So far in this class I have enjoyed reading the Crow poems infinitely more than anything else. I love the religious undertones, the variation of the creation story, the exploration into sex and sexuality, and the binaries that are broken throughout the collection. There is a sensual, dirty, primal chaos to the poems that kept me not just reading but rereading.
Crow is instinctual, curious, a trouble maker, and a trickster. But these aren’t portrayed as necessarily bad things in the poems. Compared with the other animals that Hughes writes about I feel like Crow is much more personified, commanding, and active. Crow doesn’t have things happen to him; he happens to things. His power is limitless, but not necessarily divine.
Several theories have been brought up about the Crow poems in relation to Sylvia Plath. Though Hughes said he wrote the Crow poems to work through the devastation of Plath’s death, Heather Clark in “Crow and Counter-Revision” makes the argument that the Crow poems were revisions of Plath’s poetry. While I can understand why readers would be tempted to use biographical theory in interpreting these poems, I personally enjoyed using a New Critical approach.