I’m a day behind myself and thus I’m writing this in a rush before heading up to bed because I thought I still had a day of March left…
Inspired by Chris Hildrew, my #PoetryPromise for 2016 is to share a favourite poem of mine every month through my blog. #PoetryPromise is coordinated through with the aim of promoting and spreading the love of poetry. My choice for March is Crow Blacker Than Ever by Ted Hughes.
Crow Blacker than ever
Turned towards heaven.
And man, disgusted with God,
Turned towards Eve,
Things looked like falling apart. But Crow . . Crow
Crow nailed them together,
Nailing Heaven and earth together -So man cried, but with God’s voice.
And God bled, but with man’s blood.Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
Which became gangrenous and stank –
A horror beyond redemption.The agony did not diminish.
Man could not be man nor God God.
Crying: ‘This is my Creation,’
Flying the black flag of himself.
I first read this poem at University and it blew me away. Hughes’ poetry is so powerful and visceral – exemplified here and in the other Crow poems. I vividly remember that first reading and having to take a moment to put the book back down in my lap to think about what I’d just read and what it was that Hughes was saying. I didn’t need to understand it intellectually – I was moved somewhere else in me. I think great poetry can speak to you in that way. This is a great poem.
This poem will also always hold a special place in my heart as it was one of about twenty Hughes poems that I committed to memory to allow me to quote freely during one of my exams. I plastered the house with the poems and related images in the hope that the words would seep in. God bless my housemates for putting up with seeing badly drawn crows whenever they opened a cupboard door or sat down on the toilet…