A Ted Hughes Bestiary

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ISBN 9780571301447 Format Paperback
9780571301447
Paperback
Published 01/10/2015 Length 192 pages
192

About Book

Originally the medieval bestiary or book of animals set out to establish safe distinctions - between them and us - but Hughes's poetry works always in a contrary direction: showing what man and beast have in common, the reservoir from which we all draw.

Alice Oswald's selection is arranged chronologically, with an eye to different books and styles, but equally to those poems that embody animals, rather than just describe them. Some poems are here because, although not strictly speaking animal, they become so in the process of writing; and in keeping with the bestiary tradition there are plenty of imaginary animals - all concentratedly coming about their business.

The resulting selection is subtly responsive to a central aspect of Hughes's achievement, while offering room to some wonderful overlooked poems, and to 'those that have the wildest tunes.'

Originally the medieval bestiary or book of animals set out to establish safe distinctions - between them and us - but Hughes's poetry works always in a contrary direction: showing what man and beast have in common, the reservoir from which we all draw. Alice Oswald's selection is arranged chronologically, with an eye to different books and styles, but equally to those poems that embody animals, rather than just describe them. Some poems are here because, although not strictly speaking animal, they become so in the process of writing; and in keeping with the bestiary tradition there are plenty of imaginary animals - all concentratedly coming about their business.The resulting selection is subtly responsive to a central aspect of Hughes's achievement, while offering room to some wonderful overlooked poems, and to 'those that have the wildest tunes.'
  • 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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