Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (cover)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (paperback)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (cover)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making CD-Set (The Spoken Word)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (cover)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making Booklet (The Spoken Word)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (cover)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making LP record cover

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making (cover)

Ted Hughes: Poetry in the Making LP record back cover

Poetry in the Making. An Anthology of Poems and Programmes from Listening and Writing

Author: Hughes, Ted

Published by Faber & Faber, 1967
US ed.: Doubleday, 1970, as Poetry Is

This book collects pieces from Ted Hughes's work for the BBC in which he talks about poetry and encourages the listener/reader to try and write their own poems, stories and even novels. As a book about writing it is equally well suited for creative writing classes and for literary criticism. And it is a very good and interesting read.

The essays tell much about Hughes's approach. In most of them he uses poems of other writers as well as some of his own to illustrate the points made. Two entire chapters are dedicated to collections of poetry for children: Meet My Folks! (including Nessie) and The Earth-Owl .... Other poems discussed include "The Thought-Fox" and "View of a Pig".

For some unknown reason, three essays are missing from the American edition: "Writing a Novel: Beginning", "Writing a Novel: Going On", and "Words and Experience"

Recordings of two of the talks ("Capturing Animals" and "Learning to Think" ) were briefly available on vinyl record in 1971.

In 2008, the British Library published "The Spoken Word: Poetry in the Making" (141 minutes), which includes:

  • "Capturing Animals",
  • "Moon Creatures",
  • "Learning to Think",
  • "Writing about Landscape" and
  • "Meet My Folks!".

Contents:

Note: Three Talks were excluded from Poetry Is: "Writing a Novel: Beginning", "Writing a Novel: Going On", and "Words and Experience".

  • "Capturing Animals"

[Hughes talks about his own approach to writing poetry, which he likens to capturing animals and keeping them alive. The talk also offers biographical information about his passion for hunting, fishing and stalking animals as a boy.]

  • "Wind and Weather"

[Hughes talks about writing about weather and its extremes.]

  • "Writing about People"
  • "Learning to think"

[Hughes talks about thinking and concentrating, excercises and other ways of approaching the topic of one's writing.]

  • "Writing about Landscape"
  • "Writing a Novel: Beginning"
  • "Writing a Novel: Going On"
  • "Meet my Folks"

[Hughes talks about his collection of poems by the same name (Meet my Folks). The chapter also ties in with what he mentioned in previous chapters on "Writing about People".]

  • "Moon Creatures"

[A talk about his collection The Earth-Owl.]

  • "Words and Experience"

[A talk about imagination, the power of words and actual experience. How closely can words match actual experience? How can we possess our own experience? etc. This talk, I believe, was not part of the original "Listening and Writing" Series but must have been important to Hughes so he chose to include it in the collection]