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Words to “Patch the Havoc:” The Imagination of Ted Hughes in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath

As editor of Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems, Ted Hughes chose 1956, the year of his marriage to Plath, as the first “logical division” in her poetry, using it as a line of demarcation to separate her juvenilia from the beginning of her mature work. “Early 1956,” when Plath had just turned twenty-four, “presents itself as a watershed,” Hughes tells us, “because from later this year came the earliest poems of her first collection, The Colossus. And from this time I worked closely with her and watched her poems being written” (Introduction, J 16).