Ted Hughes – A Solstice: The Sceptre Press, 1978


My copy isn’t signed, but it is numbered,


Where The Thought-Fox is such a memorable metaphor for the creative spirit and act of writing, this poem about the killing of a fox is brutally extravagant in its description. I don’t believe there is any irony in that description and in the beauty of the fox as portrayed, even after its death,

Then bundle him and his velvet legs
His bag of useless jewels

The poem is classically Hughes: the excess of compound words shooting out its salvo of detail,


and the absolute poetic capture of the sound of a jay,




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