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Best Famous Ted Hughes Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Ted Hughes poems. This is a select list of the best famous Ted Hughes poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Ted Hughes poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Ted Hughes poems.

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by Ted Hughes | |

Crow Blacker than ever

When God, disgusted with man, 
Turned towards heaven.
And man, disgusted with God, Turned towards Eve, Things looked like falling apart.
But Crow .
.
Crow Crow nailed them together, Nailing Heaven and earth together - So man cried, but with God's voice.
And God bled, but with man's blood.
Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint Which became gangrenous and stank - A horror beyond redemption.
The agony did not diminish.
Man could not be man nor God God.
The agony Grew.
Crow Grinned Crying: 'This is my Creation,' Flying the black flag of himself.


by Ted Hughes | |

Crow and the Sea

He tried ignoring the sea 
But it was bigger than death, just as it was bigger than life.
He tried talking to the sea But his brain shuttered and his eyes winced from it as from open flame.
He tried sympathy for the sea But it shouldered him off - as a dead thing shoulders you off.
He tried hating the sea But instantly felt like a scrutty dry rabbit-dropping on the windy cliff.
He tried just being in the same world as the sea But his lungs were not deep enough And his cheery blood banged off it Like a water-drop off a hot stove.
Finally He turned his back and he marched away from the sea As a crucified man cannot move.


by Ted Hughes | |

The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come, Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.
So people can't sleep, So they go out where elms and oak trees keep A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come! And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep Stare up at her petrified, while she swells Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing Closer and closer like the end of the world.
Till the gold fields of stiff wheat Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers Sweat from the melting hills.


by Ted Hughes | |

Crow Goes Hunting

Crow
Decided to try words.
He imagined some words for the job, a lovely pack- Clear-eyed, resounding, well-trained, With strong teeth.
You could not find a better bred lot.
He pointed out the hare and away went the words Resounding.
Crow was Crow without fail, but what is a hare? It converted itself to a concrete bunker.
The words circled protesting, resounding.
Crow turned the words into bombs-they blasted the bunker.
The bits of bunker flew up-a flock of starlings.
Crow turned the words into shotguns, they shot down the starlings.
The falling starlings turned to a cloudburst.
Crow turned the words into a reservoir, collecting the water.
The water turned into an earthquake, swallowing the reservoir.
The earthquake turned into a hare and leaped for the hill Having eaten Crow's words.
Crow gazed after the bounding hare Speechless with admiration.


by Ted Hughes | |

Crows Theology

Crow realized God loved him-
Otherwise, he would have dropped dead.
So that was proved.
Crow reclined, marvelling, on his heart-beat.
And he realized that God spoke Crow- Just existing was His revelation.
But what Loved the stones and spoke stone? They seemed to exist too.
And what spoke that strange silence After his clamour of caws faded? And what loved the shot-pellets That dribbled from those strung-up mummifying crows? What spoke the silence of lead? Crow realized there were two Gods- One of them much bigger than the other Loving his enemies And having all the weapons.


by Ted Hughes | |

Apple Tragedy

So on the seventh day
The serpent rested, 
God came up to him.
"I've invented a new game," he said.
The serpent stared in surprise At this interloper.
But God said: "You see this apple?" I squeeze it and look-cider.
" The serpent had a good drink And curled up into a question mark.
Adam drank and said: "Be my god.
" Eve drank and opened her legs And called to the cockeyed serpent And gave him a wild time.
God ran and told Adam Who in drunken rage tried to hang himself in the orchard.
The serpent tried to explain, crying "Stop" But drink was splitting his syllable.
And Eve started screeching: "Rape! Rape!" And stamping on his head.
Now whenever the snake appears she screeches "Here it comes again! Help! O Help!" Then Adam smashes a chair on his head, And God says: "I am well pleased" And everything goes to hell.


by Ted Hughes | |

Crow Communes

"Well," said Crow, "What first?" 
God, exhausted with Creation, snored.
"Which way?" said Crow, "Which way first?" God's shoulder was the mountain on which Crow sat.
"Come," said Crow, "Let's discuss the situation.
" God lay, agape, a great carcass.
Crow tore off a mouthful and swallowed.
"Will this cipher divulge itself to digestion Under hearing beyond understanding?" (That was the first jest.
) Yet, it's true, he suddenly felt much stronger.
Crow, the hierophant, humped, impenetrable.
Half-illumined.
Speechless.
(Appalled.
)


by Ted Hughes | |

Crows Fall

When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.
He got his strength flush and in full glitter.
He clawed and fluffed his rage up.
He aimed his beak direct at the sun's centre.
He laughed himself to the centre of himself And attacked.
At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old, Shadows flattened.
But the sun brightened- It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.
He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.
"Up there," he managed, "Where white is black and black is white, I won.
"


by Ted Hughes | |

Crow Sickene

His illness was something could not vomit him up.
Unwinding the world like a ball of wool Found the last end tied round his own finger.
Decided to get death, but whatever Walked into his ambush Was always his own body.
Where is this somebody who has me under? He dived, he journeyed, challenging, he climbed and with a glare Of hair on end finally met fear.
His eyes sealed up with shock, refusing to see.
With all his strength he struck.
He felt the blow.
Horrified, he fell.


by Ted Hughes | |

Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream Between my hooked head and hooked feet: Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
The convenience of the high trees! The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray Are of advantage to me; And the earth's face upward for my inspection.
My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation To produce my foot, my each feather: Now I hold Creation in my foot Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly - I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body: My manners are tearing off heads - The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right: The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.


by Ted Hughes | |

Spring and Fall: To A Young Child

 Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving? 
Leaves, like the things of man, you 
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? 
Ah! as the heart grows older 
It will come to such sights colder 
By & by, nor spare a sigh 
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie; 
And yet you wíll weep & know why.
Now no matter, child, the name: Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for.


by Ted Hughes | |

The Owl

 DOWNHILL I came, hungry, and yet not starved, 
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof 
Against the north wind; tired, yet so that rest 
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest, Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except An owl's cry, a most melancholy cry.
Shaken out long and clear upon the hill No merry note, nor cause of merriment, But one telling me plain what I escaped And others could not, that night, as in I went.
And salted was my food, and my repose, Salted and sobered too, by the bird's voice Speaking for all who lay under the stars, Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.


by Ted Hughes | |

The Owl

 When cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.
When merry milkmaids click the latch, And rarely smells the new-mown hay, And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch Twice or thrice his roundelay, Twice or thrice his roundelay; Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits.


by Ted Hughes | |

The Owl

 The path was purple in the dusk.
I saw an owl, perched, on a branch.
And when the owl stirred, a fine dust fell from its wings.
I was silent then.
And felt the owl quaver.
And at dawn, waking, the path was green in the May light.


by Ted Hughes | |

Full Moon and Little Frieda

 A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket -
And you listening.
A spider's web, tense for the dew's touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming - mirror To tempt a first star to a tremor.
Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm wreaths of breath - A dark river of blood, many boulders, Balancing unspilled milk.
'Moon!' you cry suddenly, 'Moon! Moon!' The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work That points at him amazed.


by Ted Hughes | |

Crows Nerve Fails

 Crow, feeling his brain slip, 
Finds his every feather the fossil of a murder.
Who murdered all these? These living dead, that root in his nerves and his blood Till he is visibly black? How can he fly from his feathers? And why have they homed on him? Is he the archive of their accusations? Or their ghostly purpose, their pining vengeance? Or their unforgiven prisoner? He cannot be forgiven.
His prison is the earth.
Clothed in his conviction, Trying to remember his crimes Heavily he flies.


by Ted Hughes | |

Thistles

 Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.
Every one a revengeful burst Of resurrection, a grasphed fistful Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up From the underground stain of a decayed Viking.
They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.
Every one manages a plume of blood.
Then they grow grey like men.
Mown down, it is a feud.
Their sons appear Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.


by Ted Hughes | |

A Woman Unconscious

 Russia and America circle each other;
Threats nudge an act that were without doubt 
A melting of the mould in the mother,
Stones melting about the root.
The quick of the earth burned out: The toil of all our ages a loss With leaf and insect.
Yet flitting thought (Not to be thought ridiculous) Shies from the world-cancelling black Of its playing shadow: it has learned That there's no trusting (trusting to luck) Dates when the world's due to be burned; That the future's no calamitous change But a malingering of now, Histories, towns, faces that no Malice or accident much derange.
And though bomb be matched against bomb, Though all mankind wince out and nothing endure -- Earth gone in an instant flare -- Did a lesser death come Onto the white hospital bed Where one, numb beyond her last of sense, Closed her eyes on the world's evidence And into pillows sunk her head.


by Ted Hughes | |

Earth-Moon

 Once upon a time there was a person
He was walking along
He met the full burning moon
Rolling slowly twoards him
Crushing the stones and houses by the wayside.
She shut his eyes from the glare.
He drew his dagger And stabbed and stabbed and stabbed.
The cry that quit the moon's wounds Circled the earth.
The moon shrank, like a punctured airship, Shrank, shrank, smaller, smaller, Till it was nothing But a silk handkerchief, torn, And wet as tears.
The person picked it up.
He walked on Into moonless night Carrying his strange trophy.


by Ted Hughes | |

How To Paint A Water Lily

 To Paint a Water Lily

A green level of lily leaves
Roofs the pond's chamber and paves

The flies' furious arena: study
These, the two minds of this lady.
First observe the air's dragonfly That eats meat, that bullets by Or stands in space to take aim; Others as dangerous comb the hum Under the trees.
There are battle-shouts And death-cries everywhere hereabouts But inaudible, so the eyes praise To see the colours of these flies Rainbow their arcs, spark, or settle Cooling like beads of molten metal Through the spectrum.
Think what worse is the pond-bed's matter of course; Prehistoric bedragoned times Crawl that darkness with Latin names, Have evolved no improvements there, Jaws for heads, the set stare, Ignorant of age as of hour— Now paint the long-necked lily-flower Which, deep in both worlds, can be still As a painting, trembling hardly at all Though the dragonfly alight, Whatever horror nudge her root.