Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Hughes Legacy



Ted Hughes has been dead about eleven years now and legacy as a poet is again in public view as some have taken up the cause of him being honored by inclusion in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner - poetry's holiest of holies.  Those enshrined there include Chaucer, William Shakespeare, TS Eliot, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, William Blake and Sir John Betjeman the last admitted in 1984.


Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney is one of several who have called called for Ted Hughes to be honored in the Poets’ Corner. Others include Andrew Motion, who took over from Hughes as poet laureate, Lord Melvyn Bragg. 


“In proclaiming and embodying in his work a holistic sense of life on earth, he became one of the vital presences in 20th Century poetry.” ~ Seamus Heaney


The final decision on admitting Hughes to this honor belongs to the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.


Outside of his homeland, Hughes is perhaps best known as the husband of Silvia Plath. The whole Plath / Hughes relationship would likely overshadow such talk in this country where the nearly myth like lore perhaps surpasses real critical view of his own poetry.



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