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Ted Hughes and his wife Sylvia Plath left the US and settled down in a small flat in London. It was here that their daughter Frieda - named after D.H.Lawrence's wife - was born in April 1960. Both the parents revelled in observing the physical and mental growth of their daughter. A new surge of creative energy was released in both of them and a series of poems was the result. In the autumn of 1961 they moved to a larger house in a village in Devon. It was here that most probably this poem was written.
The poem describes very movingly and vividly Ted Hughes' excitement in observing his daughter's joy and surprise at seeing a full moon suddenly coming into her view against the canvas of a picturesque English countryside. Its that time of the evening when the cows - described as "a dark river of blood, many boulders" because of their dark brown colour- are returning home and its just the time when the evening dew is about cover the countryside. Up in the sky the first star of the evening is about to appear, "to tempt a first star to a tremor," just then Frieda on seeing the full moon exclaims in childish joy "moon!"
In the last two lines Ted Hughes imagines that the moon looks down from the sky like an artist who admires the painting he has just completed painting. Just as Ted Hughes the poet has created a beautiful picturesque painting of the English countryside with words the moon is compared to the artist who has painted the same picture with its beautiful moonlight. And of course the centre of attraction in the moon's artistic creation is Frieda.
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