Read The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes Online


Published in 1957, Hawk in the Rain was Ted Hughes's first collection of poems. It won the New York Poetry Centre First Publication Award, for which the judges were W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Marianne Moore, and the Somerset Maugham Award, and it was acclaimed by every reviewer from A. Alvarez to Edwin Muir. When Robin Skelton wrote, 'All looking for the emergence ofPublished in 1957, Hawk in the Rain was Ted Hughes's first collection of poems. It won the New York Poetry Centre First Publication Award, for which the judges were W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Marianne Moore, and the Somerset Maugham Award, and it was acclaimed by every reviewer from A. Alvarez to Edwin Muir. When Robin Skelton wrote, 'All looking for the emergence of a major poet must buy it', he was right to see in it the promise of what many now regard as the most important body of work by any poet of the twentieth century....

Title : The Hawk in the Rain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571086146
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 62 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Hawk in the Rain Reviews

  • StevenGodin
    2019-05-23 10:40

    They all have to start somewhere, and for Ted Hughes this was the breakout work that made him a famous figure. It is a collection of poems composed on a wide range of subjects, mixing nature poems and those that deal with raw emotion and love, all closely associated with Hughes's early life. Somewhat obscure at times, only a few didn't worked for me, but most of the time he wrote these poems with gusto. Powerful and resounding. My Highlights, "The Thought-Fox""The Decay of Vanity""Soliloquy of a Misanthrope""October Dawn""Griefs for Dead Soldiers"

  • Jamie
    2019-05-16 13:28

    I'm giving it 3 rather than 2 stars because I probably didn't pay as close attention to the book as I usually like to with poetry. Nevertheless, this certainly reads like a debut collection; though Hughes' central fascinations - cosmic, inexplicable violence; the lives of animals; women-as-Muse-figures; &co&co - are present here, he hasn't quite figured how to handle them in any coherent way yet.There are a handful of poems here that register among his best (and most famous): "The Thought-Fox," "The Jaguar," "The Hawk in the Rain," "The Horses," and "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar." Unfortunately, the collection is bookended with its strongest poems - the first four or five and the last four or five - and the long, long, long stretch through the middle feels full of chores. Funny that so many claim Hughes hit the ground running with his first publication (often the yardstick of comparison is Plath's first book The Colossus), when in fact I found nearly all the unmentioned poems in this book akin to doodling exercises, as if Hughes had said "I'll try out this rhythmic structure" or "Now I'll write a poem with this theme" at the beginning of each.In short: read the animal poems; read the war poems. For easy reference, these are, as I said, the first and last handfuls of the book. There are a few nice lines scattered throughout the rest, but even those don't hit the flesh as indelibly as one expects from Hughes.

  • Alexander Akyna
    2019-05-04 12:18

    En las ediciones de poesía bilingües debería ser obligatoria la colaboración de varios traductores, para que su fatuidad se anule y el resultado sea menos ridículo: traducir "dragonfly" por «caballito del diablo» tiene delito por varias razones: primero, porque significa «libélula», lo cual encaja mejor en el verso y respeta más el original como única palabra y que, según el Oxford Dictionary, es a lo que equivale, pues «caballito del diablo», en inglés, es "damselfly"; segundo, porque de tener (que ni eso) ambas opciones a las que recurrir como traductor, optar por la más rara y la que consta de tres palabras es un acto de pedantería de entomólogo, no de traductor de libro de poesía —yo no sabía ni qué demonios era un caballito del diablo hasta este hallazgo—. Traducir "Heaven" (en mitad de verso) por «cielo» y no «Cielo» tampoco tiene perdón de Dios ni de los dioses, salvo que me esté perdiendo algo (siempre una posibilidad). Las ediciones de la editorial Bartleby, y especialmente las que corren a cargo de mi paisano Xoán Abeleira, son maravillosas (muy documentadas, trabajadas, completas, etcétera) salvo por el tamaño de la tipografía (se cortan más versos que pescados en una pescadería, y uno no puede entender por qué razones gustan de este vicio tan irrespetuoso con el original como poco estético), que conste en acta.

  • Stephen
    2019-05-18 10:45

    The title piece is exactly what I have been looking for in British poets. Ankle-deep in the muck and mire of the land and tradition the poet looks above and admires the freedom of flight in a hawk. Thoreau spoke of the same. "His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet, steady as a hallucination in the streaming air." The poet is trapped by horizons and maybe the hawk is too - but not at this moment they are.Another surprise was the war poems at the end. I was under the impression Hughes was England's Frost, oh how genial meditating upon the animals and the land. Wrong, at least in these poems, as he reflects on relatives who fought at Gallipoli. In "Bayonet Charge" the poem is not so much about a man's final moments being mowed down to no purpose. It is really about the fear that strikes our hearts uninvited. Holding all creation "in a weightless quiet" is the soldier hearing his own footfalls in his final moments.Who is this beautiful wife? How did I get here? To what purpose is any of this? You don't necessarily need a battlefield to be struck dumb by these questions and think something like this:King, honour, human dignity, etceteraDropped like luxuries in a yelling alarmTo get out of that blue crackling airHis terror's touchy dynamite. "Touchy dynamite". Who does not have a bit of that? One cannot help but think of his wife (who this collection is dedicated to) and where it led her.Overall I am still not very excited by Hughes. Even in this collection where there is some remarkable poetry, I did not crack open the pages with anticipations of joy and color, or new intellectual horizons to explore (though Hughes is a huge improvement compared to the Geoffrey Hill I read recently). Not like with Dickinson, for instance, who is not just into making a perfectly boiled five-minute egg. With her, no matter what object she turns her attention to, there is always the sense of wonder at the fire that makes the egg even possible. Like in his Ovid translations, Hughes gives us the feel, through his original rhythms, of swooping from heaven to earth while scanning all creation. But not the exhilaration of flight. I demand fire in the belly! Otherwise there is really no reason for poetry.I feel I am constantly on the verge of giving up reading English-language poetry once and for all, but not yet, I guess.

  • charlielikes
    2019-05-03 10:23

    I need to read some of the poems again. I got the feeling that I did not get to the core of a lot of the poems. Still some of his words provocte feelings in me. It would be interesting to see how I feel about his poetry after I got into the whole poetry stuff a little pit more. The rating might change as well.

  • Judy Croome
    2019-04-29 09:42

    As a debut collection, and the first poems I've read written by Ted Hughes, my enjoyment of the poems was erratic. Some poems were brilliant as they stood ("Song"; "Incompatibilities"; "Law in the Country of Cats" and "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar"); others appeared to have less emotion and more intellect, which made them somewhat obscure to me. I felt a flavour of TS Eliot in these poems when first dipping into the volume, and wasn't surprised by the interesting tidbit in the front of the book, which included a copy of TS Eliot's response to Faber & Faber's Charles Montieth's enquiry about Hughes. (The edition I read is not the one listed here, but ISBN 978-0-571-32281-7)Overall, the poems were too bleak, violent and obviously carefully composed for me to be swept away by them. However, as a debut collection the poems did enough to make me want to read more of Ted Hughes work as he became a mature, more experienced poet.

  • Tracy Tondro
    2019-05-02 09:23

    Read this first in a college poetry class. It's stayed with me ever since, and I keep dipping into it over the years. Some lines are stuck in my head because of their cadence and music: * "I drown in the drumming ploughland..." * "But who runs like the rest past these..."And some just because I respond to animal imagery: * "There is no better way to know us/Than as two wolves, come separately to a wood" * "And at his stirrup the two great-eyed grayhounds/... Leap like one, making delighted sounds"Hughes' later books, fromCrow onward, are much darker. Hawk in the Rain isn't a stroll in the park, but it does have a positive spirit.

  • Simon
    2019-05-14 16:26

    Hughes is, I think, my favorite poet. This was his first collection, and it's just stunning. The eponymous first poem alone is amazing, absolutely mesmerising in the lyrical beauty, power and violence of its imagery. I remember the first time I read it, it was like a revelation. I know that sounds pretentious, but it really is an amazing poem, and this is a brilliant collection.

  • Bruce Macdonald
    2019-04-25 17:27

    A must read. This book shaped the environmental concerns and the concern for nature that would dominate Hughes for the rest of his writing life. Way ahead of his time.

  • Terri
    2019-05-08 10:35

    I'm fairly certain I read this in college, though I have to admit I don't remember it well.

  • J. Alfred
    2019-05-08 10:34

    I had only come across Hughes in anthologies and in reference to Sylvia Plath before, and so I had the idea that he was brutal, in two senses-- he wrote (nasty) poems about animals, and he was domestically a bad human being. This book was an astonishing little find. I don't know anything mitigating on the domesticity front-- in fact some of these poems probably explain something to do with the badness of that situation-- but as poems, these are remarkable (and with these as a representative sample, probably deal with animals only about as much, percentage-wise, as Marianne Moore does). He does really fascinating things with internal rhyme, rhyme (non-rhyme) scheme, and matched consonants. He gets enormous power out of his lines, and he can flip things on their head in ways that you are entirely unprepared for. I am now very interested in getting a Complete, or at least a Selected, volume of his poems, and also his version of the Orestia. Check out, for instance, his little "Parlour-Piece" and compare it with Donne's "The Ecstasy." Kenner called Hughes a genius. We should probably trust him.

  • Katya Kazbek
    2019-05-08 12:48

    I'm not a big poetry head so I never even knew Ted Hughes existed before I learned that Sylvia Plath had an abusive husband, so I guess that settles it for where I stand in the debate.That said, Hughes' poetry is vivid and full of imagery, but it's hard to shake the feeling that he's trying too hard, that he wants to be provocative. There are certain lines that hit the spot, but there were too few of them and poems in their whole failed to land. Even when he writes about soldiers dying, I see a man measuring out fancy metaphors. No wonder he was kind of an asshole in personal life.

  • Lucy
    2019-05-11 13:36

    It's really difficult to rate poetry compilations. One can't expect to love every page, especially not at first reading, but there's enough instant wow in this to get 5 stars. 'Wind' alone would rate that, a marvellous poem.

  • Andrew Wright
    2019-04-23 14:34

    Nature is no longer a bucolic splendor. It is beautiful yes, but it is savage and predatory and brutal.

  • Jesse Anderson
    2019-05-08 11:22

    When it's good (eg. September), it's brilliant. When it's bad (eg. Secretary), it's sexist and has some serious sexual harassment connotations. Putting aside the problematic content, it was an an enjoyable read. Bittersweet and calming. "I do not hold you closer and harder than loveBy a desperation, show me no home."---"Under the silk of the wrist a sea, tellTime is nowhere."

  • Valerie
    2019-05-21 14:37

    I just started reading Crow, and really liked it, so when I saw The Hawk in the Rain at the library I picked it up. I started reading The Hawk in the Rain because that was Hughes' first book. Some of the poems are really good, but overall, the book feels stuffy and uptight. I get glimpses of the direction Hughes will go in the future, but I definitely feel like this is a couple steps backward from Crow, which I am looking forward to getting back to. I'm glad I know I will like Hughes' later books because I don't know if I would give his poetry a chance if I read The Hawk in the Rain first.I kept feeling like I wanted to rush to get through some of the poems.The poems are very orderly, with stanzas and line breaks all done the same way. The titles were just mentioning the subjects only.The poems I liked best in the book:The Thought FoxSix Young Men (At the bottom of the person's post.)The Hawk in the Rain (bottom of post)

  • Colin
    2019-05-23 10:31

    The Hawk in the Rain, published in 1957, was Ted Hughes' first book and contains some his most famous and most-anthologised poems: The Thought-Fox, The Horses and The Jaguar among them. From the first lines of the first poem - 'I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up / Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth's mouth' - you know you are in the presence of a major new talent for whom the brutal honesty of the natural world will provide inspiration for some of the twentieth century's greatest poems. It's the nature poems that stand out for me in this collection, although there are also a substantial number about civilisation, war and violence, many of them very affecting - poems like the poignant Six Young Men with its echoes of A E Housman, and Griefs for Dead Soldiers. For me, though, the stand out poem in this collection is the wonderful Wind which contains some of my favourite lines in Hughes' entire work: 'This house has been far out at sea all night', 'The wind flung a magpie away and a black / -back gull bent like an iron bar slowly', 'The house / Rang like some fine green goblet in the note / That any second would shatter it.'

  • Grace Nottingham
    2019-05-13 11:33

    When I picked up a yellow, tea-stained copy of The Hawk In The Rain at a pokey second-hand book store, my soul could barely contain itself. Being previously married to my favourite poet Sylvia Plath, I naturally felt intrigued in Hughes’ work. Plath herself said that Hughes greatly influenced the maturation of her own poetry. Known as “terror’s ambassador”, Hughes in “The Hawk In The Rain” confronts readers with a neurosis of bloodied, relentless violence and the sentimental beauty and innocence of mother nature. My favourite stanza out of the entire collection is “Love struck into his life Like a hawk into a dovecote. What a cry went up!Every gentle pedigree dove Blindy clattered and beat,And the mild-mannered dove-breeder Shrieked at that raider.”(The Dove Breeder)

  • Danny Daley
    2019-04-24 11:18

    This was the first collection of award winning poet Ted Hughes. Wow. I read this, realizing that this was his first effort, and wanted to readdress every poem I'd ever written. This collection got the attention of poets like Auden, Moore, and Eliot, and went on to win awards. The first half of the book is nearly perfect. For about 25 pages I sat, rereading each poem 3 or 4 times, and reflecting on nearly every line. I'm not sure I had ever read a collection so closely before. The collection dips in quality a bit after that, until the end, when the war poems begin. The final 5 or so war poems are as wonderful as the poems at the start of the collection, and I once again slowed down and read with great care. Overall, an absolutely wonderful collection.

  • Allison
    2019-04-23 16:20

    Not my cup of tea. Although a bit trite, I think I'm more of a fan of the poetry that has some sense of rhythm and rhyme to it. There wasn't as much organization to the poems or even an intended disheveled feel, it just lopped off sentences and many were run-on sentences that went on for ages.I would also expect most anthologies of poetry to have some connection between them. Some were about love. Some were about jungle animals or caged animals. Some were a bit philosophical and over my head...

  • Tori
    2019-04-23 10:48

    The first book by a confirmed genius is often hit-or miss, and yes, The Hawk in the Rain is patchy in quality, but there are real flashes of brilliance here, like magnesium mixed in with woodchips. When I think of Hughes' later poetry, I think of sparse detail - technique you almost wouldn't notice - but this collection seems busier, far more obviously technical. Hughes is at his best when he has something really solid to focus on, and that's what defines the best poems here, but the whole book is worth the read, if for nothing else than comparison.

  • Mike Jensen
    2019-05-13 11:41

    It was with this book that I realized that Hughes and I simply have different sensibilities, so no matter how highly esteemed his poetry is, it just isn’t for me. I had tried. There are a very few poems here that I like very much, a few more in which I “get” the merit even if I do not care for them, and several that made me wonder why he, late in his life, was considered England’s greatest living poet. To be clear, I do not blame Hughes for this. Too many smart people of excellent taste esteem him highly, but I don’t get it.

  • Alberto
    2019-05-06 12:26

    Cuando indagamos en su concepción de la existencia, la poesía de Hughes reproduce una serie de microcosmos a partir de los que reflexiona sobre aquellos aspectos de la existencia que ninguna religión ni orden filosófico pueden explicar con concreción. Lo poético en realidad predomina más allá del puro formalismo de figuras y ritmos.Lee la reseña completa en mi blog:

  • Andy
    2019-05-17 10:23

    Animal poems, such as the pulsating 'The Jaguar', have always struck a chord when reading greatest hits collections of Hughes poetry; so it was nice to visit the break-through album that is 'Hawk in the Rain'. The evocative description of landscape in 'Wind' and 'The Horses' were already favourites, but added to my Ted Hughes playlist are 'The Dove Breeder', Hughes' war poetry and the stupendous 'The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar'.

  • Ryan Williams
    2019-05-18 11:36

    Uneven collection with a lot of filler, though that's forgivable when you get instant classics like 'The Thought-Fox', 'The Jaguar', and 'Wind'. I've always wished 'The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar' was better known: 'The sullen-jowled watching Welsh townspeopleHear him crack in the fire's mouth; they see whatBlack oozing twist of stuff bubbles the smellThat tars and wretches their lungs: no pulpitOf his ever held their eyes so still,Never, as now his agony, his wit.'

  • Jaimie
    2019-05-07 14:42

    I'm starting to lose interest in Hughes' poetry, as each successive collection that I read seems to get further and further away from his stylings in Crow. There were a few poems that were worthwhile in this collection (namely the titular poem and those about soldiers), but the majority just fell a bit flat for me. Hughes' strength is clearly in mythological themes, so I don't know why she is so determined to write about pedestrian humanity in such an obvious way.

  • Stu
    2019-05-17 14:47

    I admire the title poem and 'Wind' for their elementality. And there are lines elsewhere in the book that I admire. But generally I find Hughes's language and tone fussy and/or overblown and/or pompous.

  • Mersini
    2019-04-29 14:29

    Ted Hughes' first book of poetry and the first of his that I've read. It's interesting enough for me to want to check out his later books.

  • Megan
    2019-05-19 17:46

    I'm working through the complete ted hughes and it was exciting to read this, but I really think Hughes reaches his stride after Crow.

  • Burcu
    2019-05-20 10:46

    Somewhere between romanticism and modernity comes Ted Hughes's poetry. Amazing imagery and a highly condensed and crystallised expressiveness. Really like it.