Yes, we're getting out the poetical cake again and lighting some candles because today is Ted Hughes' birthday!

And, thanks to our friends at Faber, we've got lots of Hughesian treats, photos and readings for you to enjoy while thinking of the late, great poet.

Hughes, who was Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998, is one of the country's best-loved poets. His best known collection is Birthday Letters, which looks at the turbulent relationship with American poet Sylvia Plath and her suicide.

hughes plath_paris 1956 Ted Hughes and his wife Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956


We've got a recording of Hughes reading his earliest poem, 'The Thought Fox', as well as 'The Harvest Moon', both of which pick up on the themes of the brutality and beauty of nature which permeated his early work.


So happy birthday, Ted!

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  • Ted Hughes

    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Ted Hughes and Craig Raine

    "The wolf is living for the earth." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Ted Hughes and Mark Gerson

    "The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain - and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Ted Hughes and Mark Gerson

    "He was his own leftover, the spat-out scrag. He was what his brain could make nothing of." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in Paris

    "Show him every dawn and read to him endlessly." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Hughes with Auden and Eliot

    "What's writing really about? It's about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • "You are who you choose to be." IMAGE: Faber Books

  • "Applause is the beginning of abuse" IMAGE: Faber Books

  • "What happened casually remains" IMAGE: Faber Books

  • Hughes and Plath

    "What happens in the heart, simply happens" IMAGE: Faber Books

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