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Ted Hughes: the poet.

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Introduction

Ted Hughes: the poet I have studied five poems written by Ted Hughes. There are two poems that contrast two opposites and there are two poems that illustrate the power of nature and how it defeats man. The last poem is completely different to the others. It is narrated not by Ted Hughes but it is written as if by a Hawk. Hence the name Hawk Roosting. The other poems I have studied are 'Warm and Cold', 'Work and Play', 'Tractor' and 'Wind'. The first two poems I will be looking at are 'Work and Play' and 'Warm and Cold'. The poems illustrate the contrasts between the two words in the title. 'Work and Play' is an unusual description of work and how it differs from play. Ted Hughes describes the work in the poem as being graceful and effortless. "The swallow of summer, she toils all summer." "The seamstress of summer, she scissors the blue into shapes and she sews it" The play in the poem is described as being painful and cumbersome. ...read more.

Middle

The hawk states that he wants to keep things the way they are and not changes them but he does not hold the power to do this. Humans hold this power, but in the other poems, 'Warm and Cold' "Work and Play' 'Tractor' and 'Wind' it shows that the humans are as powerless as the hawk. "Now deep in chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought or each other." "While man eating flies jab electric shock needles but what can they do?" "The sweating farmers turn in their sleep like oxen on spits" "It ridicules me - trap of iron stupidity" The subjects discussed in the poems are all inter-linked. The first two poems 'Work and Play' and 'Warm and Cold' relate to animals and how they contrast to their environment. In the animals natural setting they might seem to be exposed to the elements but Ted Hughes turns this round so that instead they are portrayed as warm, cosy and insulated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some people are very self-centered imagining themselves to be more important than anyone or anything else in the world. The na�vety is also a characteristic of humans. Each person thinks that they can control what is going on in the world but in reality they are influencing the problem. For example global warming. The hawk is blinded by its arrogance which clearly a characteristic of humans. This can be seen in school, at work and especially in political parties. Hitler displayed this well in the Second World War. Ted Hughes is a talented writer. He uses themes and raises interesting contemporary issues to promote his views. His use of surreal imagery adds to the intense effect of his poems. His use of language greatly impacts on the reader. He strategically uses structure to emphasise his comparative writing and his deep feelings. He does this very effectively. For example, when he contrasts two subjects he clarifies both on the page and also in the text. He uses similes to illustrate his use of imagery. His poems have a powerful influence on the reader because of his extensive use of similes, metaphors and his ability to immediately conjure up the mood of the poems. ...read more.

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