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In a close reading of 'The Thought-Fox' and 'Roe-Deer', discuss how he uses, the theme of nature. You should analyse his use of language. (Poetry - Ted Hughes)

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In a close reading of 'The Thought-Fox' and 'Roe-Deer', discuss how he uses, the theme of nature. You should analyse his use of language. Poetry - Ted Hughes Various poems by Ted Hughes explore the world of nature and describe the power and mystery of animals. Two particular poems that convey Ted Hughes' theme of nature are the celebrated 'The Thought-Fox' and 'Roe Deer'. When Ted Hughes was only a young boy, he had a love for animals as "he spent a good deal of time hunting and trapping". At the age of about fifteen, Hughes' "attitude towards animals changed." He "accused" himself "of disturbing their lives." And ever since then, he began to look at them "from their own point of view." This led to him beginning writing about animals in his poetry shortly after he began writing poetry. Hughes realized from an early time, well before he wrote his first animal poem that the hunting that he did so much was similar to his thought process, "the slightly mesmerized and quite involuntary concentration with which you make out the stirrings of a new poem in your mind, then the outline, the mass and colour and clean final form of it, the unique living reality of it in the midst of general lifelessness." ...read more.


The 'neat prints into the snow' is compared to the words Hughes writes to create the poem. The fox, being the thought, is leaving its marks on the blank piece of paper as it moves around. The fox's footprints are a metaphor for the words being imprinted in Hughes' mind and the snow is a metaphor for the blank page. 'Shadow lags by stump and in hollow Of a body that is bold to come' The fox is slowly passing through the forest with these obstacles coming in its way. This animal is known to be cunning as it creeps towards you but the attack can be over in a few moments. Similarly, the thought is slowly coming through but Ted Hughes' mind has to first over come the obstacle such as what to write and what not to. Ted Hughes mentioned before that in bad poetry, many of the words kill each other, e.g. using the word 'feather' followed by 'treacle' a few words later. That is why you have to be careful with choosing the correct words. The last stanza is when the thought has completely developed; it comes very sudden almost out of no where like the fox ' with a sudden hot sink of fox It enters the dark hole of the head.' ...read more.


Similar to 'The Thought-Fox', once the deer completes their mission, to show Hughes the world of nature, it rapidly returns back to its secret world like 'the dark hole of the head' in 'The Thought -Fox'. Hughes again uses compound words to describe the surroundings such as the 'snow-lonely field' showing us that the fields were covered completely with a blanket of snow. The deer run into the fields 'Towards tree dark' which could mean that they disappear into the woods and also the dark. They seem to disappear completely leaving no signs behind. All evidence of the deer is taken away, 'The snow took them and soon their nearby hoofprints as well' The alliteration used in 'boil of big flakes' gives a sense of the enormity of snow. When Hughes loses sight of the deer, everything turns 'Back to the ordinary.' He feels inspired to return to his own world having had an incredible encounter. Both poems use the theme of nature to show us how powerful the natural world can be whether you're experiencing it (in Roe-Deer) or imagining it (in The Thought-Fox). The surroundings can be compared to things that humans do in their everyday lives. ?? ?? ?? ?? Poetry Coursework 1 Asad Abdulla Mr. Mayne ...read more.

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