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'The thought-fox' and the poetry of Ted Hughes

Categories: PoetryTed Hughes

The poet, sitting alone at his desk, tries to write but has no luck with it. He feels a second presence – “something closer / although deeper in the darkness / is entering the solitude”. Here the night itself is a symbol of the depths of the imagination, representing the idea of “the sleeping genie, and the muse, who typically visits in unorthodox hours. The poet is alone at night, working on his poem when he feels the agitation of an idea. The idea itself is symbolized by the presence of the fox, and at first, it is not clear what the idea is for the poet.

As Hughes writes, “the nose of a fox touches a branch, a leaf,” showing through the fragmented image of the fox’s nose that it is only a very basic view of an idea, not a clear one. The fox is shrouded in darkness; only the peak can be seen by the attentive poet and, likewise, the muse the visit, but only leaves him with a fragment of an image to build a poem.

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The fox remains half-hidden and indescribable throughout the poem; the idea, in the same way, remains half-hidden for the poet, allowing him only tufts of images to face. There is a certain softness in the way Hughes writes his images: his propensity for mythical language is evident since he speaks of “dark snow,” the “eye / an ever deeper green.” Hughes has an almost cinematic image quality – one can easily imagine the quiet night, the poet at his desk, the fox touching a leaf in a separate outlet – and he uses it to evoke even more the idea of ??the playful muse, sneaking around and sneaking out of the hands of the poet.

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Gradually, the fox arises from formlessness; a “sudden and strong stench of a fox,” thus showing that the poet reached the peak of his reflections and was able to write the poem that tormented him during the night. The fox is suddenly visible, the idea is suddenly inside the poet’s mind and was immortalized on the page. The poem and the fox exist as an entity. Another thing to note is the very pattern of the poem itself. Ted Hughes writes with a pace that increases the anticipation.

At first, only the noise of the fox is visible. Then two eyes. The intermittent punctuation shows the fox’s hesitation/idea, the gentle way Ted Hughes writes about the fox leaving imprints in the snow is further emphasized by the short and abridged expression “puts clean impressions in the snow The Fox-Thought moves almost like a clock, starting in an hour crawling, and speeding up, the image of the fox becoming more concrete, until the last surprising end where the fox hurries-again, symbolized in the way Hughes writes about it – just to return to silence – the window is still starless; the clock ticks; / The page is printed ‘.Hughes wrote in this poem, “And I suppose that long after I left, as long as a copy of the poem exists, every time someone reads, the fox will rise somewhere out of the darkness and come toward them.

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'The thought-fox' and the poetry of Ted Hughes. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-thought-fox-and-the-poetry-of-ted-hughes-essay

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