Edward James Hughes, known as "Ted" Hughes in literary criticism and biography, was an English poet born on August 17, 1930 who died on October 28, 1998. The first reason he is described as modern is that he lived and wrote in the twentieth century, or the "modern" period, rather than antiquity or the middle ages. In terms of language, he uses "modern" as opposed to Old or Middle English.
Traditional English poetry through the end of the nineteenth century was written in fixed metrical patterns, with regular rhythms and often regular rhyme schemes as well. Hughes, like many other "modern" poets, favors free verse in most of his work.
Rather than using ornate, distinctively poetic diction, Hughes uses ordinary language, often rooted in his experience of the landscape of his native Yorkshire. His setting and subject matter are the lives of ordinary people and animals rather than the elevated experiences and subjects often associated with heroic or romantic poetry. Hughes is also modern in his mixing of earthy, concrete detail with a mythological imagination.