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Frieda Hughes, The Book of Mirrors

To my mind, the most successful poems in The Book of Mirrors were a number of observations of animals towards the end, particularly a group on pheasants. These are on the whole evocative and sharply observed, showing real feeling for the creatures they describe. Another later poem, “February”, expresses the writer’s sense of exhaustion and her yearning for renewal in a way that transcends the merely personal by setting her emotional state in wider contexts of human suffering and seasonal process. There are several dignified and poignant elegies. “Verbal Warning” sends up the absurdity of having so many things that … Continue Reading