Early Ted Hughes (Forerunners)

Underfoot Poetry

Here are fourteen early poems from Ted Hughes, all of them from before the more well-known collections Wodwo and Crow. The powerful voices he gives to the animal and natural world, to history and mythology, to the experience of war, even to the theology of a sixteenth-century martyr burned at the stake, are well worth revisiting and reading aloud.

The Hawk in the Rain
The Horses
Invitation to the Dance
Six Young Men
The Ancient Heroes & the Bomber Pilot
The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar
Mayday in Holderness
Hawks Roosting
The Bull Moses
My Uncle’s Wound

The Hawk in the Rain

I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up
Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth’s mouth,
From clay that clutches my each step to the ankle
With the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk

Effortlessly at height hangs his…

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