Hughes to be memorialized in Poets' Corner

March 23, 2010 at 10:53 AM
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LONDON, March 23 (UPI) -- England's former poet laureate Ted Hughes, who died of cancer in 1998, is to be memorialized in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, abbey officials said.

The dean of Westminster, John Hall, told the BBC Hughes's name was recently approved to appear alongside other literary lions such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, the Bronte Sisters, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, John Milton, John Keats, William Blake and William Wordsworth in the centuries-old building where Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Robert Browning's remains are entombed.

"Deciding within a few years of people's death that they will be remembered in hundreds of years' time is of course impossible," the BBC quoted Hall as saying.

"And yet, it is sometimes right to make such a decision, as deans have done over the centuries. By no means every poet laureate has been commemorated in Poets' Corner. But the overwhelming weight of advice I have received suggests that this is the right decision."

"I am thrilled that something of his colossal presence will haunt the aisles of Westminster Abbey," said Hughes's widow, Carol Hughes. "Once the memorial is in place, I hope that those already familiar with Ted's work will see it as a fitting tribute, and those visitors who come across it unexpectedly might be inspired to discover his work for themselves."

Hughes was previously married to U.S. poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide in 1963.

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