Saturday, 25 November 2006

Ted Hughes: Collected Poems for Children, Ted Hughes, 2006

TED HUGHES Collected Poems for Children Ted Hughes, ill Raymond Briggs, Faber, 259 pages, Hardback, $49.99

Ted Hughes wrote many poems for the young. This volume combines eight collections, including the popular and witty Meet My Folks! where his mum cooks amazingly:

“I took her a rattlesnake that had attacked us:
She served it up curried with Crème de la Cactus.”

Most poems evoke nature, animals and the weather. Beside the inevitable sinister crow (“I nurse the dead”) there are conger eels and cows, crab-grass and cormorants, each one rich in imagery. Season Songs follow land and animals through a year. Most moving, however, are the imaginary creatures Hughes sees on the moon, where moon-whales “plunge deep under the moon’s plains.”

Trevor Agnew

First published in The Press, Christchurch on April 1st 2006

Ted Hughes

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