Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book, usual markings. Hardback with dust cover. Clean copy, some colouring of page edges due to age. Quick dispatch from UK seller.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library) Hardcover – 4 Feb 1996


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£394.71 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Free One-Day Delivery for six months with Amazon Student


Product details

  • Hardcover: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (4 Feb. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571176550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571176557
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 912,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber and 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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Crow is black as "the wet otter's head"; Crow is "trembling featherless elbows in the nest's filth"; Crow eats, plays, kills, flies to the sun, recites theology, tests mythology, falls in love. In Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow, Ted Hughes tales a look at life from a crow's-eye view and finds it nasty and brutish. The vivid, harsh language matches the tenor of Crow's days. "When the eagle soared clear through a dawn distilling of emerald …Crow spraddled head-down in the beach-garbage, guzzling a dropped ice-cream"; "Crow thought of a wage--And it choked him, it was cut unspoiled from his dead stomach."

Former laureate Hughes dedicated this volume (first published in 1972) to the memory of Shura and Assia, his daughter and ex-lover who committed suicide, as had Hughes' wife, the poet Sylvia Plath, and it's hard to read these poems without remembering the violence of Hughes' own experience. Women are predators and victims and they die bloody deaths. In "Crow's Account of St. George" a wife and children are brutally murdered; in "Lovesong" a lover's laughs are "an assassin's attempts". Most interesting are the poems that rewrite myth--God trying to teach Crow love, Crow flying into the sun, Crow looking for language to name his world. Crow is jarringly familiar as Adam, Icarus, Oedipus and the Devil all at once in this bleak and resonant collection. - -Tamsin Todd --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Crow by Ted Hughes is a work of mythological power from one of the most important English poets of the twentieth century. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "thekla_" on 12 Mar. 2002
Format: Hardcover
To be honest - I don't know what to say. I am utterly speechless. If I could give six stars I would. These poems are among the best I have ever read in my life - and I have read quite a lot of poetry. Apparently Ted Hughes was trying to make language ugly: And that is the one thing he didn't succeed in. It is beautiful, full of vivid images and emotions. Just as the anti-hero doesn't appear evil but instead very human indeed. I can heartily recommend this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 July 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely the book that divides most Hughes readers. For some it's the peak of his achievement in the mythopoeic vein - and the range of cultural reference is amazing. Hughes aplcalyptic mishmash of 'scripture and physics' plunders from theology, anthropology, science, myth and popular culture with both verve and intelligence. For others, however, the writing is criticised as sloppy, hit and miss - and certainly, if you were brought up to appreciate the 'finished', constructed poems of the 'practical criticism' era, then the shock to sensibility must've been immense.
A lot is still said about the 'blood and guts' Hughes, and 'Crow' might well be one of the more 'violent' of his books. But even here there are poems of real tenderness and concentrated awareness. If you don't believe me, check out 'Little Blood' and especially the beautiful, 'Undersong'. 'Crow' might well boil down to a book essentially about the struggle to survive in a destructive universe, but it is also haunted and undercut by possibilities that are more vulnerable, fecund and creative. This has always been the side of Hughes that prevents him from lapsing entirely into nihilism, and even in this, perhaps his darkest book, there is something to scavenge from the rubble.
Wherever you stand, though, there's nothing like it anywhere else in British poetry.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Saatchi on 10 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These poems are unique in the history of English literature and indeed, within the body of work of one of Britain's finest poets.

They are tough, dark and unrelenting in their perspective but also curiously addictive.

I have now read this slim volume several times. I cannot say I fully understand them but you are ineluctably drawn into the dark mind-set of this strange, at times terrifying being that is 'Crow'.

This is poetry bat its best.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By thekla_altmann@yahoo.co.uk on 24 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is definitely the best collection of poetry I have read for a long time!! It tells the story of the creation of the world. The scary and funny at the same time anti-hero Crow is not really the devil but simply always the opposite. Deeply philosophic, with a sense of humor and in beautiful, beautiful words.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William on 20 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Crow is a trickster figure from myth. Drawing on his vast knowledge of the world's mythologies, Hughes creates a great survivor myth for the post-holocaust world. Begun in the trauma after Sylvia Plath's suicide, the cycle of poems were abandoned after the deaths of Assia and Shura. Hughes was never able to complete the myth. But that seems to be part of the significance of the work: it's very incompleteness. This is one of the key texts of the twentieth century.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
I rarely read poetry, but I enjoyed this strange little book by Ted Hughes. It's full of dark imagery, violence and unexpected humour. The poems read like myths of the origins of the world, except that at the middle of them all is Crow, this anarchic, chaotic, ugly, violent figure, playing tricks on God and turning creation upside-down.

I was reminded of the Anansi figure in West Indian Folk Tales, himself of course of West African origin. I suspect Hughes drew on a lot of mythological sources in these poems, many of which I am blissfully unaware of, but it didn't seem to matter - even in the poems where I wasn't sure what he was driving at, I was pleased by the rhythm of the language, somehow different in each poem but forming a coherent whole.

There's a lot more you could say about these poems - you could probably do a whole English Literature course on them - but I don't want to go that deep. I'm happy for now just to have discovered that rare thing for me, poetry that I can truly enjoy. I'll keep this on my shelf and probably re-read from time to time, if only to try to understand why this worked for me and so much other poetry doesn't.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark C on 4 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the first book of Ted Hughes poetry I have read having seen it referred to in a book about British Birds in Haiku. Wasn't sure what to expect but what I got was a wonderful and much needed slap in the face.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Sam on 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A delicious hodge-podge of imagery, with an interesting progression through the anthology. A fascinating collection, for those new to Hughes, or those already familiar with his work. This collection stands alone and is worth reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback