One of Plath’s last poems, “Nick and the Candlestick,” was addressed to her baby son: “O love, how did you get here? O embryo … In you, ruby/ The pain you wake to is not yours.” In February 1963, distraught over her broken relationship with Nicholas’s father, future Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, Plath gassed herself in her London flat; she carefully stuffed towels under the door to keep safe one-year-old Nicholas and his sister Frieda, 2. Last week, Nicholas, a former fisheries scientist at the University of Alaska, hanged himself at his Fairbanks home.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.