16 ene. 2011


Ted Hughes

UK, 1930 / 1998

The Thought Fox

Hughes (1930-1998) was no stranger to the wilderness, as he used to hide traps in the forest as a boy. In “The Thought-Fox,” the “sharp hot stink” --the almost painful smell of Hughes’s captive animal-- draws a parallel to the reek of what claws desperately in the head to induce the process of creation. Blurring the line between nature and the inner workings of the mind, the poem is testament to how the writer, or the artist, is a prisoner to his own subject. Lucía de Sola

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Til, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hold of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.