Drystone Wall with Light falling through


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Table of Contents

Note: Cave Birds exists in various different versions several limited edition prints to the trade edition version. The contents listing for the limited edition (below) are quote from Sagar/Tabor.

Cave Birds (1978 trade ed.)

The Scream

The Summoner

After the First Fright

The Interrogator

She Seemed So Considerate

The Judge

The Plaintiff

In These Fading Moments I Wanted to Say

The Executioner

The Accused

First, the Doubtful Charts of Skin

The Knight [from the ltd. ed.]

Something was Happening

The Gatekeeper [from the ltd. ed. with revisions]

A Flayed Crow in the Hall of Judgement [from the ltd. ed. with revisions]

The Baptist [from the ltd. ed. with revisions]

Only a Little Sleep, a Little Slumber

A Green Mother [= "A Loyal Mother in the ltd. ed.]

As I Came, I Saw a Wood

A Riddle [based on "Incomparable Marriage" from the ltd. ed.]

The Scapegoat [= "The Culprit" from the ltd. ed.]

After There was Nothing Came a Woman

The Guide [from the ltd. ed. with revisions]

His Legs Ran About

Walking Bare [from the ltd. ed. with revisions]

Bride and Groom Lie Hidden for Three Days

The Owl Flower [= "The Good Angel" from the ltd. ed.]

The Risen


Cave Birds Limited editions (1975/1978)

[the following is from Sagar/Tabor]

» A Death-Stone Crow of Carrion: The Knight
A Maze Pelican: The Baptist
A Flayed Crow: The Hall of Judgement
A Double Osprey: The Gatekeeper
A Sunrise of Owl: A Loyal Mother
A Monkey-Eating Eagle: Incomparable Marriage
A Stud Cockerel Hunted in a Desert: The Culprit
A Scarecrow Swift: The Guide
A Crow of Prisms: Walking Bare
An Owl Flower: The Good Angel.

Of the approximately 25 out-of-series copies, ten were embellished in March 1979 with three original water colours by Baskin and three holograph poems by Hughes, and lettered A to J. […] The poems are as follows:

Copy A:
Bride and Groom Lie Hidden for Three Days
After There was Nothing There was a Woman
The Hen

Copy B:
The Advocate
Two Dreams in the Cell

Copy D:
The Swans
The Executioner
A Dove

Copy E:
The Fierce Osprey

Copy G:
Grabbery as Usual
His Legs Ran About

Copy J:
Evening Thrush
Black Back.

One of the remaining copies contains
The Macaw
Kingfisher, and

Another contains
Shrike, and
The Lame Flamingo Bathes its Knees.

We have no information on the other two. The bird poems here are early drafts of poems intended for A Primer of Birds.« [quoted from Sagar/Tabor]