Hughes poem offers insight on Plath death

LONDON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A poem by Ted Hughes, recently discovered in a British Library archive, reveals the late writer's anguish over the suicide of his estranged wife, Sylvia Plath.

Plath killed herself in 1963 by putting her head in an oven and inhaling gas fumes.


The BBC said researcher and writer Melvyn Bragg discovered three versions of "Last Letter," the previously unknown poem about Plath's death, at the library with the help of Hughes's widow, Carol.

Published in Thursday's issue of the New Statesman, the poem contains the lines: "What did happen that Sunday night? / Your last night? Over what I remember of it."

Hughes is believed to have worked on the verse for 30 years before he died of a heart attack while undergoing treatment for colon cancer in 1998.

A version of the newly found poem was read by actor Jonathan Pryce on Channel 4 News Thursday, the BBC said.

"Then a voice like a selected weapon / or a carefully measured injection / coolly delivered its four words deep into my ear / your wife is dead," the British broadcaster quoted Hughes as saying in the work.


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