Cleaving Hughes

The Murder of Sylvia Plath

“Everybody hated her.”
—Ted Hughes

“Plath’s mysterious meeting
with an unknown companion
the night before her suicide”
—Jillian Becker, Giving Up:
The Last Days of Sylvia Plath

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
It would be—one of the most
Scandalous—Literary homicides
Of the 20th century—it would
Truly be—Murder Most Foul

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
Upsetting—the whole apple-cart
Of the Suicide Cult—reversing
The whole—Mytholmroyd Mythos
Generated by—Ted Hughes

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
A cover-up—once revealed
Setting in motion—a paradigm
Shift for—Plath literary criticism
Provoking—a terrible new Ariel

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
Was Ted Hughes—the mysterious
Unknown companion—who visited
Sylvia Sat Night—before her
So-called suicide—Monday morning?

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
Is that why—Ted Hughes queered
Sylvia’s original—Ariel manuscript
Stanza by Stanza—Line by Line
Sabotaging—Sylvia Plath’s oeuvre?

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
Is that why—Hughes censored Ariel
Mysteriously lost—her Journals
Ruthlessly suppressing—poems
And biographies—he hated?

Was Sylvia Plath—murdered?
Assia Wevill—murdered too?
Hughes—the Yorkshire Ripper?
The Rabbit Killer—Poet Laureate?
Sleek Killer Pike—of the Moors?

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