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Bob Holman & Margery Snyder

Sylvia Plath Speaks in Her Own Voice

By April 17, 2010

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No silent page can compare to the experience of hearing a poem read by the poet—and when the poet is no longer alive, recorded readings are all the more precious, as I was reminded when I first came across Salon.com’s recordings of Sylvia Plath reading two of her poems, “Mushrooms” and “On the Decline of Oracles.” Now there is an entire CD, The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath just released by the British Library, gathering all the recordings of Plath from the BBC archives, including readings of several poems and a previously unpublished interview with Plath and Ted Hughes shortly after they wed.

from The Guardian (UK):
British Library archive throws light on Hughes-Plath romance,” by Alison Flood
“A wine-stained first edition of the literary magazine founded by Ted Hughes and his Cambridge friends, covered in handwritten annotations by the poet laureate, has been acquired by the British Library.... The British Library is also releasing an audio CD of Plath recordings, including a rare recording of Plath and Hughes talking about their relationship. The poet, who committed suicide in 1963 aged 30, is heard speaking cheerily about life in England, and about her meeting and marriage to Hughes.”

from The Independent (UK):
The poetry of courtship: Plath and Hughes caught on tape,” by Jonathan Brown
“Her voice is bright and vivacious, her observations on the eccentricities of life in her adopted home full of joy and mischievous fun. Recorded shortly after her marriage to Ted Hughes, previously unpublished interviews reveal a different side to the gloomy popular image of the poet Sylvia Plath—and lend a touching insight into the tender early days of the couple’s ultimately doomed relationship.”

More on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes:
Our biographical profile of Plath, with links to buy her books
Thinking About Sylvia Plath as the Winter Darkness Comes On (November 2012)
A Star Chart for Sylvia Plath’s Birthday (November 2008)
The Poet’s Name Inscribed on a Hidden Slab (August 2003)

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