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Perfect Light Essay

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In the following essay, Bundtzen examines Hughes's Birthday Letters within the context of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to reveal Hughes's feelings about his deceased wife, poet Sylvia Plath.

The task is now carried through bit by bit . . . while all the time the existence of the lost object is continued in the mind. Each single one of the memories and hopes which bound the libido to the object is brought up . . . and the detachment of the libido from accomplished. Why this process of carrying out the behest of reality bit by bit . . . should be so extraordinarily painful is not at all easy to explain . . . The fact is, however, that when the work of mourning is completed the ego becomes free and uninhibited again.

I see you there, clearer, more real
Than in any of the years in its shadow—
As if I saw you that once, then...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 6,204 words
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Poetry for Students
Perfect Light from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.