The Ted Hughes Homepage

The Iron Man

The Iron Man, made for Peter Townshend’s musical adaptation of the story, found resting in a barn at Moortown Farm in 1997. © Ann Skea




Old Crow
Flying your black bag of jewels
From chaos to chaos
Probe hard for those maggoty deaths
Which poison our lives.

Jump to Interview Transcripts and Memoirs

Timeline: A chronological biography listing Ted Hughes’ publications, interests and life events.

Notes and Queries: Some notes and anwers to queries on copyright, poetry analysis, texts, and various aspects of Ted Hughes’ life and work. Updated: March 2014.

Ted Hughes’ Vacanas: The Difficulties of a Bridegroom :a discussion of poems inspired by the Vacanas of Siva–worshipping mystics of Southern India. First published by Palgrave Macmillan in Ted Hughes; Cambridge to Collected, (Eds.) Wormald, Roberts and Gifford, 2013.
A previously unpublished chart of the poems, links, and dates and places of publication is included. New: April 2014.

‘Creatures of Light’ : Why and how did Ted Hughes use Magic in his poetry? An historical perspective.

Poetry and Magic 1: Birthday Letters : An analysis of Birthday Letters and of Ted Hughes’ use of Tarot and Cabbala in this sequence.

Poetry and Magic 2: Howls & Whispers : The Averse Sephiroth and the Spheres of the Qlippoth. More Cabbalistic magic.

Poetry and Magic 3: Capriccio : Capriccio and The Path of the Sword. Confronting and controlling the demons. (This sequence of essays on Birthday Letters , Howls & Whispers and Capriccio was completed 17 October 2007).

Adam and the Sacred Nine : A Cabbalistic Drama . This paper traces the way in which Ted Hughes, following the example of such poets as Spencer, Sidney, Dante, Milton and Shakespeare, used Cabbala as a framework for his sequence of poems. (2010).

Ted Hughes: Occult Energies . A personal memoir: How I first became aware of Ted’s knowledge and use of Mysticism, Alchemy and Cabbala, and his attitude to discussion of these occult arts. Published in Translation Cafe. No.94. Feb. 10. 2010. University of Bucharest, Romania.

‘Ted Hughes and The Goddess’ The inspiration, origins and use of The Goddess in Ted Hughes’ works. First published by The Ted Hughes Society Journal, January 2013.

Ted Hughes and Crow : A detailed discussion of Crow and of the role of Crow himself as a Trickster figure. Published in The Endicott Studio Journal of Mythic Arts, Winter 2007.

Ted Hughes and ‘The Zodiac in the Shape of a Crown: What the Starry Heavens Sang to His Royal Highness Prince William On 21st July 1982’ . Ted Hughes’ astrological poem written for the birth of HRH Prince William.

‘Ted Hughes and the British Bardic Tradition’ : Some reflections on a Poet Laureate’s training, its Celtic origins and the traditional role of the bard. Published as 'Taliesin for the 20th Century' in Urthona, Issue 25, Summer, 2008.

‘Wolf-Masks: From Hawk to Wolfwatching’ : Ted Hughes’ use of the wolf as a symbol and a mask in his poetry.

‘Regeneration in Remains of Elmet : A discussion of Ted Hughes’ re-creation of his Yorkshire homeland, with close reference to many of the Elmet poems.

Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest : An exploration of Ted Hughes use of myth, mysticism and alchemy in Cave Birds , Remains of Elmet and River , with detailed examination of many of the poems.

A Creative Collaboration: R. J. Lloyd and Ted Hughes An account of the collaboration between Ted Hughes and the artist R. J. Lloyd in What is the Truth, and in their own Sunstone Press publications: The Cat and the Cuckoo, The Mermaid’s Purse and Earth Dances. (August 2012)

Ted Hughes and Small Press Publication. An account of Hughes’s involvement with various small press publications, in particular, Modern Poetry in Translation , The Rainbow Press and Nicholas Hughes’s Morrigu Press. (March 2012)

‘Understanding Ted Hughes’ . A brief introduction to the poetry of Ted Hughes, with reference to poems by both Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

Difficulties of a Bridegroom .(Faber, 1995). A review of Ted Hughes’ book of this title.

‘Ted Hughes, Gaudete, Cave Birds, and the 1975 Ilkley Literature Festival. ’ Keith Sagar was preparing to give this talk about Ted Hughes and his work at the Ilkley Literature Festival on October 20th, 2013. Keith died on October 15th. New: October 2013.

‘Ted Hughes and Shamanism’ by Michael Baldwin (Memoir) Michael Baldwin is a widely published poet, novelist, essayist and short-story writer. He was a long-time friend of Ted Hughes and in this memoir he recalls their shared (usually sceptical) fascination with magic. He also writes of A. Alvarez's disparagement of Ted as a shaman. (Sept. 2012)

Ted Hughes and the Theatre by Tim Supple (Memoir) . Tim Supple is an internationally recognized director of plays and opera. He has worked with many of the major theatre companies in England and around the world and is currently Co-Director, with Josephine Burton, of Dash Arts. He directed Ted Hughes’s versions of Lorca’s Blood Wedding, Wedekind’s Spring Awakening, and Tales from Ovid.

Ted Hughes’ Memorial Service . A personal record of the service held in Westminster Abbey on 13 May, 1999.

An Interview with Ted Hughes: Transcript of an interview with Ted Hughes conducted whilst he was a Special Guest at the Asia Poetry Festival, 17-19 November 1989. (Feb. 2012)

Conversation with Hughes’ Contemporaries: Transcript of a recording made at the International Ted Hughes Conference, Pembroke College, Cambridge University on Friday 17th September, 2010.

Ted Hughes introduces Thor Vilhjalmsson at the ICA.7 June 1996. Transcript.

Ted Hughes: Language and Culture (1982); and Ted Hughes: The Wound (1976). Transcripts of two ABC interviews with Ted Hughes.

Ted Hughes: The Critical Forum, Norwich Tapes. 1978. A transcript of Ted Hughes’ discussion of poetry, magic, fishing and farming.

Ted Hughes at the Adelaide Festival, March 1976. A transcript of Ted Hughes’ comments on fifteen of his early poems. This includes an outline of the Crow story.

Adelaide Festival 2. March 1976. A transcript of an interview of Ted Hughes made for Radio 3AW (Adelaide). Hughes comments on poetry and introduces some of his poems from Crow and New Selected Poems .

Adelaide Festival Book Week. March 1976. A transcript of an interview with Ted Hughes and Don Dunstan made for Radio 3AW (Adelaide).

‘Sylvia Plath, Ariel and the Tarot’ These chapters explore the possibility that Sylvia Plath may have used the Tarot to write and to arrange her Ariel manuscripts. March 2013.

Links and reviews .

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