English Poems Index

Moon-Wind :

There is no wind on the moon at all

Yet things get blown about.

In utter utter stillness
Your candle shivers out.
In utter stillness
A giant marquee
Booms and flounders past you
Like a swan at sea.
In utter utter stillness
While you stand in the street
A squall of hen and cabbages
Knocks you off your feet.
In utter utter stillness
While you stand agog
A tearing twisting sheet of pond
Clouts you with a frog.
A camp of caravans suddenly
Squawks and takes off.
A ferris wheel bounds along the skyline
Like a somersaulting giraffe.
Roots and foundations, nails and screws,
Nothing can hold fast,
Nothing can resist the moon's
Dead-still blast.

By Ted Hughes

About The Poet :

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. He went to Cambridge University to study English and later switched to Archaeology and Anthropology. He won many prizes for his poems and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984.

In this poem, the poet provides us with a very strange picture of the wind that he imagines to be present on the moon.

There is no wind on the moon at all

Yet things get blown about.

He then goes on to point out that the wind seems to be howling all over the moon's surface but it is doing so in
utter stillness. This is very strange indeed and rather like using phrases such as, bright darkness, dark sunlight or cold flames! Can you think of any other opposites or absurd pairs?

In the poem we also come across very unusual things such as
a squall of cabbages and a somersaulting giraffe. Here we see how the poet has used his imagination to create completely new images with which to amuse and startle us.

Words to Know :

Clouts : hits

Ferris Wheel : a giant revolving vertical wheel, as seen at fun-fairs

Flounders : struggles and plunges (as) in mud or while wading

Marquee : a large tent

Squall : a sudden and violent gust of wind

Utter : complete

English Poems Index
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