Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Valerie Eliot Sizing Up Ted Hughes

Valerie Eliot Sizing Up Ted Hughes

Looking annoyed—as usual
Valerie Eliot—the Widow of
Queen’s Square—sizes up
Ted Hughes—tall dark and
Handsome—Yorkshire stud
Leisurely—sipping drinks
At a celebratory—Farber & Faber
Cocktail party—in 1960

After all—Valerie’s famous
Husband—Miss T. S. Eliot
Queen of—The Wasteland
And Miss Spender—had both
Got Ted his—Guggenheim
And Lupercal—published
Later inviting—Ted and Sylvia
To the Eliot’s—lavish apartment

Valerie—like Dido and Assia
Fell in love with—the young
Taciturn poet—who kept aloof
From effeminate—trite literary
Gossip and chit-chat—so very
Self-assured—and sexy as
Only hunters—and fishermen
And animals—can surely be.

Note: “the Widow of Queen’s
Square,” Philip Larkin, “Letter
To Anthony Thwaite—3 September
1984,” Selected Letters (1940-
1985), 1992, page 718

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