Ted Hughes Britain — страница 2

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that the latter were more concerned with colour, exotic imagery and impression, while Hughes work is marked by deeper semantic meaning. His poetical principals are fully displayed in the poem Thrushes – ?spontaneous, intuitive glorification of life, akin to a bird?s song or Mozart?s music? (4:162). The four main sources of Hughes?s inspiration mentioned are Yorkshire landscape, where he grew up as a son of a carpenter, totemism studied by the poet at Cambridge and theories of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer (4:161, 6:414). The main themes, as singled out by I. Varnaite, are: nature, the world of animals, man, the relationships between man and nature (5:61). Hughes often defies traditional poetical cannons, imploring stunning contrasts and surreal imagery (4:162). He was also

noted for his language and laconism of style. According to V. A. Skorodenko, Hughes uses contrasting images, unexpected free associations and ?sometimes vulgar words? (6:416). I. Varnaite describes Crow and it sequels as ?repetitive, sometimes too naturalistic and even vulgar? (5:62). Like Hughes?s animals, man is also cruel and predatory already in his early poetry (5:62). As I. Varnaite put it, to Hughes, ?the most admirable beings are the most ferocious and violent ones.? Similarly, the critic Edwin Muir points out the ferociousness of Hughes? imagery by calling it ?admirable violence? (9:9).This might be an argument in favour of those, who see some fascist tendencies in Hughes?s verse (4:63, 5:62). G. Bauzyte observes that in his negativism, Hughes is close to the American

poet Emily Dickinson. In his Manichaean vision of the world darkness often prevails over light, cold over warmth, hatred over love (4:163). Speaking of predecessors, Hughes is said to be kindred to Dylan Thomas in the way that they both celebrate the natural and their images are taken from the nature (6:414). Hawk in the Rain, for instance, has the feel of D. Thomas?s and M. Hopkins poetry, where the man becomes the joining link between the earth and the ?fulcrum of violence?, the hawk figuring in the poem, thus responding to the Thomas poetical credo ?the man is my metaphor? (4:163). The critics also note differences between the two poets. By contrast with Thomas, Hughes?s world is indifferent to suffering and pain it is filled with (6:415) and, while Thomas is purely

anthropomorphistic, in Hughes?s work, the human being is viewed as a part of animalistic world. For Hughes, there is no great difference between a man and a beast, inasmuch as stoicism and rational will are the only qualities distinguishing people from animals and enabling them to resist the universal chaos. In the opinion of A. Skorodenko, Hughes?s concept of the world fully unfolds in his books published in the seventies Crow, Cave Birds and Gaudete!, where he collaborated with the American sculptor Leonard Baskin, who drew the pictures, which inspired the poems. Hughes? vision of the world in those cycles approach the quality of a myth. Blood there figures as the ultimate metaphor and goes through all stages of life – from the archetypal pulsation in primal unity to its

complete opposite, Littleblood. The principal idea in the latter books is that blood rules the world, the governing motif for all actions being sexual drive to ensure the output of offspring. Along other new tendencies, V. A. Skorodenko also observes a shift in the poets outlook reflected in the poems written in the eighties, where the man is no longer metaphysically solitary as in the earlier books, but ?becomes a part of nature and through it of the whole of Universe? (6:417). I. Varnaite points out the influence of Arthur Schopenhauer?s philosophy on Hughes?s verse. According to her, ?many poems translate a number of Schopenhauer?s theses into the language of modernistic poetry? (4:61). Robert Stuart interprets Hughes? works in the light of Nitzscheanism, while other critics

find some of Hughes? poems being under Heidegger?s influence (ibid.). I. Varnaite also notes that the poet?s worldoutlook is a complex one and cannot be one-sidedly simplified to one philosophical school. Among possible influences she mentions folklore, myths and religions other than Christianity. However, drawing parallels between Hughes?s work and Schopenhauers?s philosophy, she writes that, to both of them, ?animate and inanimate nature have the same essence and contain the element of the Will of the Universe?. I.Varnaite concludes with the statement that ?Hughes is a nihilist? speaking of ?inner emptiness, the dead universe, bleakness, the nothing, nothingness, brutal will…? and his vision of future seems to be no more optimistic than the present and past (4:67). 1. Thom