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Lupercal — Ted Hughes

Lupercal — Ted Hughes


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Lupercal was Ted Hughes's second collection, containing some of his most brilliant animal poetry. It confirmed his reputation as a major talent in British poetry.

'Hughes has found his own voice, created his own artistic world and has emerged as a poet of the first importance... What Ted Hughes has done is to take a limited, personal theme and, by an act of immensely assured poetic skill, has broadened it until it seems to touch upon nearly everything that concerns us.'

- Al Alvarez, Observer, 27 March, 1960

In language that is by now utterly distinctive, the poems both describe and deliver a kind of psychic shock.

Hughes's singularity of vision provides a ready symbiosis between theme and subject - the brute survival instinct of 'Hawk Roosting' or 'Pike', for instance; the rapturous attention bestowed upon 'An Otter' or 'The Bull Moses'; the pervasive legacy of human history that can be seen to saturate a Hughesian landscape. Lupercal is as vital and urgent today as it was when it was first published, its edict, implicit in every poem: to wake up, to pay attention.

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