Ted Hughes' "Your Paris, Sylvia Plath's Journal Entreis

Paris is thought to be the most beautiful and romantic city in the world, however this was not the case for Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, who spent their honeymoon covering their true feelings for the city. They both wrote about Paris and due to the fact that they are writing from their own point of view, it led to conflicting perspectives. Hughes’ poem “Your Paris”, from his anthology of poems entitled “Birthday Letters”, is his representation of their time in Paris, as it shows his perspective on the city and on each other. Plath’s journal entries from March 6 and 26, 1956 show her perspective and purpose of her first visit to Paris, which was without Hughes to resume a relationship with an ex-lover (Richard Sassoon).   Both texts show each composer’s outlook on their visit to Paris and the experiences that have shaped their perspective on Paris.
      The purpose of Ted Hughes’ “Birthday Letters” was to “open a direct, private, inner contact” with Sylvia Plath and to “evoke her presence” to himself. The series of 88 poems, in which all but two are addressed to Plath, were written around 30 years after Plath committed suicide. The poems show Hughes’ raw emotion, passion and personal opinion on their relationship, showing why he has chosen the form of poetry to show us his thoughts. However, Plath’s journal entries show her reflecting on what happened on her first trip to Paris and how this has influenced her attitude on their honeymoon. Her journal entries are also very personal and she used them as a therapeutic method of coping with the difficulties she faced in life.
      The title of Hughes’ poem “Your Paris” refers to Plath and her perspective of Paris. He first thinks that Plath’s perspective on Paris “was American” but then realises that he was wrong, that the “shatter of exclamations” and “spontaneous combustion” was a façade Plath created to cover up the fact that she had visited Paris before and ended up alone. The poem contrasts their two views on...