Ted Hughes (1930-1998)
was born on 17 August 1930 in Mytholmroyd in Yorkshire. Hughes’s childhood was
spent in a coal mining town of South Yorkshire. After completing high school,
Hughes served in the Royal Air Force for two years and then joined Pembroke
College, Cambridge, and studied archaeology and anthropology, with a special
interest in myth and legends. Hughes married the American poet Sylvia Plath in
1956 and both of them moved to the USA and worked as lecturers there. Hughes’s
first collection of poems “The Hawk in the Rain”, was published in 1957,
winning him a wide range of critical recognition achieving a reputation of
international prominence as a poet. The suicide of Sylvia Plath in 1963 drew
him into several controversies and the public accused him responsible for her
death. Major works of Hughes includes Lupercal (1960), Wodwo (1967), Crow
(1970), Moortown (1979), Wolfwatching (1989) etc. The Birthday Letters, was a
verse memoir that he wrote for Plath was published in 1998. Hughes was also a
popular writer of children’s fiction and his work The Iron Man (1968) gained
popularity all over the world. Hughes edited many works of Sylvia Plath and
edited popular anthologies like The Rattle Bag (1982) and The School Bag (1997)
with Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Hughes translated the works of classical authors
like Ovid and Aeschylus.

Hughes was honoured
with the Poet Laureateship in 1984 and maintained to be in that position till
his death on 20 October 1998. Hughes was also awarded with Order of Merit in
1997.  

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Ted Hughes is known for
his animal poetry and he uses animal characters to portray his observations
into the surviving spirituality of nature. By employing animal imageries, the
poet explores more into the power of nature that he finds missing in human
world.