To What Extent Does Hughes' Poem 'Your Paris' Present the Main Issues of the Collection Birthday Letters?

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To what extent does Hughes’ poem, ‘Your Paris’ present the main issues of Birthday Letters? (Reference to two other poems) Ted Hughes’ poem ‘Your Paris’ was written about Ted Hughes’ and Sylvia Plath’s visit to Paris shortly after their marriage on 16 June 1956. The poem is part of the collection ‘Birthday Letters’ published in 1998, 35 years after the suicide of Sylvia Plath and so is written (as most of the collection) with the benefit of Hindsight and so Hughes is able to relate their trip to Paris to the future of their relationship. One of the main issues presented in ‘Your Paris’ is a conflict of Paths and Hughes perspectives on Paris. The opening line ‘Your Paris, I thought, was American’ immediately shows that Hughes is assuming…show more content…
The issue of Plath’s metal health is such a huge one as Hughes blames it for most of the problems in their relationship, as seen in the poems ‘Sam’, ‘Being Christlike’ and ‘The tender Place’ where Hughes directly talks about the electrocution treatment Plath was given for her depression. The topic is mentally constantly throughout the collection and is the most prominent issue Hughes finds himself dealing with. The collection ‘Birthday Letters’ was the first release of any material which spoke of Hughes and Plath’s relationship after she died. An issue raised by ‘You’re Paris’ if one of Hughes trying to finally come to terms with her death and the events leading up to it. He tries to understand what happened to their relationship, and as we know it was written with the benefit of hindsight, Hughes attempts to analyse everything to find answers. Although the topic is not directly mentioned, the post-war Paris he speaks of (as well as being metaphoric of Plath’s mental health), can also be symbolic of himself and his own situation, ‘Betrayal, reprisal, hatred’. After Plath’s suicide, the suicide of his second wife, Asia and the death of his daughter, Hughes was emotionally devastated, ‘patched and scabbed’ and the whole collection can be seen as his efforts of

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