Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Ted Hughes's 'Full Moon and Little Frieda' - A Full Moon In March
Moon photo © Chris Turner
As I waited for the train tonight in the deathly late-March cold, the full moon hit my eye rather in the manner of a big pizza pie. Given that March seems to be associated with madness anyway (mad as a March hare?), I suppose we will just have to see how things go.
The Guardian recently did a good series of poetry podcasts, featuring well-known poets reading and discussing favourite poems. Simon Armitage did a podcast on Ted Hughes's famous 'Full Moon and Little Frieda', and you can listen to it on this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/audio/2013/feb/18/ted-hiughes-simon-armitage-poetry-podcast
There are a number of Ted Hughes poems which I prefer, but 'Full Moon and Little Frieda', written for Hughes's daughter, has a beautiful innocence to it which I like (although the bleak image of "a dark river of blood" is also Hughesian - his depictions of nature tended to be red in tooth and claw.)
I love the idea of the interaction between the moon and the child - "The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work/That points at him amazed." It seems to me unique among his poems.
Just as I was finishing writing this, the phrase "a full moon in March" went through my head. As I couldn't place it, I turned to Google, which obligingly reminded me that it was the title of a play by W B Yeats and sometimes the (inaccurate) title of one of his poetry collections. Yeats also wrote a number of poems about the moon. All things are interconnected, indeed.