Like Fury: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes at Cambridge

Heather Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On February 25, 1956, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes met at a raucous launch party for a new Cambridge literary magazine, Saint Botolph’s Review. Plath’s famous journal entry about the meeting gives a sense of the evening’s atmospherics and posturings; sixty years later, its startling immediacy still resists paraphrase. Hughes was “big, dark, hunky,” “the only one there huge enough for me.” She quotes his poems; he poured her brandy—
and then he kissed me bang smash on the mouth and ripped my
hairband off . . . and my favorite silver earrings: hah, I shall keep,
he barked. And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on
the cheek, and when we came out of the room, blood was running
down his face. His poem ‘‘I did it, I.’’ Such violence, and I can see
how women lie down for artists. The one man in the room who was
as big as his poems, huge, with hulk and dynamic chunks of words;
his poems are strong and blasting like a high wind in steel girders.
And I screamed in myself, thinking: oh, to give myself crashing,
fighting, to you.1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-57
Number of pages18
JournalTed Hughes Society Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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