Because its time has come …

I dislike poetry. I really do. So I work with myself, reading and re-reading as much as I can. Exposure and Response Prevention. (Don’t ask. It helps to have a psychologist for a spouse impressive jargon comes easily. )

But sometimes I read a poem, perhaps for the tenth time, and something happens. I understand it like never before. Because its time has come I’m ready for it.

So here’s one whose time has come for me. I wrote a vile term paper on it in college.  Oh but last night I fell in love with it. So I’m putting it up here.

The Thought-Fox

 Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Besides 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

Till, 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.

(This is one of the most anthologized of Ted Hughes’ poems and is also available online, so I’m not citing source.)


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