Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa. A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome
As a debut collection, and the first poems I've read written by Ted Hughes, my enjoyment of the poems was erratic. Some poems were brilliant as they stood ("Song"; "Incompatibilities"; "Law in the Country of Cats" and "The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar"); others appeared to have less emotion and more intellect, which made them somewhat obscure to me. I felt a flavour of TS Eliot in these poems when first dipping into the volume, and wasn't surprised by the interesting tidbit in the front of the book, which included a copy of TS Eliot's response to Faber & Faber's Charles Montieth's enquiry about Hughes. (The edition I read is not the one listed here, but ISBN 978-0-571-32281-7)
Overall, the poems were too bleak, violent and obviously carefully composed for me to be swept away by them. However, as a debut collection the poems did enough to make me want to read more of Ted Hughes work as he became a mature, more experienced poet.