Ted Hughes

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The Trials and Tribulations of Ted Hughes

On August 17, 1930 the great English poet, Edward James (Ted) Hughes, was born in Yorkshire. He attended Mexborough grammar school where his teachers proposed that he should take up writing, fueling his love of piecing together poetry. Hughes always had a love and interest for animals and they were a major theme in his writing even from an early age. In 1946 the schools magazine published his poem "The Wild West" and others in '48. That same year Hughes won an open exhibition in English at Pembroke College, helping him decide where to take his higher education.

In 1951 Hughes attended Pembroke College with the intention of studying English. Although he was mentored by a very supportive and inspiring man, M. J. C. Hodhart, Hughes persisted on attending an diminutive amount of classes, lessons, and ceased his poetry writing. During his third year of University he switched his focus to archeology and anthropology, but remarkably published two poems, (one under his pseudonym, Daniel Hearing) getting him back in the swing of things. When he graduated he had several non-writing related jobs, but nothing serious. In 1956 Hughes met and married American poet Sylvia Plath, who was already a published poet with several awards. She supported him in his writings and together their poems were published in magazines like The Nation, Poetry, and The Atlantic. In 1957, with help from his wife, Hughes published a book called "Hawk in the Rain" which won the Poetry Centers first place prize from judges Witt Auden, Stephen Spender, and Marianne Moore. This accomplishment established Hughes as an internationally known poet.

Over the next 10 years Hughes focused on his family life. He had two kids, Frieda and Nicholas. In 1962 Hughes separated from Plath and a year later she committed suicide. Although Hughes was devastated by her passing, many feminists blamed him for her death. Out of respect and admiration for Plath, Hughes...
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