Critical Analysis of Modernism Poems by Ted Hughes
1484 WordsAug 9th, 20136 Pages
Literary modernism, or modernist literature, has its origins in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in Europe and North America. Modernism is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. Modernists experimented with literary form and expression, adhering to Ezra Pound's maxim to "Make it new." The modernist literary movement was driven by a conscious desire to overturn traditional modes of representation and express the new sensibilities of their time. The horrors of the First World War saw the prevailing assumptions about society reassessed such as Sigmund Freud questioned the rationality of mankind.
Edward James "Ted" Hughes, OM (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet and…show more content…
Now add to those layers of complexity the fact that Hughes is also seeing the world through the owl's eyes (in much the same way that in Hawk, Roosting he sees the world through the hawk's eyes - owls are birds of prey, remember, like hawks). Few people have really attempted this getting inside an animal's head like Hughes did - one rare other person is Les Murray, in Translations from the Natural World, which would give you a point of reference away from Hughes or Plath. And of course Sylvia herself was also a great nature poet, with her own specialised knowledge of natural history (her father was an expert beekeeper).
So there's no way to reduce this to a handful of formulae, I'm afraid. There's much more in the poem than I've touched on, and you really need to have a basic grasp of Ted and Sylvia's relationship, and how Ted responded to her death (especially in Birthday Letters, and in the poem that surfaced late last year specifically about the night of her suicide - it got blanket coverage in the British media when Melvyn Bragg unearthed it.) It's also pretty much impossible to address all these issues without addressing the continuing debate over Ted's responsibility for and response to Sylvia's death. And the tragedy continues, as Nick committed suicide just a few years after Ted's death.
Crow: From the Life and Songs of Crow
Hughes describes Crow as wandering
Ted Hughes' 'the Jaguar' Essay
Ted Hughes' 'The Jaguar'
How effectively does Hughes convey the power of the jaguar?
Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The Jaguar’ describes the animals in a zoo and their lifestyles. It also compares them to the jaguar, which is an animal that lives differently to the others in the way that it views its life. The poem depicts the jaguar as powerful, but in what way? The first line of Ted Hughes’ poem the jaguar is:
“The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.”
From the very first three words it is clear that the apes are tired, and the fact that they are in the sun adds to the sleepy air. I think this line was deliberately chosen to begin to convey the monotonous lull of everyday life in the zoo and set a drowsy mood.
They are “adoring” their fleas, which is not a word commonly used in these circumstances. Playing with fleas is normal behaviour for apes, but the use of the word adoring suggests that they are glad of the distraction in their lethargic state. From this line, the apes do not sound threatening, more bored.
The second line has a rather different tone; it tells of the parrots that screech as if on fire. Parrots do indeed screech, so this is literal, but it has connotations of pain or perhaps boredom. Obviously they are not literally on fire, so these words could have been chosen to help exhibit their brightly coloured plumage or to remain with the painful image and to display their banshee-like screaming. The end of the line includes enjambment and expresses how the parrots strut like “cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.” “Cheap tarts” may also have connotations of the bright, tacky colours of parrots’ feathers, but the parrots also mean to attract attention with their screeches and strutting.
Line three goes on to speak of the tiger and lion, who are apparently “fatigued with indolence”. Again the tone is of sleepiness and possibly boredom, and the idleness of the animals in question. The animals are tired, and in the wild they would probably be more likely to be hunting rather than lazing about in the middle of the day.
This particular line is also an example of enjambment, as it runs into the next verse.
The last words of the first stanza are: “tiger and lion” and the first words of the second are: “lie still as the sun.” The end of the first stanza is therefore going on to a different subject, which intrigues the reader into moving to the second stanza. Again the word “sun” is used, so the warm, drowsy image returns, and as the sun is stationary, so are the animals. The following lines include some especially carefully chosen diction, as they describe the boa-constrictor which has a coil in it’s tail, which supposedly “is a fossil”. This metaphorical sentence is quite powerful, as the use of the word fossil depicts the stillness of the snake and also suggests that it may have been in such a position for a long time. This is also supported by the use of a metaphor rather than a simile, which would...
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