For example, I had to read “Mayday at Holderness” three times before I got a feeling for the juxtaposition of the inexorable work of the North Sea (like a vast digestive tract) and a single death amid the ferocious slaughter at Gallipolli.
“Hawk Roosting” is a masterpiece. Another is “The Bull Moses,” an evocation so powerful I felt as if I were peering through the barn’s half-door and inhaling the odors.
Throughout, Hughes employs short words carefully marshaled for full effect of vowels and consonants, appropriate counterpart to his unflinching view of nature.
… (mer)
HenrySt123 | 1 annan recension | Apr 14, 2022 |



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Louis Simpson Contributor
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Edgar Bowers Contributor
Anthony Thwaite Contributor
D. M. Thomas Contributor
Nathaniel Tarn Contributor
Patricia Beer Contributor
John Most Contributor
Vernon Scannell Contributor
Paul Roche Contributor
Jeremy Robson Contributor
Rosemary Tonks Contributor
Brian Patten Contributor
Robert Nye Contributor
Michael Baldwin Contributor
Jon Stallworthy Contributor
Edwin Morgan Contributor
Tom McGrath Contributor
D. M. Black Contributor
Alan Bold Contributor
Alan Brownjohn Contributor
Charles Causley Contributor
Jack Clemo Contributor
Patric Dickinson Contributor
Brian Higgins Contributor
Geoffrey Hill Contributor
David Holbrook Contributor
Peter Levi sj Contributor
Christopher Logue Contributor
Edward Lucie-Smith Contributor
Michael Mackmin Contributor
Roger McGough Contributor
Gerald Rose Illustrator
Ulrich Horstmann Translator
Andrew Davidson Illustrator, Cover artist
Caroline Forbes Photographer
Frieda Hughes Cover artist
Cynthia Krupat Cover designer
Laura Carlin Illustrator
Chris Mould Illustrator
Peter Nijmeijer Translator
Barry Moser Illustrator
Sue Scullard Cover artist
Rob Scholten Translator
Jackie Morris Illustrator
George Adamson Illustrator
Sylvia Weve Illustrator
Chris Riddell Illustrator
Mark Hearld Cover artist
Jan Wagner Translator
Flora McDonnell Illustrator


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