Ted Hughes: Wodwo (paperback)(cover)

Ted Hughes: Wodwo (paperback)


Author: Hughes, Ted

Published by Faber & Faber, 1967
US ed.: Harper & Row, 1967

Revised versions were published in Selected Poems (1972)

This is Ted Hughes's first collection for adults since 1962. Some of its poems, like the title poem, go back to the late fifties and early sixties.
Wodwo collects poems, short stories (incl. "The Rain Horse", "The Harvesting", and "Sunday") and a radio play called "The Wound". It also contains an author's note which is very popular among critics, stating that poems, play and stories are intended to be read together "as parts of a single work". Among the most popular poems in this book are: "Second Glance at a Jaguar" (ref. to "The Jaguar" in Hawk in the Rain), "Gog", "Out", "New Moon in January", "Song of a Rat", "Skylarks", "The Howling of Wolves", "Pibroch", "Gnat-Psalm", "Thistles", "Full Moon and Little Frieda" and "Wodwo".

Several poems from the period between 1962 and 1967 were published in the limited edition Recklings, of which several reappeared in the New Selected Poems 1954–1994.

See also Ted Hughes's introduction to Difficulties of a Bridegroom, Terry Gifford's essay "A Return to 'The Wound' ..." (available on this site) and Keith Sagar's (ed.) The Achievement of Ted Hughes.


Wodwo (1967, listing taken from 1971 paperback ed.)

Note: Wodwo is a volume which collects poems, short stories and a radio play.

[Author's Note]

Part I [Poems]

  • Thistles
  • Still Life
  • Her Husband
  • Cadenza
  • Ghost Crabs
  • Boom
  • Ludwig's Death Mask
  • Second Glance at a Jaguar
  • Public Bar T.V.
  • Fern
  • A Wind Flashes the Grass
  • Vegetarian
  • Sugar Loaf
  • Bowled Over
  • Wino
  • Logos [often considered a Crow poem]
  • Reveille [often considered a Crow poem]
  • The Rescue
  • Stations
  • The Green Wolf
  • The Bear

Part II [Stories/Play]

  • The Rain Horse [Short Story]
  • Sunday [Short Story]
  • Snow [Short Story]
  • The Harvesting [Short Story]
  • The Suitor [Short Story]
  • The Wound [Radio Play]

Part III [Poems]

  • Theology [often considered a Crow poem]
  • Gog, I, II and III
  • Kreutzer Sonata
  • Out, I, II and III

    [I. The Dream Time,
    II. "The dead man in his cave beginning to sweat",
    III. Remembrance Day]

  • New Moon in January
  • The Warriors of the North
  • Karma
  • Song of a Rat, I, II and III

    [I. The Rat's Dance,
    II. The Rat's Vision,
    III. The Rat's Flight]

  • Heptonstall ["Black village of gravestones ..."]
  • Ballad from a Fairy Tale [later revised into "The Angel" of Remains of Elmet]
  • Skylarks
  • Mountains
  • You Drive in a Circle
  • Wings, I, II, and III

    [I. M. Sartre Considers Current Affairs,
    II. Kafka Writes,
    III. Einstein Plays Bach]

  • Pibroch
  • The Howling of Wolves
  • Gnat-Psalm
  • Full Moon and Little Frieda
  • Wodwo