Lovepet

Was it an animal was it a bird?
She stroked it. He spoke to it softly.
She made her voice its happy forest.
He brought it out with sugarlump smiles.
Soon it was licking their kisses.
She gave it the strings of her voice which it swallowed
He gave it the blood of his face it grew eager
She gave it the liquorice of her mouth it began to thrive
He opened the aniseed of his future
And it bit and gulped, grew vicious, snatched
The focus of his eyes
She gave it the steadiness of her hand
He gave it the strength of his spine it ate everything

It began to cry what could they give it
They gave it their calendars it bolted their diaries
They gave it their sleep it gobbled their dreams
Even while they slept
It ate their bodyskin and the muscle beneath
They gave it vows its teeth clashed its starvation
Through every word they uttered

It found snakes under the floor it ate them
It found a spider horror
In their palms and ate it

They gave it double smiles and blank silence
It chewed holes in their carpets
They gave it logic
It ate the colour of their hair
They gave it every argument that would come
They gave it shouting and yelling they meant it
It ate the faces of their children
They gave it their photograph albums they gave it their records

It ate the colour of the sun
They gave it a thousand letters they gave it money
It ate their future complete it waited for them
Staring and starving
They gave it screams it had gone too far
It ate into their brains
It ate the roof
It ate lonely stone it ate wind crying famine
It went furiously off

They wept they called it back it could have everything
It stripped out their nerves chewed chewed flavourless
It bit at their numb bodies they did not resist
It bit into their blank brains they hardly knew

It moved bellowing
Through a ruin of starlight and crockery

It drew slowly off they could not move

It went far away they could not speak.

Ted Hughes

5 responses to “Lovepet

  1. Hoosie

    The line that says ‘It was the colour of the Sun’ should actually read ‘It ATE the colour of the Sun’.

    • Jenny

      Well, that certainly sounds suitably Hughesian, although I’m sure I copied it out correctly at the time, about three years ago – I’ll try to remember to look it up sometime soon but I can’t promise anything, work’s pretty busy at the moment, and I’m afraid I’m not just going to up and change things just like that.

  2. tete2chou

    Hoosie is right, i checked in the book.

  3. ‘Ate’ by the poet himself…

  4. yezza

    This is a wonderful poem and its very close to my heart.Thank you very much Mr:Hughes

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