Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Paperback, 63 pages
Published December 1st 1970 by Faber & Faber (first published 1960)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lupercal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lupercal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 114)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Poets like Ted Hughes make the rest of us feel and seem inadequate. He is a master with words; 'Witches', 'Of Cats' and 'Historian' being my favourites in this collection of poems. He paints so precisely the images he wants you to see, and places his punctuation just so, so that reading about the acrobats soaring and the tense audience watching them, you become out of breath and tense yourself. He is a wonder and I enjoy reading him immensely. (Did that sound pretentious? My bad.)
Feb 22, 2009 Jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
"Pike" makes this entire book worthwhile. The rest of the book, though, doesn't disappoint.
I have always (with the exception of Birthday Letters, so make that nearly always) struggled with Ted Hughes. While I can see the hard work that went into his work, it just doesn't stir much of a reaction in me. If a poet doesn't make me feel anything, then I have a hard time convincing myself to keep reading.

As I have said before, I fully realize that may be a failing on my part and therefore take my lower review with a grain of salt if that is not the way you read poetry.
So far I am disappointed in Hughes. His famous anthologized poems are great (Pike, Wind, Thought Fox, Relic) but so far most of the other stuff is just not worth my time. I've read Hawk in the Rain and am working my way towards Crow.
Hughes' ability to convey the beauty and violence of nature unsentimentally is impressive. The poems feel somehow both raw and carefully worked. One of my favourites.
Mike Jensen
I seem to resist Hughes reputed genius. A pretty good book of poetry to me is remarkable to othes.
Cppp marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Marylin Haidri
Marylin Haidri marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2014
Sara added it
Jan 28, 2014
Ellie Lynn
Ellie Lynn marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Edward James Hughes was an English poet and children's writer, known as Ted Hughes. His most characteristic verse is without sentimentality, emphasizing the cunning and savagery of animal life in harsh, sometimes disjunctive lines.

The dialect of Hughes's native West Riding area of Yorkshire set the tone of his verse. At Pembroke College, Cambridge, he found folklore and anthropology of particular...more
More about Ted Hughes...
Birthday Letters The Iron Man: A Children's Story in Five Nights Crow (Faber Library) Collected Poems Letters of Ted Hughes

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »


The bright mirror I braved: the devil in it
Loved me like my soul, my soul:
Now that I seek myself in a serpent
My smile is fatal.

Nile moves in me; my thighs splay
Into the squalled Mediterranean;
My brain hides in that Abyssinia
Lost armies foundered towards.

Desert and river unwrinkle again.
Seeming to bring them the waters that make drunk
Caesar, Pompey, Antony I drank.
Now let the snake reign.

A half-deity out of Capricorn,
This rigid Augustus mounts
With his sword virginal indeed; and has shorn
Summarily the moon-horned river

From my bed. May the moon
Ruin him with virginity! Drink me, now, whole
With coiled Egypt's past; then from my delta
Swim like a fish toward Rome.”
More quotes…