‘Poetry is not an expression of a party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what a poet does.’ To what extent does the poetry of Plath and Hughes agree with this statement.
To some extent Hughes and Plath both break the party line in their poetry but they do so in different ways. Hughes thought poetry that his contemporary was too refined and intellectual thought it should be more visceral, Plath one of the first confessional poetry imbedded her psychological state in her poetry. Both make the private public, Hughes making his relationship and joy with nature public, reconnecting with nature
Ability through a poetry to bring nature alive.
I know I’m very conscious of hidden imagery in handwriting—a subtext of a rudimentary picture language.
One has somehow to adjust from being anonymous, a figure in ambush, working from concealment, to being and working in full public view. It had an enormous effect on me. My impression was that I had suddenly walked into a wall of heavy hostile fire.
In poetry, living as a public persona in your writing is maybe even more crippling. Once you’ve contracted to write only the truth about yourself then you can too easily limit yourself to what you imagine are the truths of the ego that claims your conscious biography.
We think we’re writing something to amuse, but we’re actually saying something we desperately need to share. -accusation, a total confession—very naked, I think, when you look into it. Maybe it’s the same with any writing that has real poetic life. Maybe all poetry, insofar as it moves us and connects with us, is a revealing of something that the writer doesn’t actually want to say but desperately needs to communicate, to be delivered of.
Sylvia went furthest in the sense that her secret was most dangerous to her. She desperately needed to reveal it. You can’t overestimate her compulsion to write like that. She had to write those things—even against her most vital interests.
Our methods were not the same. Hers was to collect a heap of vivid objects and good words and make a pattern; the pattern would be projected from somewhere deep inside, from her very distinctly evolved myth. It appears distinctly evolved to a reader now—despite having been totally unconscious to her then. My method was to find a thread end and draw the rest out of a hidden tangle. Her method was more painterly, mine more narrative, perhaps.
every poem that works is like a metaphor of the whole mind writing, the solution of all the oppositions and imbalances going on at that time. When the mind finds the balance of all those things and projects it, that’s a poem. It’s a kind of hologram of the mental condition at that moment, which then immediately changes and moves on to some other sort of balance and rearrangement. What counts is that it be a symbol of that momentary wholeness.
It works on the artist as a healing. But it works on others too, as a medicine. Hence our great, insatiable thirst for it. However it comes out—whether a design in a carpet, a painting on a wall, the shaping of a doorway—we recognize that medicinal element because of the instant healing effect, and we call it art. It consoles and heals something in us.