By Maya Palit
Remember when some of Sylvia Plath’s letters were discovered in April this year, and revealed some of the scarring events of her past? The poet’s legacy is still popping up in unexpected corners. And this time, two poems have surfaced on a sheet of carbon paper lying inside an old notebook.
According to The Guardian, Gail Crowther and Peter K Steinberg, scholars working on a new book about Plath, found these poems along with others that were written by Ted Hughes after Plath’s suicide, and subsequently abandoned.
All this material belongs to the Lilly library at Indiana University, but these academics used Photoshop to decipher the writing on the musty paper. They have since traced Plath’s poems to 1956, the year that Plath and Hughes met. They’re also wondering if they’ve stumbled across a third unpublished poem.
It sounds like the poems vary wildly in theme. The first one, titled ‘To a Refractory Santa Claus’, is written from the perspective of someone yearning to leave England’s dreary weather, whereas the second, titled ‘Megrims’, has a paranoid speaker addressing their doctor about odd things like owl attacks and spiders in coffee cups.
Sounds vague to you? Well we’ll know more soon, once ‘These Ghostly Archives’, a book by these two scholars containing previously unseen photographs and other material, is published in the UK this week. Watch this space.