Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ted Hughes

Curlews in April

Hang their harps over the misty valleys
A wobbling water-call
A wet-footed god of the horizons

New moons sink into the heather
And full golden moons

Bulge over spent walls

Ted Hughes has the final honour of being immortalised at Westminster in Poet's Corner this week, not sure how  he would have felt about it, Thomas Hardy did not want it after all but there we are great men get remembered for past deeds.  Two of my favourites of his poems are Hawk Roosting and the other Pike.
He is a favourite poet of mine, just love his incisive gloomy words, have a taste for morbid poets such as, Hardy, R.S.Thomas and Hughes.  When we travel up North we pass through, or at least go by a sign for Elmet, the old British Celtic kingdom in West Yorkshire or though it probably stretched out over the vale of York in its heyday.   Its particular geological situation makes it a hard place.  One of his book of poems is called 'The Remains of Elmet' and we have a copy illustrated by Fay Godwin's black and white photographs bleakly and darkly sitting side by side with Hughes poems.  It was a gift from an Irish friend a couple of years ago over here for a meeting at Avebury, he had crossed over to Wales and stopped off at Hay-on-Wye to look at the book shops there. So when ever I take down the book I think of the meal we all had at a little pub near Avebury;
I suppose his love of fishing echoes some of my childhood exploits fishing for trout on the farm near Pumpsaint in Wales, accompanied by the farm's friendly pig who snuffled around whilst we fished and then wandering home through the fields with the farmer, on one occasion with a very bouncy live eel in his knapsack that was fried when we got back.  This farm was the place my grandfather would come down to at weekends and catch salmon when they were around, these salmons would fill the fridge at home...  I once ate some pike as a child, it is supposed to be muddy to eat, but I'm sure I can only remember its teeth,  it was caught from a murky lake if I remember rightly.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the late comment on this post Thelma! I have struggled to keep up with everyone's posts lately.

    What a superb post, Ted Hughes and fishing, feels like it was written for me. I got the Collected Poems of Ted Hughes a couple of months ago. Utterly brilliant and inspiring stuff.

    I'm like you, always drawn to those slightly darker poets. And I went to a Fay Godwin exhibition in earlier in the year, which was superb.

    I ate a pike once too, from a River, we had to make it into fishcakes because the bones were so big! Tasted good though.

    Hope you have a great holiday and a happy 2012 Thelma,




Love having comments!