Sunday 28 July 2013

Wooroloo by Frieda Hughes

Frieda Hughes is the daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Wooroloo, published in 1999, was her first poetry collection, with a stunning cover featuring one of her own artworks.

These poems are often, quite frankly, depressing. Beautifully written and with wonderful turns of phrase, but depressing with themes of ageing, destruction and death looming strongly.She has a keen eye for the natural world, but it tends to be a natural world of dead cows, feeding spiders and ominous walruses.

Ted HughesThought Fox prowls through his daughter's Foxes:

He appeared at hte floor-deep window,
A sudden little red thought.

Written soon after bushfires destroyed her studio in Wooroloo, Australia, not surprisingly, fire features strongly as a theme in this collection:

And now I treat blackened saplings 
With water drippers and a plastic tube,
As if the land were some mammoth animal
On life-support for a small cat.
And the last leaves of the tallest trees
Have this new death-voice
As their bloodless shells clatter.

(from Fire 1)

Words, which no doubt resonate strongly with everyone who lives in areas that have been devastated by forest fires. An increasingly common occurence.

Wooroloo by Frieda Hughes, published by Bloodaxe


bunnits said...

Interesting. Perhaps best not read on a gloomy day.

RG said...

I do not know her poetry, but it certainly does no good to only look on the cheerful and cute, and uplifting side of nature. Especially if one wants to try to live responsibly.

Pete Thompson said...

Certainly seems to have echoes of her mother. It's amazing how many artists and creative people are/have been depressives - my own favourite, Edward Thomas, was one and was compelled to get out and walk long distances to alleviate it. It can make for great poetry but really needs to be allied to a brighter outlook as well.

Little Miss Titch said...

Moving piece,xx Rachel