From protection into perception – The Thought-Fox a #mindful poem

Ted Hughes The Thought-Fox click on link to read poem

From Protection into Perception reflections on a mindful poem The Thought-Fox

When I first read Ted Hughes’ ‘The Thought -Fox’ and heard him read it, it seemed a mindful poem. He had slowed down through awareness the entrance of a thought into the mind.
A thought which is potent and powerful, mysterious and yet observable and in that process not tameable, but gone again – as mysteriously as it arrived. Its wholeness put into words by the poet.
It is a thought that carries feeling and smell, a primitive smell. The poem conveys the otherness of thoughts that we think of as ‘ours’ or as ‘me’. They may be part of us but they are not us, although they can tell us something about us.
We often protect ourselves from our thoughts, through deliberate defences of unawareness. And yet in the end we need to face them.
What fascinates me about Ted Hughes is the clear awareness and attention he has developed as a poet. After reading The Thought-Fox I read Terry Gifford’s book ‘Ted Hughes’. In it he quotes from Al Alvarez who says of the poem, that in it Hughes ‘hardly thinks at all.’ He puts my sense of it being a mindful poem into the right words. It is written in the ‘now.’

Gifford, T. (2009). Ted Hughes (Routledge: London, New York), p. 102, quoting Alvarez from Observer 27.3. 1966).

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