My reading- Ted Hughes “Crow”

Don’t get me wrong. I am just beginning to learn to read poems. Amateurishly. So don’t you expect to read here an essay or critique of how “Crow"-one of the defining moment, watershed, of one of the greatest poets in American history. I don’t even know what a stanza is. What allegory means!

Just one poem in the anthology caught me. I bookmarked it in my kindle. I think it is interesting. And I can refer to something oriental to relate to it side by side.

“Crow and the Birds"

When the eagle soared clear through a dawn distilling of emerald

When the curlew trawled in seadusk through a chime of wineglasses

When the swallow swooped through a woman’s song in a cavern

And the swift flicked through the breath of a violet

When the owl sailed clear of tomorrow’s conscience

When the sparrow preened himself of yesterday’s promise

And the heron laboured clear of the Bessemer upglare

And the Bluetit zipped clear of laced panties

And the woodpecker drummed clear of the rotovator and

The rose-farm

And the peewit tumbled clear of the laundromat

While the bullfinch plumped in the apple bud

And the goldfinch bulbed in the sun

And the wryneck crooked in the moon

And the dipper peered from the dewball

Crow spraddled head down in the beach garbage, guzzling a dropped ice cream

A playful way of describing the vanity of life. Vulgar but beautiful. Vagaries but pointless. And through a woman’s song in a cavern.

It made me think of a very old song 夢 dream, by Mei koo, sister of one of the greatest songwriters in canto pop, ka hui koo, who is her brother. My translation is definitely dodgy. But I try my best

Some say life’s like a dream

I say it’s another way around

In a shutter of a moment, you’re delighted and stimulated

As short as a scene, you’re melancholy

The majesty on the throne

The pauper in his den

Snow at the peak

Treasure in the sea cove

No sooner the dreams have woken,

You have completed your life.

Some say life’s like a dream

I say it’s another way around

In a shutter of a moment, you come and go

As short as a scene, you’re young to old

The bright of the dark

The grey of the dawn

Angels in the hell

Ghosts in the heaven

No sooner the dreams have woken,

You have completed your life

https://youtu.be/EbMIoc1Te3k

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