Poetry competition CLOSED 1st August 2020 5:18pm
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The Hawk In The Rain

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
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Poetry Contest



Co-Hosts - Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze  

Part XXX in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets, both classical and modern. 

Edward James Hughes ( 17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998 ) was an incredibly prolific poet, translator, editor, and children’s book author. He attended Cambridge, where he studied archaeology and anthropology, taking a special interest in myths and legends.

Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath, who encouraged him to submit his manuscript to a first book contest run by The Poetry Center. Awarded first prize, The Hawk in the Rain (1957) secured Hughes’s reputation as a poet of international stature. He went on to be appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, as well as the Order of Merit, one of Britain’s highest honors.

According to poet and critic Robert B. Shaw,

Hughes’s poetry signaled a dramatic departure from the prevailing modes of the period. The stereotypical poem of the time was determined not to risk too much: politely domestic in its subject matter, understated and mildly ironic in style. By contrast, Hughes marshaled a language of nearly Shakespearean resonance to explore themes which were mythic and elemental.

For more information regarding Hughes, please visit the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/ted-hughes


Write a new Poem honoring Hughes inspired by any one of his poems.

While you are allowed a maximum of 2 entries, only the best of your entries is considered viable for the trophy.

Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Hughes.  The more we feel you "capturing his essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.   

Do NOT copy paste your poem to the competition, it must be linked to your page with the below information.

The Rules 

1.  Two entries per DUP persona.

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ).   

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.   

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).   

5. You must tag your entries with the theme #TedHughes.

6. In your poem's notes, provide a link and a title to the very poem by Hughes that inspired yours. Without such, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by Hughes or simply swapped fresh words into his existing poetry ( which is a form of plagiarism ).

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze. As in the past and in the event there is a tie, we will call in third ( and possibly fourth ) judge.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 4979

[ Classic Corner ] Out-Foxings

Felonious loneliness is a fox  
ever prowling, stealing away    
whatever minute opportunity    
is afforded in this world    
by clocks in midnight crisis    
shooting blank pages    
with their Twelve gauge rifles    
Time is of the essence then    
I must be a hawk in the rain    
pivoting upon winds in moments    
watershed from feathered fowling    
gliding sleek, beating my wings    
If necessary, seeking new roosting    
Never a lousy grouse henhoused    
for Free Ranged is the way to go    
And if you are so stumped by this    
estranged talk, think about it    
while I axe the trees more dull    
bladed questions that seldomly    
if ever cut to the quick    
as wood of my antiques    
makes for good pulp fiction      
and I am remembered as the one    
who got away with the nest eggs    
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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non entry

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 10320

Comfortably Numb

I was a fresh tube of paint, Indian Yellow,
in wait to experience the slick skin
of a gesso'd canvas—or paper'd  
Poetry put to pictures, a visual gift  
After hand-to-hand combat  
With the muse. I had never known  
A scent of turpentine permeating  
The space of an atelier,  
Unlike my friend, whose name  
Was that of a man's, Michael,  
Yet, she was feminine as they come.  
Michael, who had fallen obsessively  
Within the composition of one  
Who would unwittingly become  
My greatest mentor. Me, starry-eyed  
And ignorant of the power of words  
To loosen the cap of Love  
in the wrong lifetime.  
I felt the squeeze, an inchworm  
Of syllables clawing for their debut  
Against raw cartilage of my throat.  
Cadmium tints bled a foreign landscape  
from a genome of southern memory.  
A provence'd affair of likeminded artists  
Gathered 'round the café table  
Not far from the remains of Chagall.  
But, my tongue curled into an Autumn leaf—  
Cracked and dry, void of utterance.
I drank the wine instead, tattooing  
My lips a plum'd vino of crushed grape  
And speckled glass dream.  
Sixteen plus years after death  
I come face-to-face with my own image  
Staring out from the Universe. . .  
I was a catalogued nebulae of sienna blue  
Surrounded by a super nova of burnt orange,  
Neon green, and powdered pink entwined  
Within space. The low price of $120.00  
American dollars adjacent to its cardboard spine.  
I added it to my cart without thinking twice,  
Or notifying your archived estate  
I was she, the ghost-girl of portrait's past. . .  
Suddenly I remembered everything—  
'The Shelter from the Storm' gang  
Rampant upon Saint Paul de Vence  
Living youth as an arranged Charcuterie tray  
Of the finest cuts of moment.  
Wheatfield's and Van Gogh in one stroke  
Of mental illness, a madness that infiltrates  
Bloodletting among artists, changing  
The dynamics of their insanity.  
I glanced at the wall where your painting  
Hangs over the headboard of my bed.  
How sad I looked back then—  
How comfortably numb, impervious to truth;  
How happy it would be to have another  
Image to distract family and friends  
From the longing of such large, doleful eyes  
That command their attention, even after so many years.  
I leave them alone to ponder every time—  
They've given up asking what was on my mind.    
They'll remain as unaware as the generation to come;  
As unaware as we were of when, exactly. . .  
Michael had left the room.  
Written by Ahavati
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Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 10th May 2020
Forum Posts: 142

Considering Snowdrops


Now is the globe shrunk tight
Round the mouse’s dulled wintering heart.
Weasel and crow, as if moulded in brass,
Move through an outer darkness
Not in their right minds,
With the other deaths. She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month,
Her pale head heavy as metal.

Ted Hughes—

I understand the space in the brass
Airless no contempt, or ability to hold it
Tightly, round spring coiled around nothing
The Yo yo ing purpose of mice, mouse
Pursuits of the steel wool cut, itchy
Red abrasions cover heaving chest, loose
In the leg, furthering no where special
Connecting the four corners of the Earth
Ill conceived screams, curling under sharp toothy, to punch holes in the can
Scurry the string through, running the telephone line
Hello’s dreams, fears
Echos of clay and thud
The moisture in the ground is mud

The moisture in the ground is mud

The pooling reflects no light
And gathers the snow drops
With the remorse of it
She will surely die there
If only a smiling face to make an impression
Written by Calamityofgin
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Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 546


Melting tar its smell
Black puddles ripped up, on car tyres
Ray Bans stripped from of the shelf
Factor 75 in the shade retired
Zinc oxide be our war paint
Fissures fingers anger in that temper
 In just shorts under the hydrant,
as it sprayed
Mean yellow replacing earths green placenta
Parch(ments) crisp paper
Wall to wall shadows move east to west
Mother Earth in hot flush beset
Written by slipalong
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 434

Examination At The Womb Door (That Little Death)

Death scratches at my door,  
yet I can not fathom it,  
so I am better than it.  
I can see it with my crow-eyes  
and it is not me, but another  
worming in the grass, half-blind,  
but not deaf.  
It hears me as I call to it:       That Death.  

I scry a branch in the dim light of  
outer space which damply revolves  
around me and I grant it no mercy,  
that little thing which stalks itself,  
and cannot reach me,  
cannot tell me what it is  
or tries to become  
but red spills and a silenced tongue.  
It wills itself away,
pities itself in many ways:       That Death.  
I am not stronger than it, or love,  
but I can outfly its reach, its trials.  
I can eat and peck at its great successes;  
I am fueled by its spoils,  
awakened by its cries.
I hear it stalking me in my mind  
but I shall win by staying of it behind  
watching the little one die.  
The weak sparrow with its meager song  
is nothing to me, nothing to it,  
but to everything:       That little Death.  
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Twisted Dreamer
United States
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Joined 18th Dec 2012
Forum Posts: 14

Early Bird

The Earth is soaked over-brim and steaming
See proud red cardinal, it is the first
Early bird, to catch and savor
Terror-limp worm curling under
Slick and silent, lacking cruelty
The sole witness a month-old hare
Bug-eyed the dirty-work is done
And both babe and red king hop-along
To the plucky omnivore
Goes its base-need; survival
The urban-jungle morning has begun

©Tanzen Lilly July 2020
Written by TCLilly (Odette)
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Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Joined 24th Mar 2019
Forum Posts: 441

cherubic politique

so uncollar my shirt,    
up to the moss around the chin,    
and uncuff the wrist from its irregular saltwater beat      
unbutton the puzzles that our babies      
pretended had flown away,      
puzzles that choked      
  the hearth and chamber.      
  for you were correct about the stars,      
they are out of control,      
they seethe from fleeing light,      
with their  songs      
of bloody urges, hear-of,       
  a red-setter and his cherry-heavy      
paw prints on a scrubbed floor      
everywhere misaligned      
rolling around, to admit      
I should have been hung; dried      
  outside this tiger's mouth,      
should have been sung in hunger,      
bird-watching the beetle eggs, your eyes      
hatching in a stomp  
  of horseshoe blue.
Written by nomoth
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Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 16th Feb 2020
Forum Posts: 90

The Thought- Fox

Day has gone, darkness closes in,
it clouds my mind with a vision of nothing.
I squint to see the the unseeable
beg to know the unknowable but the
gates of my heart remain locked tight.
I search for that one truth to put down
on this page that stares back at me
wondering why it is blank and will it’s fate
be that of others, crumpled, in the dust bin.

Sleep overtakes me, I’m restless, agonized
by my failure of creativity. Thru the fog of self
pity I hear a sound unlike any other.
It seems unworldly, like from an angel
who has been wounded in the fall.
I’m drawn to it like the Sirens song and
the doomed ships of yore. Music without words
yet it’s message is clear. Its flow varies
but its rhythm is the same. Its rhythm
matches the beats of my heart and its
flow reflects the reality of life with
all it’s high and low points.

It’s suddenly clear that inspiration is
part of that flow, just waiting for the
poet to grab on and explore.
There is no inspiration outside
of the life continuum. When stuck
in the ether, we must return to life
to be inspired.

Ted Hughes, “The Thought-Fox”
Written by anvinvil (Anvillan)
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Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 16th Feb 2020
Forum Posts: 90

View of a Pig...

Life has a shelf life as does all things.  
Things that are vivid today are
faded tomorrow, then gone next week.
The effect on us doesn’t vanish.
It lingers in our consciousness and
impacts our actions.  
The problem is certainty vs uncertainty.
There are only two things certain in  
this life, yesterday and death. We
dwell on yesterday because it’s real
and known to us personally. Death is a  
mystery but is always before our eyes.
We see it in our lives, in flora and fauna.
Faith says things go on, science says
when the switch turns off, the light goes out.
Observing what could have been, what
might have been or what should have been
has no basis in reality, only in our own minds.
What brought us to this point doesn’t matter,
the point we’re at is all that matters.
Ted Hughes, “View of a Pig”;
Written by anvinvil (Anvillan)
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Lost Thinker
United States
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Joined 16th Apr 2020
Forum Posts: 1

Cooked Me Well

You cooked me well, good sir,
with fragments of fire born from lust.
Twisted and torpedoed throughout my loins,
the crushing sense of wonder fails to wane
even on the most deserted of nights.

When hollowed sounds of skipping toads
break the silent grip of shuttered night,
and when the gallops cease to kick
at the token-eyed sparrow
twisting about my latest plight,
till then I confess my allegiance
to each brilliant sky, dawn or midnight.

For it is the stars that truly own me.

Not even myself.
Written by RobAzza
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 4979

There is one week left in this challenge! Good luck to all who entered or will enter!

And you will have even better luck if you review your entries at least once after posting to ensure they are compliant with the competition guidelines.

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 434

Lovesong (Unbridled)

He rode atop that mounted horse
that whinnied along into the night
on and on together, astride
wanting never to stop or tire.

He held the reins and bridle tight
so no one else could know her this way
or steer her into the dark as he would
promises lighting the way.

Her eyes were deep with the Earth's secrets,
those he longed to know but never would.
His skull containing only a ridership
of prominent vision understood.

What lie ahead she would never anticipate,
plodding and dodging her circumstance.
Trust in him would be her course
if the path be clear ahead.

They would fall together asleep one day
and exchange bodies in a dream
to conquer each the other once awake
to know the other fully, becoming joined
in ever trying, faultless as they might.

His heart, then would be in her bridle
and she, with piercing eyes would see
ahead many miles and through smiles
deep in a wall would bury him.

Even as he reared away from all that lie ahead
driving to her spoils would he be destined
to where the darkness held nothing but air.

She would gallop him to the brink of understanding
though blinders would narrow his sight
on and on, and again, on
would she reveal her endless night
to sear him in what lie ahead.

Throwing her off would he press on,
relieved of weight to leap over fences
ever wild, unbridled,
eyes watering from the wind.

Written by PoetsRevenge
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Thought Provoker
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Joined 31st Mar 2020
Forum Posts: 119

'A Woman Unconscious'...Wakes?

White Goddess lines open coffin
With her hair trimmings &
Tarred crow feathers

The silent woman
Smites her womb
Exciting waters to be broken.

In final breath of water
She becomes a lake
Sailed by nightjar holy tremblings.

Ancestral ghosts bequeath
Unto him, the white sheet,
Crisply ironed as bank manager’s shirt:
The burnt fox in his once dream
Shrouds earthen existence
Paints the portal obsidian
Of each poetic homecoming.

Earthed thistle prickles skin
Of rustication quietude,
First bleat-breath of lamb
Comes from nowhere -
Electric shock shudders
Over rib railings.
Placenta trail road-kill.

From Punic wars to Khmer Rouge
Humanity is jaw boned, broken,
Creaks below charcoal lips
Mouths stuffed fire and brimstone,
An always incipient wreath.
Of just another holocaust
Time retreats -
Thresher sifts flesh and bone -
Leaving events as landmines.

By the stone wall
That was chapel once
The last swallow sings
Recital of rejoice to entice
The wild man of the woods.
He lumbers into vision
In wake of underfoot
                        twig explosion.
The wolf survives for the earth.

Lilac leaves ornate his beard
Universal spectator in the cheap seats;
Twilight bathes the knife
Romulus murdered Remus
In Oedipal rage; pre-mortem page
Of poetess Electra epilogue.

Leaves of lilac wrap a golden bough
A shadow clocks bracken and brook,
Drift of gilt ghost o’er sodden heath:
Lost in poetry mist of another…..
….And suddenly found himself
At the end of the red brick road
Curled in unopened birthdays,
An ellipsis to eclipse anniversaries of pain
Shade wounds wrought in winter sun.

Words plough into hospital bed
Shakespeare’s sister dreams a sonnet
Inscribes on pillow
For the woman in the bed.
Will she awake as beast?

White Goddess lines open coffin
With her hair trimmings &
Tarred crow feathers                  and finally, her body

Written by Strangeways_Rob
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 4979

Thank you for supporting the CCComps with so many wonderful emulations.

You have roughly 24 hours to double-check your entries for errors any where from spelling to lack of guideline requirements. All it takes is ONE small detail overlooked to wrestle that trophy or placement from your grasp.

Good luck in the judging!

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