Ted Hughes quotes

  • The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Hurt #Regret #Fear

  • Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Opportunity #Self #Fishing

  • What’s writing really about? It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Writing #Reality #Trying

  • The deeps are cold: In that darkness camaraderie does not hold: Nothing touches but, clutching, devours.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Darkness #Doe #Cold

  • Where white is black and black is white, I won.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #White #Black

  • The real mystery is this strange need. Why can't we just hide it and shut up? Why do we have to blab? Why do human beings need to confess?
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Real #Needs #Strange

  • The world's decay where the wind's hands have passed, And my head, worn out with love, at rest In my hands, and my hands full of dust.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Hands #Wind #Dust

  • Show him every dawn & read to him endlessly.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Dawn #Shows

  • That's the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they're suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That's why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Children #People #Walking Dead

  • ...imagine what you are writing about. See it and live it. Do not think it up laboriously, as if you were working out mental arithmetic. Just look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn yourself into it. When you do this, the words look after themselves, like magic.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Writing #Thinking #Smell

  • Prose, narratives, etcetera, can carry healing. Poetry does it more intensely.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Healing #Etcetera #Narrative

  • As Popa penetrates deeper into his life, with book after book, it begins to look like a Universe passing through a Universe. It is one of the most exciting things in modern poetry, to watch this journey being made.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Book #Journey #Looks

  • So the self under the eye lies, Attendant and withdrawn.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Lying #Eye #Self

  • The sea cries with its meaningless voice, Treating alike its dead and its living
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Sea #Voice #Cry

  • The wolf is living for the earth.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Earth

  • One day God felt he ought to give his workshop a spring clean... It was amazing what ragged bits and pieces came from under his workbench as he swept. Beginnings of creatures, bits that looked useful but had seemed wrong, ideas he'd mislaid and forgotten... There was even a tiny lump of sun. He scratched his head. What could be done with all this rubbish?
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Spring #Ideas #Giving

  • Applause is the beginning of abuse
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Abuse #Applause

  • Haven’t you heard of the music of the spheres?” asked the dragon. “It’s the music that space makes to itself. All the spirits inside all the stars are singing. I’m a star spirit. I sing too. The music of the spheres is what makes space so peaceful.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Stars #Dragons #Space

  • The progress of any writer is marked by those moments when he manages to outwit his own inner police system.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Poetry #Police #Progress

  • What happens in the heart simply happens.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Heart

  • The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. Taller than a house the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, at the very brink, in the darkness.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Men #Iron #House

  • The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel. Over the cage floor the horizons come.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Long #Horizon #World

  • Stilled legendary depth: It was as deep as England. It held Pike too immense to stir, so immense and old That past nightfall I dared not cast.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Past #Depth #Nightfall

  • Nothing has changed since I began. My eye has permitted no change. I am going to keep things like this.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Eye #Changed #Things Have Changed

  • But who is stronger than death? Me , evidently .
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Stronger

  • It took the whole of Creation To produce my foot, my each feather: Now I hold Creation in my foot. Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly - I kill where I please because it is all mine. There is no sophistry in my body: My manners are tearing off heads - The allotment of death.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Feet #Body #Sophistry

  • So we found the end of our journey. So we stood, alive in the river of light, Among the creatures of light, creatures of light.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Journey #Rivers #Light

  • It took the whole of Creation to produce my foot, my each feather: now I hold Creation in my foot.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Feet #Creation #Produce

  • I shall also take you forth and carve our names together in a yew tree, haloed with stars...
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Stars #Names #Tree

  • He was his own leftover, the spat-out scrag. He was what his brain could make nothing of.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Brain #Spats

  • The Shell The sea fills my ear with sand and with fear. You may wash out the sand, but never the sound of the ghost of the sea that is haunting me.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Sea #Ears #Haunting

  • where are the gods the gods hate us the gods have run away the gods have hidden in holes the gods are dead of the plague they rot and stink too there never were any gods there’s only death
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Running #Hate #Stink

  • Nobody wanted your dance, Nobody wanted your strange glitter, your floundering Drowning life and your effort to save yourself, Treading water, dancing the dark turmoil, Looking for something to give.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Dark #Dancing #Water

  • He could not stand. It was not That he could not thrive, he was born With everything but the will – That can be deformed, just like a limb. Death was more interesting to him. Life could not get his attention.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Interesting #Attention #Limbs

  • The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain – and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Pain #Voice #Trying

  • There is no better way to know us Than as two wolves, come separately to a wood.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Love #Two #Way

  • In the pit of red You hid from the bone-clinic whiteness But the jewel you lost was blue.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Jewels #Blue #Pits

  • You could become internationally famous - you're Gemini, and according to antique authority have a literary talent, which of course your letters prove.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Letters #Antiques #Talent

  • Do as you like with me. I'm your parcel. I have only our address on me. Open me, or readdress me.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Addresses #Parcel

  • I think it was Milosz, the Polish poet, who when he lay in a doorway and watched the bullets lifting the cobbles out of the street beside him realised that most poetry is not equipped for life in a world where people actually die. But some is.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Thinking #People #World

  • The brassy wood-pigeons Bubble their colourful voices, and the sun Rises upon a world well-tried and old.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Voice #Woods #Pigeons

  • Nobody knew the Iron Man had fallen. Night passed.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Night #Men #Iron

  • And as if reporting some felony to the police they let you know you were not John Donne.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Police #Donne

  • You are who you choose to be.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Inspiring #One Day At A Time #You Choose

  • You solve it as you get older, when you reach the point where you've tasted so much that you can somehow sacrifice certain things more easily, and you have a more tolerant view of things like possessiveness (your own) and a broader acceptance of the pains and the losses.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Pain #Loss #Sacrifice

  • The gash in its throat was shocking, but not pathetic.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Throat #Pathetic

  • And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy. End of sermon. As Buddha says: live like a mighty river. And as the old Greeks said: live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Real #Rivers #People

  • The dreamer in her Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it. That moment the dreamer in me Fell in love with her and I knew it
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Dreamer #Moments #That Moment

  • And the elephant sings deep in the forest-maze About a star of deathless and painless peace But no astronomer can find where it is.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Stars #Elephants #Forests

  • The Bush administration doesn't particularly like public participation. It makes them look bad.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Looks #Administration #Participation

  • With a sudden sharp hot stink of fox, It enters the dark hole of the head. The window is starless still; the clock ticks, The page is printed.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Dark #Hot #Pages

  • This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and wind wielded Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Eye #Night #Light

  • The jaws' hooked clamp and fangs Not to be changed at this date; A life subdued to its instrument.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Instruments #Changed

  • I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed. Inaction, no falsifying dream Between my hooked head and hooked feet: Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Dream #Sleep #Eye

  • What happened casually remains -
    -- Ted Hughes

    #Remains