Monday, April 13, 2009

That was a surprise

Over the weekend's ramblings I picked up a copy of a 1950s sci-fi action story about a man made out of iron, clearly intended to get young boys to read, and I thought, ohhhh! What a larf!

Not so much of a larf in fact. It was really well written. In fact the cadence of each sentence was carefully controlled, building as the action built, slowing for suspense, stopping short for shock. It begged to be read out loud. I'm not much of a girl for poetry but I recognized these words as a prose version of it, and I was curious about who wrote it.

One Ted Hughes, as it turned out. As I say I'm not much of a girl for poetry so it took a moment for me to remember where I'd heard that name before, and I suppose it's a sad reflection on Ted Hughes that the first glimmer of recognition was when the name Sylvia Plath dropped into my head (followed by an image of Gwyneth Paltrow, which is sad in its own way.) So, being neither a boy nor small during the 1950s I completely missed out on the fact that Ted Hughes wrote quite a few fine children's books including this one, The Iron Man. And the next one I'm going to hunt up is The Iron Woman.

1 comment:

st. jude said...

One upside of my having gotten sucked into that Caitlin Flanagan article about Alec Baldwin's parenting skills (whyyyyy????) was this line about Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy". Apparently Plath's real life daddy's "greatest crimes against humanity consisted of writing a book about bumblebees and siring Sylvia Plath". ha ha.