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Lineage -- Ted Hughes

Guest poem sent in by Pavithra Krishnan
(Poem #671) Lineage
 In the beginning was Scream
 Who begat Blood
 Who begat Eye
 Who begat Fear
 Who begat Wing
 Who begat Bone
 Who begat Granite
 Who begat Violet
 Who begat Guitar
 Who begat Sweat
 Who begat Adam
 Who begat Mary
 Who begat God
 Who begat Nothing
 Who begat Never
 Never Never Never

 Who begat Crow

 Screaming for Blood
 Grubs, crusts

 Anything

 Trembling featherless elbows in the nest's filth
-- Ted Hughes
Hughes' poetry is not kind.

It's mean.

There is something about his style that makes his words read like Truth.
A hard, uncompromising purity that commands admiration, awe.

Pang-less, Hughes rewrites the story of Creation here, he evolves a world of
horror and a fallible God and...Crow. There's a lot of energy in the universe
he sets up, and a lot of violence. Like much of Hughes' poetry this one too
startles. Startles with its strangeness of idea (someday I will understand the
bit about the Violet who begat Guitar), its cataract force, its clean
brilliance.

Crow is an irresistible character. And in introducing him I love how Hughes
shows him to be demanding, obnoxious and bloodthirsty - and yet, with the
'trembling featherless elbows' - breathtakingly vulnerable.

In 'From the Life and Songs of Crow'(from where this poem was taken)Hughes
adopts the voice of folk-myth to tell the adventures of a creature --
part-human,part-greek hero, part-wonderful beast --  called Crow.

'Lineage' is only the beginning.

Pavithra

Links:

poem #98 has biographical information and some further links.

And, of course, all the Hughes poems run on Minstrels can be found at
[broken link] http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/index_poet.html

48 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Smartart said...

Badinage

Crow
Seemed to know
What wins.
Not strutting

Black slate
Sloping,
But listing
Groping
In feather-dark

For meaning
And coping.
Randomly
Blotting;
Psychological
Joking;
Like

Hermann Rorschach

Winning awards
Prizes, accolades.

Everything.

Clever Crow.

Reynard

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Wow, that's a rough poem my friend... I'd like to get to know more of his work. Would you be so kind to recommend one of his books? If possible, an internet site to read more. I appreciate your response.

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