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Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow Paperback – October 14, 1974


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Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow + Ariel: The Restored Edition: A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry (October 14, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571099157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571099153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber & Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998). He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
In this slim but powerful volume of poetry, Ted Hughes creates poems like bare bones, blood-blackened stones, jagged icicles, all that's defiant & frightened & forever struggling against a meaningless Universe & an often malevolent God. Crow is a figure of myth, a hungry, hardscrabble chaos of feathers & dark dreams -- sometimes a trickster, sometimes a victim, sometimes a guide, sometimes a Prometheus of sorts. He inhabits an utterly bleak world ... and yet, there's a tremendous energy & bare beauty to these poems. Crow is Death & also Life, setting himself against infinite forces, a battered symbol of soul & negation both. Not for every taste, of course, but recommended for those who view the pain & mystery of existence with an unblinking eye.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Onie Wheeler on September 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eerie, Dark, Without Emotion is Ted Hughes' Crow. This small book of poetry takes us on a journey into the Stark and Selfish World of Crow. Crow defies all; even God.

It is not irony that Hughes dedicated this book to the memory of Assia and Shura.

At times it seems Crow is the personification of Hughes himself.

I find Crow to be a very beautiful, albeit nihilistic book of verse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By amorfortuna2 on October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
This small book, full of repetitions, ambiguities and contrasts may change the way you think about writing and reading forever. It holds a dark mystery as it plays back and forth against itself and forward with momentum. Possesses a deep, raw quality unlike any other book. I was so amazed by the sheer audacity and mystery of this writing that I read about 5 more Ted Hughes books. Sadly, none of them really grabbed me. I have reread this a few times and it has never lost its energy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on December 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
My introduction to Ted Hughes was, for better or worse, a rather bad one.

When I was in college, the poems of Sylvia Plath were all the rage. She was known as the poet who had killed herself (1962) by sticking her head in a gas oven, and it was that ghastly tragedy that seemed to provide the initial attraction. These years were also the first full rush of the feminist movement, and Plath became a symbol – the poet who had killed herself because her husband had left her for another woman.

The husband was the poet Ted Hughes, who had had an almost meteoric rise in the 1950s. He had left his marriage with Plath for another woman, the poet Assia Butmann Wevill. Four years later, in 1966, Wevill killed herself (and their daughter) in the same manner as Plath had died.

I’m not sure if this is the stuff of poetry or soap opera, but for years Hughes was called “murderer” at public readings.

In between came greater acclaim, numerous books of poetry that became bestsellers, and being named England’s poet laureate in 1984, a position he held until his death in 1998.

In 1970, the year of his third and lasting marriage, Hughes published "Crow," a collection of rather extraordinary poems that represented both a significant turn from his previous work and helped establish him as one of the leading poetic voices of the 20th century.

A reading of "Crow" is an immersion into a new mythology and creation myth, with the subject of creation being a creature called Crow. But it is a mythology that hearkens to the account of creation in Genesis and well Jesus in the New Testament, Greek mythology, Homer and "The Odyssey," and even "Beowulf.
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