What Do I Read Next?
Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 231
The Hawk in the Rain (1957) is Hughes’s first collection of poetry. It was met with some of the highest acclaim of any young poet of the time. It is worth reading today just to note the remarkable contrast to the poems from Birthday Letters, his last collection.
Though published nearly three decades ago, Keith Sagar’s The Art of Ted Hughes (1975) is still an intriguing, compact look at the poet’s work in the first decade after Plath’s death. It also includes a biography of Hughes’s childhood and the author’s take on Hughes’s influence on Plath’s poetry.
Plath’s autobiographical novel The Bell Jar (1963) was published under the pseudonym of Victoria Lucas a month before her death. The novel takes place in New York at the height of the Cold War, and the story of the heroine’s breakdown and near death are modeled after Plath’s own similar experience during the early 1950s, when she suffered from depression and made her first suicide attempt.
Plath wrote a collection of poems, Ariel (1965), just prior to her death. It was edited by Hughes and published posthumously. Written feverishly in the months after Hughes left her, this book contains the infamous poems “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus,” among others. It has become one of the bestselling volumes of poetry published in England and America in the twentieth century.