He grew up in
Mexborough, a coal-mining
town in Yorkshire.
The beauty of the natural
landscape and the industrial
scars inflicted upon it by man
significantly influenced his
He initially studied
...but switched to Anthropology.
During his time at
Cambridge he met
the American poet
After dating for four months, the
His first collection ‘The Hawk in the Rain’was
published in 1957.
In 1960, ‘Lupercal’ was published.
This collection sealed his reputation
as a major poet.
The poem ‘Pike’ was published in
He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984.
Assia Wevill, the
woman with whom
Ted Hughes had an
suicide, taking their
daughter, Shura, wit
h her in 1969.
Pike are found in sluggish streams and shallow, weedy places in lakes, as well
as in cold, clear, rocky waters. Pike are typical ambush predators; they lie in
wait for prey, holding perfectly still for long periods and then exhibit
remarkable acceleration as they strike.
Due to their cannibalistic nature, young pike need places where they can take
shelter between plants so they are not eaten.
Before striking they bend their body and dash out to the prey using the large
surface of tail fin, dorsal fin and anal fin to propel themselves. The fish has a
distinctive habit of catching its prey sideways in the mouth, immobilising it
with its sharp backward pointing teeth, and then turning the prey headfirst to
swallow it. It eats mainly fish, but on occasion water voles and ducklings have
also been known to fall prey to pike. Young pike have been found dead from
choking on a pike of a similar size, an observation referred to by the
renowned English poet Ted Hughes in his famous poem 'Pike‘.