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What Ted said when asked ‘what does it mean’

Working horse in rain by Kevin PortoAfter my recent musings on answering the ‘what does it mean’ question, I was happy to come across this in the Letters of Ted Hughes:

To Lydia Clement and Alison George

29 July 1985

Dear Miss Clement and Miss George

Thank you for your letter. If I answered your question it might stop you worrying, but it would not help you. You know that when you answer a problem, you kill it. And it might be a fruitful problem.

Best wishes,

Ted Hughes

As 13-year old schoolgirls. Lydia Clement and Alison George had been reading TH’s story ‘The Rain Horse’ and had written to ask what the horse symbolised.


Photo by Kevin Porto

Published inClose readingsSerendipityWriting

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Robin Houghton 2021
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