Ted Hughes: <em>Moon-Bells and Other Poems</em> (1978)

Ted Hughes: Moon-Bells and Other Poems (1978)

Moon-Bells and Other Poems

Author: Hughes, Ted

Publisher: Chatto & Windus, 1978
Second, expanded edition 1986

Illustrated by Felicity Roma Bowers

This is a collection of poems for children which takes its title from one of the poems from Moon-Whales also included here. In spite of its name, it does not belong with The Earth-Owl and Moon-Whales. The other poems were either previously uncollected or come from a variety of books for adults and children. Some of them have subsequently been republished in collections for adults.

The scope of the collection is astounding. It ranges from playful childly material like "Nessie" and the Moon poems to 'nature' and 'animal poetry' such as "Coming Down Through Somerset", to material from the Crow context such as "Amulet" and "Horrible Song".

As such, Moon-Bells shows the full breadth of Ted Hughes's writing for children. It presents an author who takes children seriously and doesn't underestimate their ability to grasp complexities like natural cycles of life and death.

The 1986 edition has three additional poems.

See also Under the North Star, Season Songs, What is the Truth? and Moon-Whales.


Note: This is the contents listing of the 1986 edition which included three extra poems. Several poems from this book were later republished in collections aiming at adult audiences.

  • Pets
  • Nessie [= "Nessie the Mannerless Monster"]
  • Fox-Hunt
  • I See a Bear [from Crow Wakes]
  • A Moon-Witch [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • Roe-Deer
  • Tigress
  • Moon-Whales [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • The Moorhen [added in 1986]
  • Coming Down Through Somerset
  • Amulet [first collected in Crow Wakes]
  • Ants [added in 1986]
  • Birth of Rainbow
  • Bullfinches
  • Moon-Walkers [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • A Mountain Lion
  • He Gets Up in Dark Dawn
  • Water [from Recklings]
  • Moon-Wind [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • Sketching a Thatcher [added in 1986]
  • Moon-Bells [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • Moon-Ravens [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]
  • Horrible Song
  • Off-Days
  • Earth-Moon [from Earth-Moon, Moon-Whales 1976]