Drawn from Ted Hughes's celebrated programs for the BBC's "Listening and Writing" series, Poetry in the Making is a fresh, student-friendly discussion of what Hughes calls "imaginative writing." Offering generous citations from the work of several English-speaking, mostly modern or contemporary poets--including Hopkins, Dickinson, Eliot, Larkin, Plath, and himself--Hughes provides a useful and readable primer on "the kind of [poetry] writing children can do without becoming false to themselves." Like Kenneth Koch's classic Wishes, Lies, and Dreams, Poetry in the Making presents new ideas on how children and other beginners might best compose their own poems while also presenting candid, and more general, insights that all students and scholars of the art or craft of verse will find inspiring.
And although these pieces were primarily intended to help students improve their creative writingn abilities, they are also an effective introduction to Hughes's own work and the influences other writers have had on him. Hughes, who was Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II at the time of his death 1998, casually and colorfully discusses how he came to write, what inspires him (and why), and the difficulties that he (and other writers) confront when writing.