Questions tagged [ted-hughes]

Questions related to the English poet Ted Hughes (Edward James Hughes, 1930 – 1998) and his work. Hughes also published several translations of literary works. When asking about a poem, please use the [poetry] tag.

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6 votes
3 answers
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Understand "rip through him as at a distance" in Ted Hughes' "A Kill"

In Ted Hughes' "A Kill" (A Crow poem. See the full poem here), Crow's conceiving and its coming into life is described with opposite terms related to death. Specifically, the creation of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
260 views

What does the final stanza of "Thrushes" by Ted Hughes mean?

Here is the third stanza of "Thrushes" by Ted Hughes: With a man it is otherwise. Heroisms on horseback, Outstripping his desk-diary at a broad desk, Carving at a tiny ivory ornament For ...
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3 votes
2 answers
120 views

In what way can a utility coat be a mockery in a Ted Hughes' "Crow" poem?

In Ted Hughes' Examination at the Womb-door (of the Crow collection), Crow's organs are listed with certain kinds of descriptions (bold is mine): Examination at the Womb-door Who owns these scrawny ...
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2 votes
1 answer
69 views

In what way can the image of bowels "packed in furnace" recall an image of a sea "tumbling in harness"?

I'm trying to get a grasp of a poetical image of being "packed in furnace", found in Ted Hughes' Crow's opening poem "Two Legends": Two Legends I Black was the without eye Black ...
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2 votes
1 answer
44 views

What could "lavender-bag ancestors" mean in Ted Hughes' "Crow Improvises"?

In "Crow Improvises" (text version), the protagonist conjoins a list of disparate objects, where each pair of objects ignites a spark. Putting aside the symbolic meaning of each object, it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

"The Laburnum Top" by Ted Hughes - poem explanation

I want to know the line by line explanation of the poem "The Laburnum Top" (written by Ted Hughes). Source (Page 31) The Laburnum top is silent, quite still In the afternoon yellow ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Understanding the plotline of “The Smile” by Ted Hughes

I'm reading Ted Hughes' "The Smile" (text version), and I'm trying to understand its plotline. More specifically: what's the nature of the scenes wherein the poem's protagonist, the smile, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
274 views

What does "cold died beyond knowledge" mean in Ted Hughes' "Owl's Song"?

In Ted Hughes' "Owl's Song" (in Crow collection), the last line of the first verse seems quite obscure: He sang how the swan blanched forever How the wolf threw away its telltale heart And ...
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4 votes
2 answers
353 views

Meaning of "a ship saluting like a stuntman" in Ted Hughes' "In Laughter"

In Ted Hughes' "In Laughter" (A Crow poem. See it fully here), the first paragraph depicts "colliding" and "crashing" as the kind of events that happen "In laughter": In laughter Cars collide and ...
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6 votes
2 answers
129 views

What could "mouths deformed against stone" mean?

In Ted Hughes' "The Contender" (which I already asked about once), there's a phrase which I can't figure. Here are the lines: "All the women in the world could not move him They came their mouths ...
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4 votes
1 answer
179 views

Meaning of "abandoned his grin to them" in Ted Hughes' "The Contender"?

In "The Contender" (a poem in Ted Hughes' Crow collection), there's a group of lines with peculiar syntax. Here are the lines: He abandoned his grin to them his grimace In his face upwards body ...
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5 votes
1 answer
200 views

What is "the dark simple curtain" in Ted Hughes' "Criminal Ballad"?

In the poem "Criminal Ballad", Ted Hughes describes a chain of tragedies happening in parallel with a man's simple moments of life. One of these is the following: And when he ran and got his toy ...
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2 votes
1 answer
102 views

A woman falling at a heave from the moon and the sun

In A Ted Hughes poem called "Criminal Ballad" (of the Crow collection), there's a usage of the word "heave" which I can't figure: "A woman fell between the ship and the jetty At a heave from the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
280 views

What does it mean to peer from a dewball?

In Ted Hughes' "Crow and the Birds", the lines before the ending read: While the bullfinch plumped in the apple bud And the goldfinch bulbed in the sun And the wryneck crooked in the moon ...
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4 votes
2 answers
162 views

Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?

In Dennis Brown's The Poetry of Postmodernity, in the chapter dedicated to Ted Hughes' Crow, the author comments: Crow reads like some checklist of postmodernist techniques [...] [Including] ...
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2 votes
2 answers
145 views

What happens to Crow after communion?

In "Crow Communes", The lines following the communion - after Crow tore off a mouthful of God - describes the results of this act, in two phases. At first, Crow seems unsure of what his act might ...
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5 votes
1 answer
268 views

What does it mean when spaces blow in Crow's ear cluelessly?

In "Crow Hears Fate Knock On The Door", The lines ending the second part of the song are: He walked, he walked Letting the translucent starry spaces Blow in his ear cluelessly I'm trying ...
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