PLATH, SYLIVA (1932-1963) and TED HUGHES (1930-1998)
Lot 374
PLATH, SYLIVA (1932-1963) and TED HUGHES (1930-1998) AUTOGRAPH REVISED POETICAL DRAFTS BY EACH OF THEM ON THE SAME SHEET OF PAPER, ALSO WITH A TYPED POEM BY SYLVIA PLATH, [1961]
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 28,654) inc. premium

Lot Details
PLATH, SYLIVA (1932-1963) and TED HUGHES (1930-1998)
PLATH, SYLIVA (1932-1963) and TED HUGHES (1930-1998)
AUTOGRAPH REVISED POETICAL DRAFTS BY EACH OF THEM ON THE SAME SHEET OF PAPER, ALSO WITH A TYPED POEM BY SYLVIA PLATH, 2 pages, quarto, small brown stain at head, address typed by Plath at head 'Sylvia Plath / 3 Chalcot Square / London N.W.1, England', [1961]

(i) PLATH (SYLVIA) Autograph draft of what was to be the second stanza of her two-stanza poem 'I am Vertical', with autograph revisions and deletions preserving reconsidered readings, 11 lines, top half of a quarto page

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars
The trees and flowers have been breathing their cool odors out
They bloom in my window-square with the first birdsong...

...It is more natural to me, lying down
Then the sky & I are in open conversation
I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees will have time for me, & the flowers love me.

There are a number of differences between the version here and that in the published text.

(ii) PLATH (SYLVIA) Typescript of her poem entitled 'Night Thoughts' but published under the title 'Barren Women', 10 lines, top third of the verso of the above

Empty, I echo to the least footfall,
Museum without statues, grand with pillars, porticoes, rotundas.
In my courtyard a fountain leaps and sinks back into itself,
Nun-hearted and blind to the world. Marble lilies
Exhale their pallor like scent...

(iii) HUGHES (TED) Autograph draft entitled 'Endless', 14 lines, with autograph revisions, APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED - not in the Collected Poems, the remaining two-thirds of the sheet as the typed poem (ii) above

Is the milk-flow, but blood-brown
As from the bulging springs of a mass-grave
Out of Elgar
Gently breasted
Centre of England...

...O Thames I prefer you at night, when your waters go glisten
Like the drawn voice of an orioli alone,
A dark feminine agony.

AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPTS BY SYLVIA PLATH AND TED HUGHES ON THE SAME SHEET OF PAPER ARE RARE: none have appeared at auction. The two poems by Sylvia Plath are dated to 1961 in her Collected Poems.

PROVENANCE: Ted Hughes.
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