Comparison of Ted Hughes poems: The Warm And The Cold and Work and Play

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Comparison of Ted Hughes poems: The Warm And The Cold and Work and Play

The first thing that you notice about these two poems is the similarities in subject. Work and Play and The Warm and the Cold both feature the presence of wildlife and the countryside.

The Warm and the Cold:

And the butterfly in its mummy

Like a viol in its case

And the owl in its feathers

Like a doll in its lace.

Work and Play

The swallow of summer, she toils all the summer

A blue-dark knot of glittering voltage

A whiplash swimmer, a fish of the air.

Both of these verses project the main theme of each poem as the countryside and wildlife.

There are though, some differences.

Like the layout of the poems. Work and Play is set out with three lines at the start of each stanza then five small lines at the end of the stanza, of which there are four. The end stanza changes to one beginning sentence and four ending the piece.

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The Warm and the Cold however, has three verses of twelve lines, then a finishing part where seven lines are spaced out to give a slowing down effect.

This poem also has a recognisable effect where nearly every other line is a simile.


But the trout is in its hole

Like a chuckle in a sleeper.

The hare strays down the highway

Like a root going deeper.

The snail is dry in the outhouse

Like a seed in sunflower.

The owl is pale on the gatepost

Like a clock on its tower.

The language of each poem ...

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