Ted Hughes

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The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows.
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.

Edward James Hughes, OM (17 August 193028 October 1998) was an English poet, translator and children's writer who for the last 14 years of his life occupied the role of Poet Laureate. His first wife was Sylvia Plath who influenced his writing style.

See also:
The Iron Giant (1999 film), based on his novel The Iron Man (1968)

Quotes[edit]

The Hawk in the Rain (1957)[edit]

  • Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
    A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
    Two eyes serve a movement, that now
    And again now, and now, and now
    Sets neat prints into the snow.
    • "The Thought-Fox", line 10
  • With a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
    It enters the dark hole of the head.
    The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
    The page is printed.
    • "The Thought-Fox", line 21
  • This house has been far out at sea all night,
    The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
    Winds stampeding the fields under the window
    Floundering black astride and blinding wet

    Till day rose; then under an orange sky
    The hills had new places, and wind wielded
    Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
    Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.

    • "Wind"
  • The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
    Over the cage floor the horizons come.
    • "The Jaguar"

Lupercal (1960)[edit]

Now I hold Creation in my foot.
Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads –
The allotment of death.
  • Pike, three inches long, perfect
    Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold.
    Killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin.
    • "Pike", line 1
  • The jaws' hooked clamp and fangs
    Not to be changed at this date;
    A life subdued to its instrument.
    • "Pike", line 13
  • Stilled legendary depth:
    It was as deep as England. It held
    Pike too immense to stir, so immense and old
    That past nightfall I dared not cast.
    • "Pike", line 33
  • I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
    Inaction, no falsifying dream
    Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
    Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
    • "Hawk Roosting", line 1
  • It took the whole of Creation
    To produce my foot, my each feather:
    Now I hold Creation in my foot.
    Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
    I kill where I please because it is all mine.
    There is no sophistry in my body:
    My manners are tearing off heads –
    The allotment of death.
    • "Hawk Roosting", line 10
  • Nothing has changed since I began.
    My eye has permitted no change.
    I am going to keep things like this.
    • "Hawk Roosting", line 22
  • The gash in its throat was shocking, but not pathetic.
    • "View of a Pig"
  • The deeps are cold:
    In that darkness camaraderie does not hold:
    Nothing touches but, clutching, devours.
    • "Relic"

Wodwo (1967)[edit]

  • The brassy wood-pigeons
    Bubble their colourful voices, and the sun
    Rises upon a world well-tried and old.
    • "Stealing Trout on a May Morning"
  • No, the serpent did not
    Seduce Eve to the apple.
    All that's simply
    Corruption of the facts.

    Adam ate the apple.
    Eve ate Adam.
    The serpent ate Eve.
    This is the dark intestine.

    The serpent, meanwhile,
    Sleeps his meal off in Paradise—
    Smiling to hear
    God's querulous calling.

    • "Theology"

The Iron Man (1968)[edit]

The Iron Man : A Children's Story in Five Nights; also published as The Iron Giant : A Story in Five Nights
  • The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. Taller than a house the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, at the very brink, in the darkness.
    • Ch. 1 : The Coming of the Iron Man
  • He swayed in the strong wind that pressed against his back. He swayed forward, on the brink of the high cliff. And his right foot, his enormous iron right foot, lifted-up, out, into space, and the Iron Man stepped forward, off the cliff, into nothingness.
    • Ch. 1 : The Coming of the Iron Man
  • Nobody knew the Iron Man had fallen.
    Night passed.
    • Ch. 1 : The Coming of the Iron Man

Crow (1970)[edit]

  • Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth? Death.
    Who owns all of space? Death.
    • "Examination at the Womb-door"

Quotes about Hughes[edit]

  • Hughes began (The Hawk in the Rain, 1957; Lupercal, 1960) as an elemental poet of power; he was inchoate, but fruitfully aware both of the brute force of creation and of the natural world. Then a naive (q.v.) poet — he began to assume a mantic role; he has now turned into (Crow, 1970) a pretentious, coffee-table poet, a mindless celebrant of instinct.
  • The sky split apart in malice
    Stars rattled like pans on a shelf
    Crow shat on Buckingham Palace
    God pissed Himself.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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