12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good selection from almost the whole of Hughes's poetic life,
This review is from: Ted Hughes - New Selected Poems 1957-1994 (Paperback)
A balanced and generous selection for the reader new to Hughes who isn't sure where to start. Although his best work is probably still to be found in the years before 1980, this selection at least doesn't pretend that everything after 'Crow' was anticlimactic or second-rate. It also tends to point up the startling inconsistency of Hughes's achievement in the early books (where some of his best poems sit alongside excruciatingly arch trivialities) by comparison with the greater evenness of tone in the later books, in which the poet appears to trade fewer highs for fewer lows. It's also interesting to see the way in which Hughes's attitude to nature changes over time, with the mythic amplifications reaching a peak in 'Crow' before being supplanted by a quieter, more observational tone in later years as the poet's personality imposes itself less roughly on his material.
Be warned: many readers will want the individual volumes after reading this.