Read Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library) by Ted Hughes Online


Crow was Ted Hughes's fourth book of poems for adults and a pivotal moment in his writing career. In it, he found both a structure and a persona that gave his vision a new power and coherence. A. Alvarez wrote in the Observer, 'Each fresh encounter with despair becomes the occasion for a separate, almost funny, story in which natural forces and creatures, mythic figures, eCrow was Ted Hughes's fourth book of poems for adults and a pivotal moment in his writing career. In it, he found both a structure and a persona that gave his vision a new power and coherence. A. Alvarez wrote in the Observer, 'Each fresh encounter with despair becomes the occasion for a separate, almost funny, story in which natural forces and creatures, mythic figures, even parts of the body, act out their special roles, each endowed with its own irrepressible life. With Crow, Hughes joins the select band of survivor-poets whose work is adequate to the destructive reality we inhabit.'...

Title : Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library)
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ISBN : 9780571176557
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 89 Pages
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Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library) Reviews

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-05-23 08:54

    TimelineSuicide of Ted Hughes’s wife Sylvia Plath, 1963Suicide of Ted Hughes’ current partner Assia Wevill, 1969Publication of Crow, 1970This is the context for the screeching brutality, ugliness and relentless howling nastiness of Crow and its picture of humanity as the scraping of nails on the blackboard of creation and consciousness as worse than anthrax.Crow is really severe stuff.Crow is horror poetry.When Crow cried his mother’s ear Scorched to a stump.In the poems, Crow is many things – sometimes he appears to be Hughes himself; sometimes the well known trickster, Loki or someone similar, cavorting, disgusted by everything, meddling, cocking things up, himself a scrawny reeking speck of gristle and greasy black feathers with a vast appetite and completely unkillable; and sometimes he’s a kind of reverse Christ (with black feathers). I love Ted Hughes’ animal poetry, which includes plenty of carnage but taken as a whole is a tremendous celebration, the nature channel fused with Thomas Traherne. But Crow has no compassion, no pity. He's done with that.Crow’s Account of the BattleThe cartridges were banging off, as planned,The fingers were keeping things goingAccording to excitement and orders.The unhurt eyes were full of deadliness.The bullets pursued their coursesThrough clods of stone, earth, and skin,Through intestines pocket-books, brains, hair, teethAccording to Universal lawsAnd mouths cried "Mamma"From sudden traps of calculus,Theorems wrenched men in two,Shock-severed eyes watched blood Squandering as from a drain-pipeInto the blanks between the stars.Faces slammed down into clayAs for the making of a life-maskKnew that even on the sun's surface They could not be learning more or more to the pointReality was giving it's lesson,Its mishmash of scripture and physics, With here, brains in hands, for example,And there, legs in a treetop.There was no escape except into death.And still it went on--it outlastedMany prayers, many a proved watchMany bodies in excellent trim,Till the explosives ran outAnd sheer weariness supervenedAnd what was left looked round at what was left.Crow cannot die, his suffering which is only briefly drowned out by his laughter can’t die and it seems has no purpose. There’s no comfort to be had.Some individual poems are quite incomprehensible (Crowego, Robin’s Song, Crow’s Undersong – sometimes the language is pushed too far and melts down into surrealism) but it all fits into this terrifying epic bleak panorama, so I don’t get the unpleasant complete door-slamming incomprehensibility from Crow, even at its most difficult, that I did from Wallace Stevens, and had to give him the elbow, beautiful language and blue guitars and all. Wallace Stevens was too clever for me, like Shoenberg or something. Ted Hughes is more like Captain Beefheart. This is not to compare Stevens and Hughes, because why should you, it’s just that I read both recently. But I could fly with this disgusting bird, because after another day watching the news or another brilliantly eviscerating movie about just how fucked things actually are, in the poor parts, in the rich parts, and in the soft parts between, Crow is the appropriate response, Crow is what I wish to say. Sometimes you read a book or hear a song and you think: this is mine. It might not be very nice but your blood recognises it immediately : this is mine.Crow straggled, limply bedraggled his remnant.He was his own leftover, the spat-out scragHe was what his brain could make nothing of.Sometimes weeping, sometimes cawing with laughter, sometimes both, Crow flaps through all our skies."Well," said Crow, "What first?" God, exhausted with Creation, snored. "Which way?" said Crow, "Which way first?" God's shoulder was the mountain on which Crow sat. "Come," said Crow, "Let's discuss the situation." God lay, agape, a great carcass. Crow tore off a mouthful and swallowed.

  • BrokenTune
    2019-05-09 16:37

    Hey Crow,With all your self-obsessed aloofness,your lack of empathy and whimsy,you're a misrepresentation of all crows.Yours,PigeonAh, well, it was only a matter of time before I crossed paths with Ted Hughes' work. Let's just say that just because something is clever, and Hughes' work is CLEVER, it doesn't mean it captures my heart? That is not its aim. Imagination? Definitely not. Interest? No, not that either.Well, maybe with one exception:Crow’s Account of the BattleThe cartridges were banging off, as planned,The fingers were keeping things goingAccording to excitement and orders.The unhurt eyes were full of deadliness.The bullets pursued their coursesThrough clods of stone, earth, and skin,Through intestines pocket-books, brains, hair, teethAccording to Universal lawsAnd mouths cried "Mamma"From sudden traps of calculus,Theorems wrenched men in two,Shock-severed eyes watched blood Squandering as from a drain-pipeInto the blanks between the stars.Faces slammed down into clayAs for the making of a life-maskKnew that even on the sun's surface They could not be learning more or more to the pointReality was giving it's lesson,Its mishmash of scripture and physics, With here, brains in hands, for example,And there, legs in a treetop.There was no escape except into death.And still it went on--it outlastedMany prayers, many a proved watchMany bodies in excellent trim,Till the explosives ran outAnd sheer weariness supervenedAnd what was left looked round at what was left.

  • Vanessa
    2019-05-24 08:39

    This collection. What can I say? It's beautiful, and one that I really want to re-read very soon, because I feel like each reading will bring me a brand new experience.I'd never read any of Ted Hughes poetry before, and frankly I have fallen in love. Never have I experienced such a dark, gritty collection. The poems in this collection for the most part follow the character of Crow, who is grotesque, horrific, yet not unfeeling at certain points. There was a lot of very dark humour in this collection which I really loved, and a lot of surprisingly sexually explicit moments (although it was published in 1970, later than I thought so I guess it's maybe not so surprising).I will definitely be checking out more Ted Hughes, and I would recommend this Faber edition specifically as it has some poems that were not included in the original publication, some of which were fantastic editions. A beautiful collection that has got me excited about poetry all over again.

  • Robert Bayley
    2019-04-30 11:36

    Just wanted to sprinkle my stars on this. One of the very few poets I can read without feeling self-conscious. Glorious, brutal words.

  • Pink
    2019-04-30 14:34

    In all honesty, this was just okay for me. I'm sure it's worthy of a 5 star rating, as it feels like a masterpiece of poetry. Unfortunately most of it went over my head.

  • Kasandra
    2019-05-12 16:34

    One of those "classics" I'd not yet gotten around to reading, this is an amazingly dark and intense book, full of surreal and haunting imagery, but not without wry humor. It contains real horror and real emotion, and is mostly spoken in the voice of "Crow", who feels like a cross between a dark/negative Holy Ghost and a primal energy of the death that resides in all life -- not God, but a god, one who's ultimately a reflection of all that is egotistical, ugly, unconscious, on the edge of sanity, and primal in humans (particularly male humans; Crow's voice, to me, often sounds afraid of the female principle). This is a keeper of a book, with much mystery and intrigue, one I feel I can learn from in terms of imaginative blending of voice/persona with dark humor and universal themes of loathing, lust, despair, longing, creation, and destruction. It's not an easy, linear narrative; it would be far less interesting and deep if it were. The book is dedicated to Hughes' lover and child, Assia and Shura (the woman he left Plath for, who committed suicide and also killed their 4-year-old), and though he was working on these poems before her suicide, it feels as if there is a tremendous amount of remorse and self-loathing contained within (perhaps guilt over Plath's suicide, if not foreboding about what was to come 6 years later). This book came out the year after Assia's suicide.Here were some of my favorites:Examination at the Womb-DoorCrow and the Birds (note the poem is under an illustration inspired by it, done by Rachael DinnageCrow's VanityCrow's Elephant Totem Song

  • Xio
    2019-05-19 12:51

    February 17thA lamb could not get born. Ice windOut of a downpour dishclout sunrise. The motherLay on the muddied slope. Harried, she got upAnd the blackish lump bobbed at her back-endUnder her tail. After some hard galloping,Some manoeuvering, much flapping of the backwardLump head of the lamb looking out,I caught her with a rope. Laid her, head uphillAnd examined the lamb. A blood-ball swollenTight in its black felt, its mouth gapSquashed crooked, tongue stuck out, black-purple,Strangled by its mother. I felt inside,Past the noose of mother-flesh, into the slipperyMuscled tunnel, fingering for a hoof,Right back to the port-hole of the pelvis.But there was no hoof. He had stuck his head out too earlyAnd his feet could not follow. He should haveFelt his way, tip-toe, his toesTucked up under his noseFor a safe landing. So I kneeled wrestlingWith her groans. No hand could squeeze pastThe lamb's neck into her interiorTo hook a knee. I roped that baby headAnd hauled till she cried out and triedTo get up and I saw it was useless. I wentTwo miles for the injection and a razor.Sliced the lamb's throat-strings, levered with a knifeBetween the vertebrae and brought the head offTo stare at its mother, its pipes sitting in the mudWith all earth for a body. Then pushedThe neck-stump right back in, and as I pushedShe pushed. She pushed crying and I pushed gasping.And the strengthOf the birth push and the push of my thumbAgainst that wobbly vertebrae were deadlock,A to-fro futility. Till I forcedA hand past and got a knee. Then likePulling myself to the ceiling with one fingerHooked in a loop, timing my effortTo her birth push groans, I pulled againstThe corpse that would not come. Till it came,And after it the long, sudden, yolk-yellowParcel of lifeIn a smothering slither of oils and soups and syrups -And the body lay born, beside the hacked-off head.Of course that poem isn't from this collection, but I wanted it on the site to share with everyone. I am really impressed with T.H.

  • Neil
    2019-04-30 11:27

    Let me begin by saying I am not a reader of poetry. In fact, I am struggling to remember ever before reading a whole book of poems. I think the closest I have come is poetry studied as part of an English Literature 'O Level' several decades ago.With my inexperience in mind, Crow might not be the best place to start. Perhaps Pam Ayres would be better for a novice?I can't claim that I understood this. But I do know that I felt its power. I certainly can't claim that my life has taken me anywhere near the place Ted Hughes was in when he wrote this. But I do know I could feel the grief, bitterness and rage. Hughes draws on mythology. He corrupts Christian theology. He rails against war. He writes of pain and suffering.I feel compelled to put this on my "to re-read" list. It is not a collection that can be read once and left to gather dust. It demands to be re-read. I picked it up to read as background reading before launching into Grief Is the Thing with Feathers where Crow is one of the major characters. But I will have to come back to it at some point.

  • Edward
    2019-05-14 14:34

    Publisher's Note--Two Legends--Lineage--Examination at the Womb-door--A Kill--Crow and Mama--The Door--A Childish Prank--Crow's First Lesson--Crow Alights--That Moment--Crow Hears Fate Knock on the Door--Crow Tyrannosaurus--Crow's Account of the Battle--The Black Beast--A Grin--Crow Communes--Crow's Account of St George--A Disaster--The Battle of Osfrontalis--Crow's Theology--Crow's Fall--Crow and the Birds--Criminal Ballad--Crow on the Beach--The Contender--Oedipus Crow--Crow's Vanity--A Horrible Religious Error--Crow Tries the Media--Crow's Nerve Fails--In Laughter--Crow Frowns--Magical Dangers--Robin Song--Conjuring in Heaven--Crow Goes Hunting--Owl's Song--Crow's Undersong--Crow's Elephant Totem Song--Dawn's Rose--Crow's Playmates--Crowego--The Smile--Crow Improvises--Crowcolour--Crow's Battle Fury--Crow Blacker than ever--Revenge Fable--A Bedtime Story--Crow's Song of Himself--Crow Sickened--Song for a Phallus--Apple Tragedy--Crow Paints Himself into a Chinese Mural--Crow's Last Stand--Crow and the Sea--Truth Kills Everybody--Crow and Stone--Fragment of an Ancient Tablet--Notes for a Little Play--Snake Hymn--Lovesong--Glimpse--King of CarrionTwo Eskimo Songs--I Fleeing From Eternity--II How Water Began To Play--Littleblood

  • Benito
    2019-04-24 10:27

    the finest cycle of poetry I've ever read - warm, meaty, harsh and cawing likes it's title suggests. Bullets wouldn't cut through this fleshy example of what one could do with verse, just don't forget to turn the gas off...

  • John
    2019-05-11 14:27

    I decided to give this book a "re-read" after many years. I always felt that of solitary books of poetry, it is one of the greatest published in the 20th century. If you look at it even through the prism of the 21st century, it seems as prophetic for now as it was a commentary on the past century.It did not take me long to read the book. It is an interesting "statement" if you will, and a unique book of poetry. I've not read a collection like it before. There are about five or six poems that are outstanding and rank among the greatest Hughes ever wrote. Some poems are weak, even slapstick in nature, but all told, when you head into the world of Crow, a solitary sometimes scary ride.It is not a lengthy book and I reread it over a weekend. The language is dark and heavy, but there is also a beauty to it. I keep thinking of phrases like "earth-bowel brown", "jabbering protest", "God's grimace writhed, a leaf in the furnace", "the slackskin nape", "tears evacuating visibly", "deaf and mineral stare."This is quite a work!

  • Andrew
    2019-05-10 14:50

    I rarely read poetry, but I enjoyed this strange little book by Ted Hughes. It's full of dark imagery, violence and unexpected humour. The poems read like myths of the origins of the world, except that at the middle of them all is Crow, this anarchic, chaotic, ugly, violent figure, playing tricks on God and turning creation upside-down.I was reminded of the Anansi figure in West Indian Folk Tales, himself of course of West African origin. I suspect Hughes drew on a lot of mythological sources in these poems, many of which I am blissfully unaware of, but it didn't seem to matter - even in the poems where I wasn't sure what he was driving at, I was pleased by the rhythm of the language, somehow different in each poem but forming a coherent whole.There's a lot more you could say about these poems - you could probably do a whole English Literature course on them - but I don't want to go that deep. I'm happy for now just to have discovered that rare thing for me, poetry that I can truly enjoy. I'll keep this on my shelf and probably re-read from time to time, if only to try to understand why this worked for me and so much other poetry doesn't.

  • Paul Baran
    2019-04-25 08:45

    In native American culture in particular, the Crow was seen as the eternal trickster, even a figure of malice in the forms of the Universe. In this pivitol collection, Hughes appropriates the Crow's mythic role and uses it as a mocking narrator to journey the horrors of the Twentieth Century, including the repressive events of Eastern Europe and the violent incursion of technology and post industrialisation into nature's den. There is a sadism in these poems, that initially arrests the reader, but coupled with the Crow's primordial nihilsim, a clever dark comedy is achieved by the time we reach the final lines...One of Ted's best.

  • James Murphy
    2019-05-10 09:52

    A reread.All the poems in Crow are in a stark, bold typescript that flies off the page at you and suit the thunderous poetry about the wild trickster of existence written by a poet who himself had godlike looks and talent. Hughes's language is incantatory, aggressive, and riveting. The language struts like you'd expect Crow to strut after having scared the dawn away or found some deliciously foul meal. I've read this several times. In the same way I do with Eliot, I have to occasionally touch base with these irresistible poems about a bird larger than all existence who's probably responsible for all existence.

  • Ophelia.Desdemona
    2019-05-20 08:44


  • Rebecka Göransdotter
    2019-05-23 09:44

    Simply a great piece of poetry.

  • Sara
    2019-05-13 08:47

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only member of the Crow Appreciation Society in my immediate circle of friends and colleagues. They just don’t get crows/corvids in general, most people don’t. So, (truncated in a spoiler for those who can’t be bothered to read) off the top of my head, five reasons why crows should finally get a little respect from you peasants:(view spoiler)[1. Crows can distinguish one human from another and remember their faces. This is my number 1 as it was a hard lesson for me to learn. My dad took me away on holiday when I was six and I thought it’d be really big and clever to lob a cob of sweetcorn at a young crow bullying a sparrow. Not such a hot idea. You might not be able to tell one crow from another and a knock on the chin is just that, but they can tell you apart and are pretty much Liam Neeson from Taken if you mess with one of them. I was chased all afternoon by a whole family of them and couldn’t go outside in that field for the rest of the holiday. Don’t fuck with crows.2. Type ‘Caledonian crow’� in youtube and watch lots of videos of crows solve problems in experiments with reasoning and tool-use. There’s also the famous video of crows dropping nuts so cars can smash them open and using the traffic light system to safely collect their goods.3. Then stay up until 5am in the morning watching videos of talking crows. Not just parrots who imitate speech, certain corvids like ravens and crows do as well. I think there actually is a video of a raven saying ‘nevermore’. The one that freaks me out is the crow who’s injured and says “I wanna fly, FLY!”�4. They’re sly. Crows who have stolen from other crows will hide their food in better places next time. So, basically, you swindle over another crow and then learn from this experience in order to be better equipped in keeping food stores of your own. 5. Not really crow, but still corvid related: magpies (I think) are one of the few animals to identify themselves in a mirror. Maybe it’s because of Lacan’s mirror theory and self-identification as a topic I find this particularly interesting.(hide spoiler)]That’s just biology and evolution prevailing up above.The crow also prevails here in this book of poetry. If I had to pick one book of Ted Hughes and watch all the rest burn, I’d pick this one to save. It wouldn’t burn anyway if discarded; it would shriek obscenity and tar the immediate surroundings with black spittle. You’ve to love certain things for their resilience rather than their beauty (if you love for beauty, you cannot love this). I could write an essay’s worth and then some on Hughes’ Crow. I really could, but for the sake of ensuring this is a “review" (if even that), here is Keith Sagan on the origin of Crow from his book The Art of Ted Hughes:God, having created the world, has a recurring nightmare. A huge hand comes from deep space, takes him by the throat, half-throttles him, drags him through space, ploughs the earth with him and then throws him back into heaven in a cold sweat. Meanwhile man sits at the gates of heaven waiting for God to grant him audience. He has come to ask God to take life back. God is furious and sends him packing. The nightmare appears to be independent of the creation, and God cannot understand it. The nightmare is full of mockery of the creation, especially of man. God challenges the nightmare to do better. This is just what the nightmare has been waiting for. It plunges down into matter and creates Crow. God tests Crow by putting him through a series of trials and ordeals which sometimes result in Crow being dismembered, transformed or obliterated, but Crow survives them all, little changed. Meanwhile Crow interferes in God’s activities, sometimes trying to learn or help, sometimes in mischief, sometimes in open rebellion. It is, perhaps, his ambition to become a man, but he never quite makes it.This sums up Crow beautifully. I’m reading Paradise Lost at the moment and to me there are parallels between Crow and Milton’s Satan, although Crow is more primordial - God doesn’t create him: he is before Christianity, after Christianity, brought from the cess pool of creation and still there after apocalypse (even after Keith Richards and when Prince William’s the king if you can think that sci-fi). He is a trickster, both learning from and swindling God over, able to laugh at himself in moments of despair; fly off without a care when he causes mayhem after failing in becoming civilised. There are more than just poems with Crow featuring as trickster too: there's 'Crow's Undersong' included which brings to mind Inanna and Uruk, there's also the most-quoted 'Lovesong' included here too too (for which I always thought 'Lovepet' as an appropriate counterpart). Whatever the focus, the poetry here is truly savage, more so than any other book of Hughes I've come across so far. Dans macabre at the end of Seventh Seal, Machiavellian smirks, hermetic resonances - all these things, a lot more too. A mirror of the world at its bleakest moments and what better to test knife-edge truth than in those moments: looking like a joker in the pack laughing at yourself in the mirror exclaiming “what, you still here?” Attempting to write a list of poems as favourites from this collection is impossible. I can’t do it, all of it’s Milton’s gleaming dark fire of chaotic lake. I’ll just finish off with one poem that I can copy and paste in (oh, I’m lazy, I know) anda little recording of Hughes on Crow.Crow Blacker than ever When God, disgusted with man, Turned towards heaven. And man, disgusted with God, Turned towards Eve, Things looked like falling apart. But Crow . . Crow Crow nailed them together, Nailing Heaven and earth together - So man cried, but with God's voice. And God bled, but with man's blood. Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint Which became gangrenous and stank - A horror beyond redemption. The agony did not diminish. Man could not be man nor God God. The agony Grew. Crow Grinned Crying: 'This is my Creation,' Flying the black flag of himself.

  • Angelica
    2019-05-21 16:45

    Incredible. I'm salty about his portrayal of women, but he's an incredible writer and Crow is a collection I'll come back to time and again.

  • David
    2019-05-22 08:24

    A Top Shelf review, originally published in The MonitorDark, Tragic VerseFifty years ago, poet Sylvia Plath killed herself by sealing the kitchen off from her two sleeping children, switching on the gas and sticking her head in the oven. She had separated from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, seven months earlier when she learned he was having an affair. Hughes called her suicide “the end of [his] life,” but that darkness was compounded further when Assia Wevill, his lover, killed herself and their daughter six years later in exactly the same way as Plath (also after Hughes had another affair).While it has been popular to paint Hughes as a unrepentant monster responsible for the deaths of two women, the poet was devastated by the human destruction around him. Nowhere is this clearer than in Crow, a collection of dark, primal, gut-wrenching poems centered on the eponymous figure, a sort of tragic trickster bird who embodies the blundering and brutal beast in Man. Hughes is clearly trying to come to grips with all that he abhors in himself, a “black rainbow/ Bent in emptiness/ over emptiness.” Crow is left when everything else perishes (“who is stronger than death? Me, evidently”), he plays pranks that cause horrible devastation, and in “Crow’s First Lesson,” even God cannot teach him to say the word “love.” Charred black in a battle with the sun, he cannot admit defeat and insists that “up there…[w]here white is black and black white, I won.” He is befuddled by the actions and emotions of others: “His utmost gaping of the brain in his tiny skull/ Was just enough to wonder, about the sea,/ What could be hurting so much?” Repeatedly Hughes shows us how bleak a life can be that goes on after terrible tragedy, how darkly absurd it is to laugh and eat and lie together when the world is falling apart around us.The collection is certainly not for all readers. For those of you willing to contemplate the deep imperfections in every human being and study how one man managed to dredge up and face the demons that had ripped love from him, this is a moving, powerful piece of writing. Hughes’ poetry before Crow was clever and studied, exploring animal imagery and Eastern religions. It was very good, but arguable not amazing. The tragedies around him, however, ripped raw, powerful verse from the depths of his soul. They also gave birth to one of the greatest figures in modern poetry, Crow, an amazing modern take on the ancient trickster archetype.

  • Aj Sterkel
    2019-05-21 15:26

    Crow was first published in 1970 and is considered a classic. I wanted to read it because I’d heard it was dark and violent. It also has very good ratings on Goodreads.I guess I’m a black sheep because I kinda hated this book. The collection is about a mythological crow that causes destruction in the human world. The poems blend myth, religion, nature, and imagination. I like the strong imagery and the accessibility of the collection. The poems are pretty easy to understand. I really struggled with the anger, though. I don’t mind reading angry literature, but it’s emotionally draining, so I want to feel like I’m getting something out of it. I want to learn, or to be blown away by the author’s use of language, or to escape to another world. When I finished this collection, my thought was, Well, that was depressing. Why did I read it?My favorite poem in the book is “Apple Tragedy.” The ending is so unexpected that it made me laugh. My brain melted all the other poems into a big puddle of misery, so I don’t really remember them. I guess I missed whatever is so amazing about this collection.“To hatch a crow, a black rainbowBent in emptinessover emptinessBut flying” - Crow

  • Haley Wynn
    2019-05-14 15:26

    Creeping, foreboding, operatic; Crow is a collection of related poetry climbing the mountainous, mythological obstructions of religion. A satire of narratives depicting the ridiculousness of "belief", Hughes' disbelief in modern society's importance on church, and his fear of the ultimate ending: death. Ted Hughes writes prolifically and without fear, death is the end all be all; therefore, why pervert the human existence with such idle pretenses. Only there is a doorway in the wall -A black doorway:The eye's pupil.Through that doorway came Crow.Flying from sun to sun, he found this home~ "The Door" (3rd to 4th and 5th stanzas)If you're in the mood for a somber discussion with yourself read this collection; it will give you a lifetime worth of questions to ask, give you a perspective on the mental corruption induced within people, and allow the freedom of thinking for yourself.

  • Eline
    2019-05-06 13:32

    5/5 - I'm not used to reading poetry, but this was right up my alley. Dark, depressingly raw, gritty,... and the character of Crow was completely fascinating.

  • Jonathan
    2019-05-20 08:38

    "The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw." - Jack Handy

  • Dyan
    2019-05-12 13:34

    This is probably a great work, but this just went straight over my head, so I decided to stop torturing myself.

  • Ken
    2019-05-16 12:44

    Most of the poems in this collection center on a mythical-like character named Crow, a guy who resembles that feathery fellow cleaning up the mess our cars leave on the roads (thanks, Crow). In Hughes' vision, Crow is a bit like a trickster, a naughty god, at times funny, at times evil, at times annoying. Loki in black, maybe?Although the interconnected poems never gather narrative force, they do manage a bit more momentum than collections of random poetry. The language is spare, at times informal, at times fairy tale-like, at times Biblical (cameos throughout by God and even his unnamed Son). Mostly, though, tropes from myths.One of my favorites in the collection is "Crow Alights":Crow saw the herded mountains, steaming in the morning.and he saw the seaDark-spined, with the whole earth in its coils.He saw the stars, fuming away into the black, mushrooms of the nothing forest, clouding their spores, the virus of God.And he shivered with the horror of Creation.In the hallucination of the horrorHe saw this shoe, with no sole, rain-sodden,Lying on a moor.And there was this garbage can, bottom rusted away,A playing place for the wind, in a waste of puddles.There was this coat, in the dark cupboard, in the silent room, in the silent house.There was this face, smoking its cigarette between the dusk window and the fire's embers.Near the face, this hand, motionless.Near the hand, this cup.Crow blinked. He blinked. Nothing faded.He stared at the evidence.Nothing escaped him. (Nothing could escape.)Sorry, but GR doesn't allow the indents to work, and I'm no HTML wizard -- but it gives you an idea of the tone and the content. All rather glum, actually. And I'm still not sure if Ted gave Crow too much credit or too little. For that matter, the same applies to us and crows in general."Pass, crow."

  • Terence
    2019-05-13 14:34

    Ted Hughes’ The Crow was a mixed bag for me. Some poems went right over my head no matter how many times I would read them. Others read like pretentious claptrap. But then there were a handful that I enjoyed reading, like “Crow Goes Hunting”:CrowDecided to try words.He imagined some words for the job, a lovely pack – Clear-eyed, resounding, well-trained,With strong teeth.You could not find a better bred lot.He pointed out the hare and away went the wordsResounding.Crow was Crow without fail, but what is a hare?It converted itself to a concrete bunker.The words circled protesting, resounding.Crow turned the words into bombs – they blasted the bunker.The bits of bunker flew up – a flock of starlings.Crow turned the words into shotguns, they shot down the starlings.The falling starlings turned to a cloudburst.Crow turned the words into a reservoir, collecting the water.The water turned into an earthquake, swallowing the reservoir.The earthquake turned into a hare and leaped for the hillHaving eaten Crow’s words.Crow gazed after the bounding hareSpeechless with admiration.My other favorites were “Crow’s Playmates,” “Apple Tragedy,” “Fragment of an Ancient Tablet” and “Snake Hymn.”If you’re a Hughes fan then you’ll probably like this collection well enough but I can’t competently say “yea” or “nay” for anyone else.

  • Cintia Andrade
    2019-05-20 14:38

    Uma pessoa aqui nos comentários disse "Crow is horror poetry", e eu não poderia concordar mais. "Crow" é uma coleção de poemas terrivelmente tristes, sombrios, devastadores (e lindíssimos). Vou deixar vocês com um dos meus preferidos, uma ponderação na porta do útero:Examination at the Womb-DoorWho owns those scrawny little feet? Death.Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face? Death.Who owns these still-working lungs? Death.Who owns this utility coat of muscles? Death.Who owns these unspeakable guts? Death.Who owns these questionable brains? Death.All this messy blood? Death.These minimum-efficiency eyes? Death.This wicked little tongue? Death.This occasional wakefulness? Death.Given, stolen, or held pending trial?Held.Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth? Death.Who owns all of space? Death.Who is stronger than hope? Death.Who is stronger than the will? Death.Stronger than love? Death.Stronger than life? Death.But who is stronger than Death? Me, evidently.Pass, Crow.

  • Rosa Jamali
    2019-05-20 14:32

    The book has been dedicated to the memory of Assia Wevill and her child Shura. I think Assia Wevill was really a challenging dramatic figure we can't ignore. The book starts with a poem called "Two Legends" I suppose these two legends are the legends of Sylvia Plath and Assia Wevill. The second legend is much darker and more tragic. A woman who commits suicide seven years after Plath's death and kills her child not to leave a trace. I think she was charming and impressive who caused the loss of a prominent poet. But very sad it is. Nobody mourned for her except Hughes who Knew her legend. A Jewish infatuated refugee. She belonged to the world of charm and poetry.A wanderng Jewish and a chrismatic figure and this is her legend:Black is the wet otter's head, liftedBlack is the rock, plunging in foamBlack is the gall lying on the bed of the blood

  • Simon
    2019-05-23 08:37

    Crow is a hallucinatory combination of Native American myths, ancient Greek fables, Old and New Testament stories, and Hughes' animal imagery. The collection is loosely centered on the figure of Crow, but the breath of styles and themes is very wide. To me, the figure of Crow seemed a sort of trickster/scavenger personification of poetry itself, tearing apart and refashioning the world in black ink. Anyway, I enjoyed this, but maybe not as much as some of Hughes' other volumes, particularly Hawk in the Rain, which is my personal favourite.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-13 14:30

    I don't know if Mrs Dalloway has just put a massive downer on everything I read but I really didn't enjoy this as much as Moortown Diary, I felt like every poem sort of missed the mark and none of them really drew me in. Some just seemed like a mishmash of sentences that didn't really seem to work together, and others were just lists of random objects really. I much preferred Moortown Diary, I might re-read this at some point to see if maybe it is just my run of bad classics getting in the way.