Loser's Guide to Life
|That was usually enough to settle any grievances ...|
Ted Hughes had fifteen wives, but none of them was very important except for Sylvia Plath, “and even that was kind of a fluke”, he would comment later.
Sometimes Ted Hughes would come home to his wives and say, “I'm TED HUGHES, bitches!” He actually popularized the line. That was usually enough to settle any grievances, suicide bids, or complaints about the grub. He used to feed them nothing but potato peelings and the odd bread crust soaked in milk.
During his undergraduate years at Cambridge he was supposed to be “reading English”, as his scholarship stipulated, but that was difficult, because it was a new language for him. As a boy on the Yorkshire moors he had only known the rough patois of his people. So he spent much of his time listening to Beethoven, who was a great one for talk. Deaf as a post, Beethoven, but he would talk at you until there was nothing but a soft mist between your ears. There was no shutting him up. And very loud, too, because he was deaf.
In later life, people used to ask him, “What do you consider your best poem?” And he would invariably answer, “Sleeping pills”.