View Of A Pig

  • This was written by the late Ted Hughes, most famous, I think, for being the husband of Sylvia Plath:

    The pig lay on a barrow dead.
    It weighed, they said, as much as three men.
    Its eyes closed, pink white eyelashes.
    Its trotters stuck straight out.

    Such weight and thick pink bulk
    Set in death seemed not just dead.
    It was less than lifeless, further off.
    It was like a sack of wheat.

    I thumped it without feeling remorse.
    One feels guilty insulting the dead,
    Walking on graves. But this pig
    Did not seem able to accuse.

    It was too dead. Just so much
    A poundage of lard and pork.
    Its last dignity had entirely gone.
    It was not a figure of fun.

    Too dead now to pity.
    To remember its life, din, stronghold
    Of earthly pleasure as it had been,
    Seemed a false effort, and off the point.

    Too deadly factual. Its weight
    Oppressed me—how could it be moved?
    And the trouble of cutting it up!
    The gash in its throat was shocking, but not pathetic.

    Once I ran at a fair in the noise
    To catch a greased piglet
    That was faster and nimbler than a cat,
    Its squeal was the rending of metal.

    Pigs must have hot blood, they feel like ovens.
    Their bite is worse than a horse’s—
    They chop a half-moon clean out.
    They eat cinders, dead cats.

    Distinctions and admirations such
    As this one was long finished with.
    I stared at it a long time. They were going to scald it,
    Scald it and scour it like a doorstep.

    November 28th, 2012 | journalpulp | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

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