Ted Hughes: Most Influential English Poet Post-World War II

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The Thought-Fox
By Ted Hughes1930-1998
Ted Hughes (1930-1998)
Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was one of the major poets of the 20th century and the most influential English poet of the post World War II. His writing began as a reaction to the Movement poetry of the 1950s. His poetry embraces the violent life of nature particularly as exemplified by animals and birds. It’s not really violence the Ted Hughes celebrates in his poetry, he celebrates an energy that too strong for death. Ted considers poetry as a means for reintroducing the community to its origin or sources of the energy of renewal. •The occasion

Ted was interviewed one day and he found that he has lost interest in writing. Then while sleeping he dreamt of a fox, there was a blank white paper; the fox came and walked on it then the page became printed. When he woke up he wrote this poem. •Paraphrase

The final stanza is a sudden and shocking introduction of the fox as a metaphor of thought. The reader is reminded that although the poet has presented a vivid picture of the fox, he was all the time comparing it with the creative process. Like the fox in the darkness of the forest, an idea begins in the subconscious mind as a vague sense compared to the movement of a fox. Then it finally enters the mind as a conscious and coherent thought. •Commentary

Ted extends his central metaphor of the fox as a thought with great skill. The abstract phenomenon of the creative process is made into a living creature of independent will. The fox has realized its symbolic status as metaphor for though the image is intensely violent evoking speed of the fox,
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