‘Mayday On Holderness’ Stanza Two
By Ted Hughes
In the poem, “Mayday on Holderness”, Ted Hughes analyses the relationship between man and nature. The theme of the second stanza is strongly focused on death, playing a part of the poem’s overall theme - the cycle of life. Another focus point of the stanza is the eternal being of nature and man’s need for it.
Hughes picks up on the inferiority of mankind in comparison to “unkillable” nature. Hughes conveys the idea that nature is immortal and lives off our deads’ remains, we see this through the listing of “tributary graves” being part of what the North Sea “swallows”. This imagery is morbid and voices Hughes’ anti-pastoral feeling. He uses this poem to establish that nature is not…show more content… Yet, we need nature to keep everything in equilibrium and without it we would not survive. The river is accepting and making use of what humans discard or have no use for, for example, the river swallows up all: “bog pools, dregs of toadstools”. The way Hughes calls the river Humber “Sheffield’s ores” is another reference to the importance of industry and also that nature is used by mankind in the same way Sheffield uses ores;