Ted Hughes’ Ideas about Poetry

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Ted Hughes’ Ideas about Poetry

Ted Hughes, was born in 1939 and died in 1989, he wrote two poems, The

Jaguar and The Thought-Fox. These are the poems that I am discussing

in my essay and also what his ideas are on the poems. He also

specialises in nature poems and these are what we have also been


The Thought-Fox is quite a different poem. It wasn’t written about the

fox it was written about him writing about the fox (confusing I

Know!!!). The Jaguar on the other hand, was about the animal and it

was describing the animal, can you tell the difference and how he

likes to differ his poems “You don’t have to bother about commas or

full stops or that sort of thing” to Ted punctuation is not important,

but the senses are: “ Just look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to

it, turn yourself into it” as he believes senses are there to help

you. If you write a poem completely different to another poet and you

are worried about your work,/ Ted believes that you should not care

about what other people have written it is your own work that matters

and how you find it “ Do not care how other people have written about

this thing, this is the way you find it”.

With ‘The Thought-Fox’ he thinks that a fox comes and walks in front

of him and sits down, so he gets this image in his head and it creates

things he can write down in a poem. At the start, he cannot think of

anything to write but at the end he has created a poem. He also

believes that a poem and an animal are one and the same, “A fox that

is both a fox and not a fox”. Another quote “The words have a body for

it and the poem has give the fox somewhere to walk” in other words the

poem has brought the fox to life.

‘The Jaguar’ however, is very much different. He is actually writing

about the animal in the poem and not how he thought of what to write

about the subject. With the structure, ‘The Jaguar’ has five verses,

four lines in each verse and around nine words in each line. ‘The

Thought-Fox’ has around the same, six verses, four lines in each verse

and about four to eight words in each verse. Alliteration, similes and

metaphors are also common in most of his poems and as I have said he

uses a lot of the senses. For example “A fox’s nose touches” and “Two
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