The thought fox
Poetry is the art of expressing emotions, feelings, dreams and thoughts – anything that “inspires” men - by the use of the language (imagery, diction, figure of speech etc.). What is unique in “The Thought Fox” by Ted Hughes is that it is a poem about writing a poem. It is not a poem on what inspires the poet to write, but it is a description on the process of getting inspired. Just by looking at the title, the reader has already got an idea of the topic of the poem. The word “thought” shows the influence of thinking and using “fox” makes this an anthropomorphism, since a fox is not a human and does not “think”.
The poem starts with “I”, making the reader aware that the poet has an important role and that it will be told from his point of view. The verb “imagine” balances between reality and fiction, which the reader will be doing during most of the poem, not sure if what the poet is saying is true or not.
“I imagine this midnight moment’s forest: Something else is alive Beside the clock’s loneliness And this blank page where my fingers move”
The poet uses enjambment right at the beginning, slowing down right away the the poem. However the “something else is alive” keeps the reader intrigued in what is going to happen next and what could be that “something”.
“Through the window I see no star: Something more near Though deeper within darkness Is entering the loneliness.”
The reader understands that there is a connection between the poet being in a room late at night and the darkness outside. The darkness can be a metaphor for the poet’s mind that is dark, with no thoughts for the moment but “something”, maybe an idea seems to stirring in his head, “entering the loneliness”. Using the word “something” keeps this poem mysterious, whatever the thing is. It does not have a shape, form or an outline yet.