Frieda Hughes

Frieda is the daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. She grew up with her father who protected her from the turmoil surrounding the death of Sylvia Plath. In an interview that was published in The Guardian together with this poem she said that until very recently she hadn't read the poetry of her parents, nor had she read any of the numerous biographies concerning her mother. She has published a number of children's books and acquired a reputation as a painter. She is married to a fellow painter, the Hungarian-born Laszlo Lukacs. She has now moved from Australia to London.

Frieda Hughes published her first collection of poetry titled 'Wooroloo' in October 1998. An article in TIME magazine (19th Oct) gives some more information.

Her second book of poetry - Stonepicker - was published in October 2001 by Bloodaxe Books. See an article she wrote for the Guardian about her writing and how she deals with her heritage. There are also three poems by her online at this site.

  • Hughes, Frieda: Stonepicker
  • Hughes, Frieda: Wooroloo

    by Frieda Hughes
    Wanting to breathe life into their own dead babies
    They took her dreams, collected words from one
    Who did their suffering for them.
    They fingered through her mental underwear
    With every piece she wrote. Wanting her naked.
    Wanting to know what made her.
    Then tried to feather up the bird again.
    The vulture with its bloody head
    Inside its own belly,
    Sucking up its own juice,
    Working out its own shape,
    Its own reason,
    Its own death.
    While their mothers lay in quiet graves
    Squared out by those green cut pebbles
    And flowers in a jam jar, they dug mine up.
    Right down to the shells I scattered on her coffin.
    They turned her over like meat on coals
    To find the secrets of her withered thighs
    And shrunken breasts.
    They scooped out her eyes to see how she saw,
    And bit away her tongue in tiny mouthfuls
    To speak with her voice.
    But each one tasted separate flesh,
    Ate a different organ,
    Touched other skin.
    Insisted on being the one
    Who knew best,
    Who had the right recipe.
    When she came out of the oven
    They had gutted, peeled
    And garnished her.
    They called her theirs.
    All this time I had thought
    She belonged to me most.
    published November 8th 1997 in The Guardian

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    Last Modified: 26 March Anja Beckmann