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4.1 out of 5 stars
Ted Hughes (Poet to Poet)
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2009
In the "Poet to Poet" series, a contemporary poet advocates a poet of the past or present whom they particularly admire. By their selection of verses and their critical reactions, the selectors offer intriguing insights into their own work. Hughes himself also features in this series as the selector of poetry by a number of poets including Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and, almost inevitably, Sylvia Plath.

The 83 poems in this selection of the poetry of Ted Hughes have been carefully chosen by fellow Yorkshireman Simon Armitage. To journey through the collection is akin to be taken on a personal guided tour through an art exhibition guided by the curator himself.

Poems from the major landmarks in the long career of Hughes are all represented here, from 1957's Hawk in the Rain and 1970's Crow to Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998) both of which ignited renewed interest in the work of the Poet Laureate towards the end of his life. (Hughes dies in 1998).

Tennyson's epithet of "Nature, Red In Tooth And Claw" could have been tailor-made to apply to much of the work of Hughes which is, as Armitage states in his helpful and personal introduction, often written in a "sort of agricultural dialect of the Bible." Bedtime reading these poems most definitely are not! But whether figuratively poking around in the entrails and broken bones of a farmyard animal ("Ravens" and "February 17th", for example) or dissecting the remains and memories of a concluded relationship, Hughes achieves this with a characteristic tension between delicacy and grittiness.

If there is one minor - and it is only minor - reservation, it is that as the poetry of Ted Hughes is so closely entwined with his relationship with Sylvia Plath, it would be helpful for the individual pieces to be annotated with their date of composition so that the reader could place them within the chronological landscape.

If the purpose of any selection from the work of a great poet is to encourage the reader to explore in further depth the work of the poet, then this small volume has achieved its objective.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2012
I am very pleased with my purchase, especially for the price. I needed the book for my A level course and it fits it's purpose , I often write notes within it, to recall back to significant points within each poem. It is very compact and easy to carry around. Once again I am pleased with my purchase and will be back for more items like this in the future. :)
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on 14 January 2015
brand new, arrived in time
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2014
good poems and a nice collection that I had to buy for my English lit a level. Some space to write annotations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2014
Bought for my daughter for her syllabus. Arrived in very good condition
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2012
Poems of Hughes, referencing to the natural world and wildlife. Gives the reader a strong imagery of being within his poems. A good read and also to study
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2014
Thank you
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 July 2014
I studied English Literature up to GCE O Level in the 1980's but I could never really get into poetry. Many years later and a passing whim led me to buy this book of poems by the famous, relatively modern English poet , Ted Hughes. However I didn't enjoy reading them. I found them all to be mostly incomprehensible and my impression of them was that they were mostly nonsense and gibberish. I am a bit of a philistine regarding poetry , but I might have liked this anthology more had there been some kind of explanation to each poem provided in this book. Many of the poems are about nature , but a lot of them are just about random, incongruous stuff that made no sense to me. This bad experience with poetry wont put me off though. I've already purchased "Death of A Naturalist" by Seamus Heaney - more familiar verse which I remember studying at school.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2014
Good
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