Books: The Birth of a Poet

Frieda Hughes' Wooroloo dares comparisons with the works of her llustrious parents

Most beginning poets don't have to face ravenous public curiosity about their private lives and past histories. Frieda Hughes should be so fortunate. The dust-jacket blurb on her first book of poems, Wooroloo (HarperFlamingo; $20), alludes delicately to the author's "unusual literary pedigree," which only fires curiosity while pretending to discourage it. For Frieda Hughes is the daughter of Ted Hughes, Britain's current poet laureate, and Sylvia Plath, whose stunning confessional poems written just before her 1963 suicide made her posthumously famous and, to many, a martyr-saint in the bargain. The Hughes-Plath story has fueled numerous books and endless, usually acrimonious,...

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