The Long and Short: Ted Hughes’s ‘Gaudete’

Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

Originally conceived as a film script, Gaudete is Ted Hughes’s apocalyptic vision of an English village in the throes of pagan forces. While it may be ‘the weirdest poem by a very weird poet’, as Mark puts it in this episode, Gaudete shines a light on many Hughesian preoccupations and paved the way for his best-selling collection, Birthday Letters. A strange fusion of Twin Peaks and Midsomer Murders, Gaudete is Hughes at his most uninhibited and brilliant.

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