Moortown Diary

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ISBN 9780571231805 Format Paperback
9780571231805
Paperback
Published 06/04/2006 Length 80 pages
80

About Book

Originally published in 1979, Moortown Diary is the updated version of Ted Hughes's acclaimed Devon farming sequence, written over a period of several years during which he was spending almost every day outside, either gardening or farming. The introduction and notes (added in 1989) sketch in the background from which these remarkable poems emerged as an improvised verse journal, sparely edited, coalescing spontaneously on the page.

'Moortown Diary keeps its eye firmly on the creatures behind the language. It's written in the style of Hughes's play translations: very swift and bright and urgent and speakable . . . Hughes strips away the protective layers - the soundproofed ears, the double-glazed eyes - that prevent us making contact with anything outside ourselves. Right now, I can't think of anything more important than that kind of poem. Because we're not just here to think about literature. We're here to try to wake up.' Alice Oswald, The Guardian

'It grips your heart, and your intestines, like a vice from the first page. He makes language as physical as a bruise, and in these poems beauty and tenderness blend with violence.' John Carey, Sunday Times

'The Moortown sequence includes some of Hughes's finest poems . . . They are like no other poems I have read, with a degree of intensity, sanity and grace that he has never equalled.' Anthony Thwaite, Times Literary Supplement

Originally published in 1979, Moortown Diary is the updated version of Ted Hughes's acclaimed Devon farming sequence, written over a period of several years during which he was spending almost every day outside, either gardening or farming. The introduction and notes (added in 1989) sketch in the background from which these remarkable poems emerged as an improvised verse journal, sparely edited, coalescing spontaneously on the page. 'Moortown Diary keeps its eye firmly on the creatures behind the language. It's written in the style of Hughes's play translations: very swift and bright and urgent and speakable . . . Hughes strips away the protective layers - the soundproofed ears, the double-glazed eyes - that prevent us making contact with anything outside ourselves. Right now, I can't think of anything more important than that kind of poem. Because we're not just here to think about literature. We're here to try to wake up.' Alice Oswald, The Guardian'It grips your heart, and your intestines, like a vice from the first page. He makes language as physical as a bruise, and in these poems beauty and tenderness blend with violence.' John Carey, Sunday Times'The Moortown sequence includes some of Hughes's finest poems . . . They are like no other poems I have read, with a degree of intensity, sanity and grace that he has never equalled.' Anthony Thwaite, Times Literary Supplement
  • About Ted Hughes

    Ted Hughes (1930–1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber & Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998). He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.

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