Two Legends By Ted Hughes


Black was the without eye

Black the within tongue

Black was the heart

Black the liver, black the lungs

Unable to suck in light

Black the blood in its loud tunnel

Black the bowels packed in furnace

Black too the muscles

Striving to pull out into the light

Black the nerves, black the brain

With its tombed visions

Black also the soul, the huge stammer

Of the cry that, welling, could not

Pronounce its sun.


Black is the wet otter's head, lifted.

Black is the rock, plunging in foam

Black is the gall lying on the bed of the blood.


Black is the earth-globe, one inch under,

An egg of blackness

Where sun and moon alternate their weathers


To hatch a crow, a black rainbow

Bent in emptiness

                over emptiness

But flying