Flowered Memories: an Analysis of Ted Hughes' Daffodils Essay

Words: 1299
Pages: 6

‘Imagine what you are writing about. See it and live it.'
–Ted Hughes, Poetry in the Making

Edward James Hughes was English Poet Laureate from 1984 to his death in 1998. Famous for his violent poems about the innocent savagery of animals, Ted Hughes was born on Mytholmroyd, in the West Riding district of Yorkshire, which became "the psychological terrain of his later poetry" (The Literary Encyclopedia). He was married to the famous Sylvia Plath from 1956 up to her controversial suicide in 1956. Believed by many to have pushed his wife to suicide, Hughes maintained 35 years of silence on the issue.
And on February 1998, Ted Hughes finally broke the silence with the release of Birthday Letters a collection of 88 poems written over 25
…show more content…
The termination of this conjugal project (harvesting and selling flowers) was brought about by two things: the overwhelming number of flowers for picking and the loss of their wedding-present scissors used in harvesting. The end of this venture, and the factors that influenced it may be interpreted as the end of the lifestyle that the young couple was used to. The innocent act of harvesting flowers was a bonding activity for the young family and the end of the said project can result in alienation between the members of the family. The innocence prevalent during the first few lines of the poem are now gone, along with the disappearance of the scissors. What remained was a number of problems (symbolized by the large number of daffodils which meant more work & effort in harvesting) that threatened to "overwhelm" the couple and consequently, to weaken or to end their matrimonial bond and may even be the cause for the death of one of them. Starting from line 56, the persona shifts back into the present as he tells Plath how daffodils have long since blossomed from the very same bulbs that she used to cut. The regeneration of the flowers may be taken to mean that there is continuity of the persona's life after Plath's death. The last image