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"The Horses" by Ted Hughes

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micky williams

on 21 April 2015

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Transcript of "The Horses" by Ted Hughes

In 1956 Hughes married Sylvia Plath and had two children.
During his marrage he had an affair with Assia Gutmann Wevill. She became pregnate with a little girl.
In 1963 Plath commited suicide leaving her children with Hughes.
Six years later Assia commited suicide also taking her daughters life.
Hughes remarried Carol Orchard in 1970.
Historical Context/
Social Impact
His poems signales a dramatic departure from prevailing modes of the period.
His later work was reliant upon myth and the British bardic trasition, heartily inflected with modernist, jungian and ecological viewpoints.
He has a brooding presence in the land scape of 20th century poetry.
The Horses
I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,
Hughes creates a setting of ans early morning, fith frost all around. the air is personified and being cruel.
Not a leaf, not a bird
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood
Hughes describes the stillness of the forest. he continues to use the word " frost" to intensify the coldness.
Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness
The dark of the night is slowly fadding due to the rising sun.

Of a grey silent world. I listened in emptiness on the moor-ridge.
The curlew’s tear turned its edge on the silence.
The speaker enforces the stillness and silence unill now, when it is finally broken.
Slowly detail leafed from the darkness. Then the sun
Orange, red, red erupted
The turning point of the poem. The darkness fades and the sun comes out.
Silently, and splitting to its core tore and flung cloud,
Shook the gulf open, showed blue,
The blue sky now cantrast the once gray and dull sky. It shows the effect the sun has.
Literary Devices/ Poetic Elements
Many literary devices and poetic elements were used in this poem.

imagery (lines 4-5)
figurative language (lines 9-10)
alliteration (line 3)
personification (lines 11-14)
atmospher/ mood (lines 31-32)
tone ( lines 35-36)
Significance of the title
The title represents the beauty and positions of animals in darkness and in light.
And the big planets hanging—I turned
Stumbling in the fever of a dream, down towards
The dark woods, from the kindling tops,

And came to the horses.
There, still they stood,
But now steaming and glistening under the flow of light,
The once dark and cold horses are now " glistening"
Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves
Stirring under a thaw while all around them
Hughes repeats the horses" description
The frost showed its fires. But still they made no sound.
Not one snorted or stamped,
The cold, dark frost is finally melting due to the warm bright sun.
"The Horses" by Ted Hughes
Sebrina De Los Santos & Micky Williams
He was born in England, 17 August 1930
Hughes received his bachelor's degree in 1954 and his master's in 1958.
Houghes died on October 28, 1998 in Devonshire, England from cancer.
Ted Houghes was best known for creating powerful poems with bold metaphors, imagery, and rhymes.

Identification of form
" The Horses " is a thirty-eight-line poem in free verse, witten mostly in two-line stanzas.
Till the mooring—blackening dregs of the brightening grey—
Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:
Hughes uses visual imagery here. he describes the sky as " halved" which means half of the sky is dark and the other light.
Huge in the dense grey—ten together—
Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,
with draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
Making no sound.
I passed: not one snorted or jerked its head.
Grey silent fragments
The horses are being described as silent and still.
Full transcript