Crow's Fall

When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.

He got his strength up flush and in full glitter.
He clawed and fluffed his rage up.
He aimed his beak direct at the sun's centre.

He laughed himself to the centre of himself

And attacked.

At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,
Shadows flattened.

But the sun brightened—
It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.

He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.

"Up there," he managed,
"Where white is black and black is white, I won."

by Ted Hughes

Comments (3)

I suppose we all attack better and superior things and people in our jealousy, lose emphatically, and then attempt to save face by claiming a victory when the reality is that we are charred and blackened in defeat. If we claim that black is white, then we can claim that defeat is victory by the same topsy-turvy logic. I do it all the time! There's perhaps a little bit of Crow in all of us.
I think it's not necessary to read so deeply into this poem, to understand its profoundness. Crow could be transformed from white to black, and defeated absolutely, and this would not defeat its pride. It may well be about pride in his heart, as much as pride in anybody's heart. A crow can symbolize many things, dark, as it is. But a fallen crow, is darkest.
difficult poem, perhaps it's about that crow in his heart. Uday