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A Ted Hughes Bestiary

Ted Hughes

A Ted Hughes Bestiary is a selection of some of Ted Hughes’s animal poems, chosen by Alice Oswald.
‘Cold, delicately as the dark snow. A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf.’
– The Thought Fox

Format
Hardback
ISBN
9780571301430
Date Published
04.09.2014
Delivery
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Summary

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.’

TedHughes

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 and…

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