Monday, August 23, 2010

A murder of Crows*

Crow - From the life & songs of the Crow.

by Ted Hughes.  The-Twa-Corbies 

"From Gods nightmare, Crow is created and God, who feels pity for this ugly little creature, shows him around Creation. But Crow gets involved, plays about and more often then not messes things up. So God gets fed up with him. "

Crow sloughs off persona after persona, Crow is Bran, Crow is Arddu the dark one. He is Chronos the emasculator,  Oedipus , Mans advocate & Gods conscience. At one and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes others and is always duped himself.

This was the fourth book (adult) of poetry by Ted HughesEven like the sun, Blacker,Than any blindness, and is easily the most bleak & disturbing. By ransacking the worlds folklore, the poet creates a figure that strides omnipresent through his own personal mythology, laying to waste all it perceives, including itself. Although this started as a Project for the American artist Leonard Baskin, it easily transcends it's original purpose & Crow re-appears as Shaman.

This is Crow as deicide, for ever tripping over it's own chaos, this is Crow as victim, cowering in it's own shadow.

As I have already said, this is bleak and very disturbing, but what I haven't said is how very, very funny it is. The humour is black, black as Crow.

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".

Leonard Baskins Crow Art.


TED HUGHES wikipedia

A Ted Hughes website

CROW mythology


*A group of crows is called a "murder".


Eileen said...

Thanks for the video and review! I'm not usually a poetry person at all but this collection sounds very promising.

@parridhlantern said...

This one book of poetry, that has followed me everywhere. Its prose is the kind that shocks, not just at the moment you read it, but later when you're minding your own business, thinking about other stuff.