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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Paperback, 63 pages
Published October 8th 2001 by Faber & Faber (first published 1960)
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Jan 11, 2017 Magdalen rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I honestly feel bad for giving it such a low rating. The thing is that I just couldn't understand what he wanted to say. I felt utterly lost. Also, I struggled with the vocabulary. But this wasn't the reason why I didn't like it and I trully wanted to like it. You see, when I am reading poetry I want the poet to shake me to speak to me. I don't fancy just well written poems, I want to feel. and unfortunately, and it pains me to say it, Ted Hughes didn't manage to do so.
Mind that this is just
Nov 25, 2012 Jilian rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"Pike" makes this entire book worthwhile. The rest of the book, though, doesn't disappoint.
Dec 21, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lupercal was Hughes's second collection, originally published in features some of his best known and most anthologised poems: Esther's Tomcat, Hawk Roosting, View of a Pig and Pike among them. These poems have deservedly passed in to the canon of great late twentieth century writing. Their directness, and Hughes's unflinching eye for life and death are remarkable. Lupercal also provided some new discoveries for me. Poems such as Pennines in April and Cleopatra to the Asp (among others) w ...more
Carrie Krucinski
Sep 29, 2016 Carrie Krucinski rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in 20th Century Poetry
Ted Hughes is not an easy read. This is especially true if you don't want to stop and research those things you do not understand in a text. I found myself stopping to look up Greek gods and 16th century poets to make sure I was comprehending the context. However, once you do the work, there is so much to appreciate about Lupercal. Hughes is able to bridge the centuries, nature, mythology and the Cold War all into one book. This book was published in 1960 and is not confessional if that is what ...more
P.D. Dawson
Nov 03, 2015 P.D. Dawson rated it it was amazing
This collection hasn't got the immediacy of some of his later works, yet one senses the depth of feeling through the involuted text, and the deepening valley of meaning that will only give its secrets to those willing to dig beneath the surface. And as such I'm sure this is a collection that not only warrants, but demands multiple reads. I shall certainly be giving it another read soon. Highly recommended for those wishing to put the effort in to understand it, but not recommended for anyone loo ...more
Jun 04, 2010 Craig rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 04, 2011 Holly rated it it was ok
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.
Matt Holmes
Dec 04, 2016 Matt Holmes rated it liked it
Good, graphic poetry. I wasn't wowed by most of it, but the titular piece reads like an incantation and brings this primeval, pagan imagery that sticks in your mind. I had to try it out phonetically, and I'm pretty sure I accidentally conjured a rustic fertility demon.
Jun 06, 2010 Simon rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 17, 2013 !Tæmbuŝu marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry
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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 about Ted Hughes...

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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.”
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