Tuesday 16. March 2010
Keith Sagar: Ted Hughes and Nature: 'Terror and Exultation'

Keith Sagar: Ted Hughes and Nature: 'Terror and Exultation' (Front Cover)

New Book by Keith Sagar

Keith Sagar: Ted Hughes and Nature: 'Terror and Exultation'. Fastprint Publishing, 2010 (www.fast-print.net, £ 9.50).

Hughes' relationship with nature is so central to his work that every book on him has discussed it. However, because of the larger scope of all these books, this discussion has remained at a fairly superficial level. Here Keith Sagar tries to take it onto a deeper level by relating it to paganism and Christianity, myth, Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, and the whole tradition of nature poetry in English, to Hughes' particular canon of revered poets, to his wider reading and the shaping events of his life. He traces Hughes' painful journey from terror in the face of nature in his first three collections, through the transitional works from Crow to Cave Birds, to the transformation in Moortown and Remains of Elmet, culminating in the exultation of River. He argues that these three collections constitute the apex of Hughes' achievement, and are among the great works of world literature.

Contents

Acknowledgements

Epigraphs

Preface

  1. Prologue: Civilization versus Nature
  2. Influences
  3. Terror: The Hawk in the Rain, Lupercal, Wodwo
  4. The Worst Moment: Crow, Prometheus on his Crag
  5. Interim: 'The Great Theme: Notes on Shakespeare', 'Myth and Education', 'The Environmental Revolution'.
  6. Restoration: Gaudete, Cave Birds
  7. The Beasts of the Field: Moortown Diaries
  8. Awake!: Adam and the Sacred Nine
  9. Payment: Earth-numb, A Solstice, 'The Head'
  10. The Laughter of Foxes: Remains of Elmet
  11. Exultation: River

Index of works by Ted Hughes

General Index