Books: Demons and Victims

CROW by Ted Hughes. 84 pages. Harper & Row. $5.95.

When the eagle soared clear through

a dawn

distilling of emerald When the curlew trawled in seadnsk

through

a chime of wineglasses . . . Crow spraddled head-down in the

beach-garbage, guzzling a dropped ice-cream.

No romantic flights for English Poet Ted Hughes. Let others waft upward in attenuated dawns and high-blown rhetoric. Hughes stays below, foraging over a gritty landscape, battening onto whatever is starkly elemental. For him, poetry is "the record of how the forces of the universe try to redress some balance disturbed by man." In his taut, compulsive poems, both the error and its...

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