Analyze the poem “October Dawn” by Ted Hughes.

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In Ted Hughes's “October Dawn,” the poet returns once again to the theme of the raw power of nature. Though man may think he has tamed nature, it in actual fact still has the power to take control, as it will do in a future ice age.

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The raw power of nature is a recurring theme in the poetry of Ted Hughes, and we see it openly on display in “October Dawn.” Here, Hughes seeks to challenge the arrogant, complacent attitude of a man in relation to his natural environment.

All too often, we like to think that we've tamed nature, brought it under control. But Hughes wants to remind us that our civilization, which he likens to “a glass half full of wine,” is still vulnerable to nature's reasserting herself in the form of another ice age.

Everything neatly carved out of nature by man, such as the lawn and “the whistling green / Shrubbery,” is under severe threat from the reassertion of control by Mother Nature that an ice age would represent.

The speaker uses the apocalyptic word “doomed” to describe the fate of the green and the shrubbery, highlighting the destructive, irresistible power of nature in stark contrast to the inherent vulnerability of that which we ourselves have created out of the raw material of the natural world.

Just as the lawn is “overtrodden and strewn” with ice, so too will be the planet as a whole when the next ice age strikes. Then the earth will once again resound to the triumphant footsteps of mammals long since extinct, such as the mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger.

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