One of the most important poets of the post-war period, Edward James Hughes (1930-1998), was drawn towards the primitive. He was enchanted by the beauty of the natural world, frequently portraying its cruel and savage temperament in his work as a reflection of his own personal suffering and mystical beliefs – convinced that modern man had lost touch with the primordial side of his nature.
Born in Mytholmroyd, a remote mill town in West Yorkshire, Ted (as he was known to his friends and family) was enormously affected by the desolate moorland landscape of his childhood, and also by his father’s vivid recollections of the brutality of trench warfare. Indeed, his father, who was then a carpenter, was one of only seventeen men from his regiment to have survived at Gallipoli during the First World War.
At the age of seven his family moved to Mexborough (also in Yorkshire), where his parents opened a stationery and tobacco shop. Here he attended the local grammar school, where he first began to write poetry – usually bloodcurdling verses about Zulus and cowboys – before doing two years’ national service in the Royal Air Force. He later won a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he started reading English Literature but switched to archaeology and anthropology, subjects that were a major influence on the development of his poetic awareness. Here he immersed himself in the works of Shakespeare, W.B. Yeats and read Robert Graves’s “The White Goddess” (1948).
Following his graduation in 1954, he moved to London, where he had a number of interesting jobs, including zoo keeping, gardening and script reading for J. Arthur Rank. He also had several of his poems published in university magazines. In 1956 he and some Cambridge friends started up a literary journal called St. Botolph’s Review. It lasted for only one issue but at the inaugural party Ted met his future wife, the then unknown American poet, Sylvia Plath.
Much has been written about the Hughes/Plath relationship since that first portentous meeting, but few can doubt that these two brilliantly creative people were enormously attracted to one another, almost from the moment they were first introduced. Within just a few short months they were married and living in the USA, where Hughes taught English and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. And before the year was out, he had won an American poetry competition, judged by W.H. Auden, Sir Stephen Spender and Marianne Moore. Hughes once said of this contented period:
“We would write poetry every day. It was all we were interested in, all we ever did.” – Ted Hughes
Plath assisted him with the preparation of his first collection, The Hawk in the Rain (1957), a work that was quite extraordinary in its treatment of natural subjects. He continued to live in America for the next few years, being partly supported by a Guggenheim Foundation grant, before returning to England in 1959. He then went on to win the Somerset Maugham award and the Hawthornden prize for his second book, “Luperca”l (1960); confirming his reputation as one of the most important poets of the post-war period.
The next few years of Ted’s life have since become the subject of much biographical speculation. However, the simple facts are that he and Plath had two children and moved to Devon in 1961. Their marriage began to disintegrate shortly thereafter and Hughes started an affair with Assia Wevill. He split from Plath and she committed suicide in her London flat in 1963. In 1969 Wevill also killed herself and their child. He married Carol Orchard in 1970 and spent the rest of his life trying to protect his and Plath’s children from the media. Hughes published only children’s poetry and prose in the years following the death of his first wife.
His next major work was “Wodwo” (1967), which took its title from a character in the medieval romance “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, and highlighted his increasing interest in mythology. He travelled to Iran in 1971, where he wrote the verse/drama “Orghast” in an invented language. Some of his other collections include “Crow” (1970), “Cave Birds” (1975), “Season Songs” (1976), “Gaudete” (a long poem on fertility rites, 1977), “Moortown” (1979), “Remains of Elmet” (1979) and “River” (1983).
Hughes was also one of the originators of the Arvon Foundation and was awarded an OBE in 1977. In 1984 he was appointed Poet Laureate and went on to publish “Rain-Charm for the Duchy and other Laureate Poems” (1992). Then in 1995 he composed a poem about Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, for her 95th birthday, likening her to a six-rooted tree. He also wrote many reviews and essays, some of which were collected in “Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being” (1992), “A Dancer to God: Tribute to T.S. Eliot” (1992) and “Winter Pollen: Occasional Prose” (1994). In addition to all this he also wrote many wonderful plays and books for children, including his remarkable fantasy “The Iron Man”. And when, just months before his death, Hughes released “Birthday Letters”, a collection of poems about his life with Sylvia Plath, it became an immediate bestseller throughout the English speaking world and was widely praised for its searing honesty.
Ted Hughes died of cancer on 28th October 1998, having just been appointed to the Order of Merit. Andrew Motion followed him as Britain’s Poet Laureate.
Oscar Wilde was one of the greatest writers of his generation. Although there is much to be said about his personal life, one can only sing praises about his work. He possesses an honest voice and an uncanny wit that makes people sit up and listen. If you are in need of motivation, there are a lot of Oscar Wilde quotes that will get you up and running to success.
For many years, people have been fascinated with his work. And now, it is your turn to be inspired. Find out what these Oscar Wilde quotes have to say:
1) “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from lack of imagination.”
This Oscar Wilde quote is telling you to aim high. Never settle for what is “just there.” After all, how else will you improve your quality of life when you’re simply sticking with what is “just there.” What happens when you finally run out of what is “just there?”
This quote demands that you make something more of your life. Use your imagination to come up with say, more ways to earn additional income.
2) “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.”
This Oscar Wilde quote explains that you cannot always trust people by what they say about themselves. Some people would always try to beef themselves up and make themselves look good in the process.
Instead of just taking their word for it, why don’t you do a little digging around yourself? Ask common friends about this person. If you want to be successful, it’s good to be aware of the values and behavior of the people you’re dealing with.
3) “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
Once you are successful, you can’t help but make enemies. According to Oscar Wilde, you should not give such trivial matters any importance. The more attention you give to your enemies, the more distracted you’ll become and the happier they will be.
In situations like this, the best thing to do would be to ignore them. Besides, ignoring them is blatantly sending them the message that they’re not really worth your time. In the end, isn’t that the best revenge of all?
These Oscar Wilde quotes are full of meaning. Don’t just give them a once over and be on your way. You never know when you might need a little wisdom in your life.
I’m thinking of the poem,
“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower …”
Anybody in here read it? If so, what do you think Dylan Thomas is trying to say? Do you agree with it?
Emily Dickinson was a woman who lived in times that are more traditional; her life experiences influence and help us to understand the dramatic and poetic lines in her writing. Although Dickinson’s poetry can often be defined as sad and moody, we can find the use of humor and irony in many of her poems. By looking at the humor and sarcasm found in three of Dickinson’s poems, “Success Is Counted Sweetest”, “I am Nobody”, and “Some keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, one can examine each poem show how Dickinson used humor and irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and the environment in the each poem.
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst Massachusetts; a small farming town that had a college and a hat factory. There, she was raised in a strict Calvinist household while receiving most of her education at a boarding school that followed the American Puritanical tradition. She seldom left her hometown; virtually, her only contact with her friends came to be made through letters. As a young woman, Dickinson rejected comforting traditions, resisted male authority, and wrestled alone with her complex and often contrary emotions. Although she was claimed to be a high-spirited and active young woman, Dickinson began to withdraw from society in the 1850’s. The many losses she experienced throughout her life, the death of her father, mother, close neighbors, and friends influenced her life largely and led her to write about death to an enormous amount. Dickinson made a few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an amateur poet; on one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was a published poet. His criticism of her poetry devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works. Evident through her letters and poems, her poetry records intense devotion, sharp, skeptical independence, doubt, and what repeatedly reflects her happiness and despair.
In the poem, “Success is Counted Sweetest”; Dickinson’s emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony. Here it is bitterness expressed towards the status or notion of success that is most felt by the reader as Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it.
While the previous poem expresses the poet’s bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, “I am Nobody” uses humor without irony to address another. In this poem, Dickinson’s style appears almost child-like in its of descriptions including frogs and bogs. Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence, and her preference for it. The poet relates through her writing that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the tedious norms of her society. She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity suggesting that the audience is not that interested by creating the mysterious feeling of an arcane society of social outcasts. In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of elite members of her society.
In addition, in the poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, she questions the sincerity of those who attend church on Sunday on a customary basis. Through the use of comparing the formalities of church with her own celebration of the Sabbath through the appreciation of nature, Dickinson casually suggests that those in attendance at church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is. Dickinson ridicules the congregation as she accuses them of attending merely for show and to gain status in the community. Also, she argues with the notion that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in nature that will lead to the path of redemption. The humor in this poem is not as explicit as in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in “Success is Counted Sweetest”. The reader can sense Dickinson’s sarcasm in the opening lines of “Some Keep the Sabbath going to Church” – / I keep it staying home”, and will react to its most definitive form in the closing lines of “So instead of getting to Heaven, at last – I’m going, all along.” While the descriptive are humorous, Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader. Thus she does not emphasize the humor in the comparison of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but instead allows enough humor to enter the description to emphasize the poem with the child-like free spiritedness.
Dickinson was a poet highly skilled in the use of humor and irony and she effectively used these tools in her poetry to stress a point or idea. However, her frustration, bitterness and independence are felt through the expressive lines of her poetry while at the same time concealing her concerns in a light-hearted and irreverent tone. Emily Dickens’s works contain deep emotion and her words will continue to amaze those that have the privilege of reading them.
What are some of the most important/interesting events in Oscar Wilde’s life? I have to do a report for English and imitate his style while writing about an event in his life. I read a Picture of Dorian Gray, so I’m imitating his style from that.