Drafts and Notebooks
Jonathan Bate will lead a half-day session, in which participants will explore Ted Hughes’s notebooks and poetry drafts. Many of Hughes’ poems went through dozens of drafts — sometimes there are a hundred pages of drafts for a single poem (though we won’t look at all of these!). We will look at the process whereby some of his greatest poems, such as “The Thought Fox” and “Hawk Roosting” came into being. We will also look at the thirty year process of bringing Birthday Letters into being — this will involve us in discussion of his relationship with Sylvia Plath and the way that their poems enter into dialogue with each other.