Oh I definitely plant my banner in the soil next to Dylan Thomas. I've never really enjoyed Hughes; that whole fixation with the barbarity of nature - far too 'blood and soil' for my liking. Not that Thomas isn't fairly bound to the earth as well.
But here's the thing; regardless of content, Hughes just doesn't sound
as good as Thomas. Read virtually any Dylan Thomas poem aloud to yourself, and you'll begin to feel enmeshed in the syllables, trapped by them. The rhythm of his poetry is undeniable to anyone capable of being moved by the sound of words. In Wales, its not crows or foxes or even wolves you have to beware when you stumble sheepishly across the page; its the black and white man-trap - the unstoppable phrase.
(Many thanks to Kathryn for making me read 'In Country Sleep' a long time ago)