MOON WHALES: And Other Moon Poems by Ted Hughes

MOON WHALES: And Other Moon Poems

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This is Hughes in the grip of a moonstruck madness that recalls The Tiger's Bones (1974) more than last year's oversize Baskin collaboration, Season Songs. A la Ogden Nash, the words hurtle along only to crash like a row of dominoes, but the visions--over fifty different, variously ethereal and gleeful moonscapes--can't be pinned down: Some are as eerily resonant as the opening ""Moon-Whales"" (""They plough through the moon stuff/ Just under the surface/ Lifting the moon's skin/ Like a muscle"") or as chilling as ""Moon Marriage"" ("". . . nothing you can arrange./ You dream a frog comes in shivering from the moonsnow/ And clings to you crying: O! O! O!/ I am so happy you married me!""). Rather more of them catalog manically aggressive vegetation like moon ""Crab-grass"" (""It has no eyes, so do not wait to see the whites of/those before you shoot""). Like most ventures undertaken in the spirit of giddiness, this collection has its ups and downs, though the sheer frenetic abundance and zinginess are an antidote to the safe and skimpy children's verse we see so much of. And even Baskin's chilly pen and ink arpeggios benefit from the scaled-down format.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Viking