23 oct. 2008

(152)

Ted Hughes. The Hawk in the Rain. 1957. 1979. 59 pp.

I thought he was a better poet than this, I remembered the "Thought Fox" and a few others things, but most of the time, on this re-reading I had no idea what attitude he was even posturing in the direction of. The satiric edge is blunted by the verbal clumsiness. He comes out of Hopkins and Lawrence rather than out of Hardy and Auden. That's unusual for a British poet of that generation. It makes him better than most, but the offensive misogyny and anti-intellectualism don't win him any points.

"dilemma-feebled spine" was a phrase that struck me as particularly inapt.