This month we were inspired by poems about foxes from Ted Hughes, Alice Oswald and R Williams Parry (below) .

The first fox over the line was Alison’s – such a quick brown fox that it out-foxed us by arriving early and going to ground, as foxes do, before popping up again!

This was followed by Rachel’s foxy fellow inspired by the Welsh poem Y Llwynog by R Williams Parry. And next was Trish’s carefree fox dashing through the undergrowth! And then Chrissie’s, inspired by Ted Hughes’ The Thought Fox, appeared out of the snow…

His red fur slid over the ridge;

It happened, it ended, like a shooting  star.

Y Llwynog

Y Llwynog

Ganllath o gopa’r mynydd, pan oedd clych

Eglwysi’r llethrau’n gwahodd tua’r llan,

Ac annrheuliedig haul Gorffennaf gwych

Yn gwahodd tua’r mynydd, – yn y fan,

Ar ddiarwybod droed a distaw duth,

Llwybreiddiodd ei ryfeddod prin o’n blaen

Ninnau heb ysgog ac heb ynom chwyth

Barlyswyd ennyd; megis trindod faen

Y safem, pan ar ganol diofal gam

Syfrdan y safodd yntau, ac uwchlaw

Ei untroed oediog dwy sefydlog fflam

Ei lygaid arnom. Yna heb frys na braw

Llithrodd ei flewyn cringoch dros y grib;

Digwyddodd, darfu, megis seren wîb.

The Fox – R Williams Parry  (Translated)

One hundred yards from the top of the mountain, when the peal

Of the churches on the slopes were inviting us towards them,

And the unspent sun of glorious July

Inviting us towards the mountain – right there,

On an unknowing foot and quiet trot

His rare beauty wandered in front of us

We, without movement and without a breath

Were paralysed a moment, like a trinity of stones

We stood, when in the middle of an uncaring step

He too stood frozen in space, above

His one tentative foot the two steady flames

Of his eyes upon us. Then, without hurrying or panic

His red fur slid over the ridge;

It happened, it ended, like a shooting  star.

R Williams Parry 


Thought Fox

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive 

Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move. 

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near

Though deeper within darkness

Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed. 

Ted Hughes


I heard a cough

as if a thief was there

outside my sleep

a sharp intake of air

a fox in her fox-fur

stepping across

the grass in her black gloves

barked at my house

just so abrupt and odd

the way she went

hungrily asking

in the heart’s thick accent

in such serious sleepless

trespass she came

a woman with a man’s voice

but no name.

Alice Oswald

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