View full screen - View 1 of Lot 7. Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on her love for him and Cambridge life, 3 October 1956.
7

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on her love for him and Cambridge life, 3 October 1956

Margin Scheme

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on her love for him and Cambridge life, 3 October 1956

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on her love for him and Cambridge life, 3 October 1956

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Lot sold:

22,680

GBP

Sylvia Plath


Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes ("Dearest Teddy")


"It is early yet, a clear miraculous guileless blue day with heather-colored asters, shining chestnuts breaking from green pods (I wait till after dark to collect these) and rooks clacking like bright scraped metal", describing her life in Cambridge ("...this queer ascetic way of life...") and the intensity with which she misses him, and analysing the poetry being published in magazines, with scattered autograph corrections and a two-line autograph postscript, 6 pages, 8vo (174 x 133mm), RMS Queen Elizabeth headed stationery [but Whitstead, Newnham College, Cambridge], 3 October 1956, signature smudged


"...the way I miss you makes that hissing small anemic word look ridiculous. I have very simply never felt this way before, and what I and we must do is fight and live with these floods of strange feelings; my whole life, being, breathing, thinking, sleeping, and eating, has somehow, in the course of these last months, become indissolubly welded to yours..."


Having returned to Cambridge for the new term, Sylvia Plath describes how she has tried to settle down whilst also describing her great loneliness at being separated from Hughes. She explains how she intends to engage with Cambridge social life as little as possible ("...I am in a queer way, capable of being happy completely alone; living with my god, which is you; like a nun; I talk to you each night before I go to bed..."). She grapples with the terrible food ("pale bilious green dessert (dyed custard)..."), gossipy environment, and her lack of connection with her fellow students but looks forward to leaving for America the following summer.


She also writes about poetry. Surveying the magazines, she comments that The Nation "is in very bad need of good poetry", whilst the New Yorker "is split between the most appallingly sentimental nature and love poetry, very still in movement, unrhymed as often as not, and this jig-jogging pirouetting funny-wit stuff". She has sent poems to the editor of The Atlantic and envisions herself as a "female lyricist who sings the glory of love", as opposed to a "pseudo-make intellectual Platonist like Kathleen Raine, or bitter-sour lovelorn".  


LITERATURE:

The Letters of Sylvia Plath: Volume One, pp.1265-68

signature smudged


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