1. Scholem, G. On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism, Schoken Books, N.Y., 1960. pp. 110-112.

2. This is found in the alchemical and mystical writings of Jacob Bohme (1575-1624) who called the polar forces of systole-diastole ‘divine wrath’ and ‘divine love’ – ‘the yes and no in all’; and in the work of other Alchemists, Cabbalists and Rosicrucian’s.

3. Myers, L. Crow Steered Bergs Appeared, Proctor’s Hall Press, Tennessee, 2001. p.79.

4. This myth had particular relevance for Ted. Roy Davids, whose help and friendship Ted acknowledged in the Foreword, comments that “the book is as much about Ted Hughes as it is about Shakespeare”, and that Ted had “considered putting the whole Plath story on the stage of this book – behind the scenes even - using it as a metaphorical ground rather than writing Birthday Letters” (Appreciation of Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being, under ‘Articles’ menu at

5. There are translations of these Sumerian myths in the Ted Hughes’ Library archive at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. All my quotations are from the beautifully translated version of Inana’s Descent to the Nether World to be found in The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL) of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford at This translation spells her name ‘Inana’, but Inanna (which Ted uses) is also common.

6. This ‘Thunder Cross’ was the symbol of the Prussian God, Percunis, God of thunder, fertility, law and order. It was adopted by Adolf Hitler as a symbol for the Third Reich before World War II.

7. This book is now in the Ted Hughes’s Library archive at Emory University in Atlanta.

8. The Jewish at .

9. In Cabbala, a Notarikon is a word made up from the letters of a phrase which it is designed to represent. AGLA is a Notarikon which represents “Ateh, Gibor, Leolam, and Adonai” : “To thee be the Power unto the Ages, o my Lord”. VITRIOL (widely used in Alchemical manuscripts) is a Notarikon for “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies”: “By investigating everything and bringing it into proportion you will find the hidden Stone”. Of VITRIOL, Crowley noted: “As an acid eats into steel… . so am I unto the Spirit of Man” (Crowley. Liber LXV, I, 16).

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