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Examine the significance and treatment of the natural world in the poetry of one or more writers from the module. The poets Ted Hughes and Dylan Thomas.

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EN1 014 - Twentieth-Century English Poetry - An Introduction Martin Matthews Total Words - 1713 Word used in Quotes - 203 Word Count - 1510 Examine the significance and treatment of the natural world in the poetry of one or more writers from the module. The poets Ted Hughes and Dylan Thomas both explore the beauty of the natural world and at the same time the cruelty and violence contained in it. This is apparent in Hughes's poem 'Pike'. Pike, Three inches long, perfect Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold. Hughes uses the opening two lines of the poem to express the magnificence of the pike and how the pike would seem to be 'perfect' in every way. Killers from the egg the malevolent aged grin In the third line due to the introduction of 'killers' Hughes breaks the 'perfect' image of the Pike in the poem. The audience is made to realise due to the juxtaposition of beauty and violence, that this perfect creation of nature is made to kill and destroy other 'perfect' creations. Of course it could be said that the pike is a 'perfect' killer, so therefore the pike is still perfect, the perfect predator. They dance on the surface among the flies. Or move, stunned by their own grandeur, Over a bed of emerald, silhouette Of submarine delicacy and horror. ...read more.


Even though we as people may not eat one another we may metaphorically do so. Often there will be a battle for leader displaying how we as an evolved species still have the natural instincts and 'horror' of the pike. Dylan Thomas like Ted Hughes explores the relationship between nature and humans. In 'The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives The Flower' Thomas considers how ironically nature gives life then takes it away, the force that creates Thomas is also his 'destroyer'. With growth all living things come closer to death. Thomas constantly repeats 'I am dumb' throughout the poem, in saying this he could mean that he is dumb to the force of nature and that he has no control over natures affect on him. Therefore nature is the controller not the man; nature is the stronger 'force'. I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever. Nature creates the rose in spring and then nature produces winter and kills the rose. The human life could be compared to the seasons, spring being our youth and winter being our old age. Thomas's winter fever is his youth disappearing and getting closer to his old age, his winter. The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. ...read more.


The 'streaming with sweat' is associated with someone who has the flu. Flu would be brought on by nature, however the final line suggests the weak human fighting back against nature. The 'rejoicing' is a celebration against beating nature this time, however the audience knows that the tractor will probably freeze up again the next night just like a human being will probably catch flu again next winter. The tractor or a person can beat nature on a small scale, however man will never completely conquer nature. For Dylan Thomas and Ted Hughes the natural world was a main focus in their poetry. 'He roamed his countryside, hunted and fished and put words about nature together'. The previous quote on Hughes would seem to sum up Hughes background in the natural world on which he wrote his poetry. Hughes wrote his poetry how he saw it in his actual life, through hunting and spending time in the country, he would have seen the beauty and horror of nature as he later recited in his poetry. Thomas and Hughes highlighted how powerful nature is and how we as humans don't always remember that we are all only mortal and like any animal or plant that we see as being inferior to ourselves, we to will eventually die. Thomas and Hughes both treat the natural world as important and remind us how significant it is to our own lives and how we are part of it. ...read more.

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