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The hawk in the rain by Ted Hughes

The hawk in the rain (edition 1968)

by Ted Hughes

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1743105,646 (3.76)38
Published in 1957, Hawk in the Rain was Ted Hughes's first collection of poems. It won the New York Poetry Centre First Publication Award, for which the judges were W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Marianne Moore, and the Somerset Maugham Award, and it was acclaimed by every reviewer from A. Alvarez to Edwin Muir. When Robin Skelton wrote, 'All looking for the emergence of a major poet must buy it', he was right to see in it the promise of what many now regard as the most important body of work by any poet of the twentieth century.… (more)
Title:The hawk in the rain
Authors:Ted Hughes
Collections:Your library
Tags:Modern Poetry

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The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes



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These forty or so poems from Ted Hughes are his first published collection. A proportion of them, like the opening poem, "The Hawk in the Rain", centre on animals, their distinctive traits, their otherness, and sometimes also what we have in common. The general atmosphere of some of this collection is therefore similar to that of Ted Hughes' short story "The Rain Horse", which was first published ten years before this collection, and conveys the unusual violence of nature which can sometimes be found in the English countryside.
A number of the poems also concern the violence of passions and of war (which are in a cluster toward the end of the collection), as well as some more subtle observations on human workings and interactions – with a particular favourites of mine being the "Thought fox", and "Parlour Piece". His style varies between free verse and something a bit more structured, and is often compared with Anglo Saxon literature in its rhythms, syllables, and imagery. In all this a fairly varied collection. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Jan 10, 2018 |
As a debut collection, and the first poems I've read written by Ted Hughes, my enjoyment of the poems was erratic. Some poems were brilliant as they stood ("Song"; "Incompatibilities"; "Law in the Country of Cats" and "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar"); others appeared to have less emotion and more intellect, which made them somewhat obscure to me. I felt a flavour of TS Eliot in these poems when first dipping into the volume, and wasn't surprised by the interesting tidbit in the front of the book, which included a copy of TS Eliot's response to Faber & Faber's Charles Montieth's enquiry about Hughes. (The edition I read is not the one listed here, but ISBN 978-0-571-32281-7)

Overall, the poems were too bleak, violent and obviously carefully composed for me to be swept away by them. However, as a debut collection the poems did enough to make me want to read more of Ted Hughes work as he became a mature, more experienced poet. ( )
  JudyCroome | Jul 18, 2015 |
I'm fairly certain I read this in college, though I have to admit I don't remember it well.
  tercat | Feb 6, 2014 |
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