Stop Making Me Like You, Ted Hughes

Currently reading CROW by Ted Hughes. It’s beautiful, and terrifying, and glorious, and disgusting, and just…ugh. I love it, and I hate that I love it.

Ted Hughes, for those who may not know, was married to Sylvia Plath. He cheated on her, basically threw the affair in her face when she found out, and his actions during their separation may have contributed to her suicide.

So yeah, Ted Hughes was a colossal tool, which is why I’m having such a difficult time reading his work. I love Sylvia Plath. I love her poetry. I loved THE BELL JAR. I loved her journals, because I learned from them that she and I are actually a lot alike. Loving her ex-husband’s work feels like a betrayal of sorts, but I think she’d agree that despite being a bit of a dickhead, Ted Hughes was a GREAT writer.

In CROW, Hughes weaves a tale of a being, simply called Crow. Crow is a physical manifestation of grief, death, and destruction. Crow desperately wants to be loved, but he just ends up causing chaos. These poems are darkly wonderful, and I would very highly recommend this collection, especially if you’ve read GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS by Max Porter. Crow feels so real, and some of these will just break your heart. I’ll post my favourite below.

Have any of you read CROW? What are your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments, please!

 

CROW’S PLAYMATES
Lonely Crow created the gods for playmates—
But the mountain god tore free

And Crow fell back from the wall-face of mountains
By which he was so much lessened.

The river god subtracted the rivers
From his living liquids.

God after god — and each tore from him
Its lodging place and its power.

Crow straggled, limply bedraggled his remnant.
He was his own leftover, the spat-out scrag.

He was what his brain could make nothing of.

So the least, least-living object extant
Wandered over his deathless greatness

Lonelier than ever.

 

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