1. Fortune, D., The Mystical Qabalah, Society of the Inner Light, London, 1998. p. 285.

2. The Critical Forum, Norwich Tapes, London, 1978. A transcript of Ted’s introduction can be found at Forum.htm.

3. Scholem, G., On Kabbala and its Symbolism, Schocken Books, N.Y. 1969. pp. 122 – 124.

4. In conversation with me in 1995, Ted said that Birthday Letters dealt with things he “should have resolved thirty years ago. Should have written then, but couldn’t”.

5.Cowley, A. ‘Gematria’, 777 , Weisser Books, Boston, 1977. p. 28. Theoretically, but never in ritual practice, the digits of the master numbers 11 and 22 may be considered separately or added together in order to understand the full extent of their symbolic meaning and ritual power.

6. Crowley. 777. Ibid. p, xxv.

7. “Samael is considered to be identical with Satan”. Crowley, ‘Gematria’,777. Ibid. p. 12.

8. The promotional leaflet produced by Gehenna press describes Howls & Whispers as “strays” from the Birthday Lettersseries” and it is tempting to link this with a common description of Qlippoth as left-over fragments, or shells, of a failed creation. The leaflet, however, was not written by Ted, although he saw it and seems to have edited it, deleting the word ‘great’, for example, from a sentence which describes him as “the great English poet”. (Baskin-Hughes archive, British Library).

9. Halevi, S. Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree, Rider, London, 1978. p. 235.

10. Ted’s first trip to Paris was made with his Uncle Walter in 1954. He had just come down from Cambridge, so he was, indeed, on the brink of a new life. The date in the poem’s title, however, was changed from ‘1957’ only at the proof stage of Howls & Whispers, as directed in a letter from Ted to Baskin dated Feb. 1996 (British Library Hughes-Baskin archive). Possibly, Ted wrote the poem at the same time as ‘Your Paris’ (BL 36 – 38) (THCP 1065), but neither he nor Sylvia was in Paris in 1957, so this date, in any case, was a mistake.

11. For the Cabbalist, as for the Hermeticist, this is the unawakened state of the soul, which choosing “things Mortal”, is “seduced by the pleasures of the body”, occupies itself in “Pomps and Pageants” and, so, becomes wholly immersed in darkness. (Everard. The Divine Pymander of Hermes, Wizard’s Bookshelf, San Diego, 1978. p. 84).

12. The original title of this poem was ‘The Scream’ (Typescript copy, British Library Baskin- Hughes archive).

13. ‘Lineage’ (C 14, THCP 218).

14. ‘The Scream’ (CB 7, THCP 419).

15. In an interview with Blake Morrison in 1993, Ted said he had begun writing The Iron Woman in the mid 1980s “and at one point I was scared by it and had to back off. The image of that scream in particular alarmed me. I wasn’t sure what I was pushing myself into. So I left it alone for a bit and turned to Shakespeare instead whilst I got used to it”. (‘Man of Mettle’, The Independent on Sunday, 5 Sept. 1993).

16. ‘The Scream’ (CB 7, THCP 419).

17. Colin Low, Notes on Kabbalah. Downloadable book at, 2001. p. 39.

18. SPJ. Especially the entries made on 27 Dec. 1958, and 3 Jan. 1959).

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