1. Hughes’s description, from an interview with Ekbert Faas. Faas, The Unaccommodated Universe, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara, 1980. p. 206.

2. Watson (Ed.) Sir Philip Sidney, Defence of Poesie, Dent Everyman, London, 1997. p.101.

3. Graves, R. The White Goddess, Faber & Faber, London, 1961. p.22.

4. Sidney, Op.cit. p. 86-7.

5. There has recently been much discussion in the New Scientist magazine of a newly hypothesized entity called ‘phantom energy’. Such energies, it is suggested, will explain certain unexpected anomalies in the theory of Black Holes. cf. New Scientist, 24 Sept. 2005.

6. Auden used this phrase in an article about Yeats which was published in the Kenyon Review. Hughes’s reference to this in a letter to Keith Sagar (30 Aug. 1979) is quoted in Sagar’s, The Laughter of Foxes, Liverpool UP, 2000. p.4.

7. This is part of the title of a pamphlet by Stephen Gosson, The School of Abuse, to which Sidney is thought to have responded. Sidney, Op.cit, ‘Introduction’ by Watson. p. xliv.

8. Plato, Republic, edition by H. Stephens, 1578, p. 607.

9. Hughes, ‘Myth and Education’, Winter Pollen (WP), Faber, London, 1994. p. 136.

10. ‘Egg-Head’. Hughes, Collected Poems (CP), Faber, London, 2003. p. 33.

11. ‘Wodwo’, CP 183.

12. ‘Myth and Education’, WP 146.

13. Hughes, ‘The Environmental Revolution’, WP 129.

14. ‘Shakespeare and Occult Neoplatonism’, WP 306.

15. Hughes explained this underlying purpose of Cave Birds in a detailed letter to Ann Skea in November 1984. The letter is published in part in Skea, Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest, University of New England Press, Armidale, 1994. pp. 41-2.

16. What Graves actually said in The White Goddess was that “the hair stands on end, the eyes water, the throat is constricted, the skin crawls and a shiver runs down the spine” (op. cit. p. 24); which is more generaly applicable than Houseman’s test: “does the hair on one’s chin bristle if one repeats it silently whilst shaving?” (Graves, Op.cit. p. 21).

17. In 1968, Hughes sent Lucas Myers a copy of magician Franz Bardon’s Initiation Into Hermetics: a course of instruction of magical theory and practice ( Ruggeberg, Wuppertal, Germany, 1962). He inscribed it “To Lucas from the Crow. 13th Feb. 1968”: (e-mail, L.Myers to A.Skea, 16.02.2001). He also sent a copy to Emma Tennant in about 1976 (Walsh, J. The Independent, Saturday 17 April 1999), which suggests the lasting importance the exercises in this book had for him.

18. Faas, The Unaccommodated Universe, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara, 1980. p.202.

19. Ibid. p. 202.

20. ‘The Poetic Self’, WP 270.

21. Sagar, Op.cit. p.4.

22. Faas, Op.cit. p.210.

23. CP 24.

24. CP 258.

25. Faas, Op.cit. p.199.

26. ‘Poetry and Violence’, WP 261-2.

27. ‘Ouija’ CP 1076.

28. ‘Fly Inspects’, CP 632-3.

29. ‘Photostomias’, CP 549-550. Photostomias (‘deepsea loosejaws’) are small, bioluminescent fish which belong to the Stomiidae family of Marine Vertebrates.

30. "I saw the swallow", CP 365

31. ‘Shakespeare and occult Neoplatonism’, WP 295-6.

32. ‘October Salmon’ CP 677-9. In ‘Karlsbad Caverns’ (CP 1106-9), too, where the bats are part of “the sun’s machinery” and “the unfailing logic of the earth”.

33. ‘superstitions’, CP 1184. As usual, Hughes chose the images he used here with utmost care. The palms of the hands are, traditionally, the part of the human body through which divine spiritual and healing energies are channelled. And in the traditions of palmistry, the life-line on our left hand shows the potential we inherit from our parents and our earliest ancestors, whilst that on our right hand shows our personal and unique life-history. And the process of remembering did cause periodic outbreaks of eczema on Hughes’s hands which did, at times, bleed.

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