Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Poets' Corner memorial for Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes was appointed poet laureate in 1984

Poet Ted Hughes is to be recognised with a permanent memorial in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

His name will feature alongside some of the country's best-loved poets including T.S. Eliot, William Blake and William Wordsworth.

The former poet laureate, who died in 1998, was accepted for the honour by the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall.

Dr Hall said it was "right" that Hughes should be remembered for hundreds of years to come.

Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, in West Yorkshire, in 1930.

His first book of poems, Hawk in the Rain, won critical acclaim upon its release in 1957.


Hughes' first wife, the American poet Sylvia Plath, committed suicide in 1963 at the age of 30 after discovering that he was having an affair.

The couple had two children, Frieda and Nick.

Hughes was awarded the OBE in 1977 and was made poet laureate in 1984.

Hughes moved to North Tawton in Devon in the 1960s and remained in the county until his death from cancer.

Fellow poet Seamus Heaney had spearheaded the campaign for Hughes to be remembered in Poets' Corner.

'Colossal presence'

Dr Hall said: "Deciding within a few years of people's death that they will be remembered in hundreds of years' time is of course impossible.

Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey
Poets including Milton and Keats are honoured in Poet's Corner

"And yet, it is sometimes right to make such a decision, as Deans have done over the centuries.

"By no means every poet laureate has been commemorated in Poets' Corner.

"But the overwhelming weight of advice I have received suggests that this is the right decision."

Hughes's widow, Carol Hughes, said: "I am thrilled that something of his colossal presence will haunt the aisles of Westminster Abbey.

"Once the memorial is in place, I hope that those already familiar with Ted's work will see it as a fitting tribute, and those visitors who come across it unexpectedly might be inspired to discover his work for themselves."

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