Inspired By Astrology Part 1: Ted Hughes

Ted HughesSylvia Plath wrote of her husband, the poet Ted Hughes (17 August 1930-28 October 1998), “he wears always the same black jacket with pockets full of poems, fresh trout and horoscopes“.

Ted Hughes was an expert in astrology who regarded it as an art rather than a science and his letters showed he urged his editors to publish his books on dates that were auspicious.

Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death, Hughes wrote a christening poem for Prince William entitled “A Zodiac In The Shape Of A Crown“, which described the prince’s horoscope in detail.

In 1963, Sylvia Plath committed suicide leaving behind their two young children. Ted Hughes remained silent about their marriage until a collection of poetry entitled Birthday Letters was published in 1998 and many of the poems spoke of Sylvia and their relationship.

It became a best seller and in it he used more astrological references than he had ever done in his earlier nature poetry. One poem was even entitled, “Horoscope”.

Ted Hughes died of cancer later that same year.

‘Moon!’ you cry suddenly, ‘Moon! Moon!’

The Moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work

That points at him amazed.

from “Full Moon and Little Frida”

[photo from]



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