Friday, 5 September 2008

Hare care

This discussion of Charlotte Mew’s The Farmer’s Bride has been going on at the Guardian books blog this week. It’s a fine poem, I think, and well worth a close reading. I don’t share the reservations of some about the attempt to capture the farmer’s speech, and I don’t think it goes too far towards pathos. But I was interested too by some of the other directions the discussion takes – hares and their mythological connections (they're my favourite British mammal*, although it was only fairly recently I read that the Brown Hare is non-native - it was the Mountain Hare the Celts were thinking of); the wonderful folk song The Bonny Black Hare (I've written about Fairport Convention's version before); and Ian Duhig's equally fine poem The Lammas Hireling - it's all worth reading.

* I don't see too many, although the wide, rolling fields around Blatherwycke in Northants always seem to turn up a few when I'm out Red Kite watching. But earlier this year, as I was driving along the narrow lane from Eyebrook Reservoir towards Stockerston, a young Hare was sitting in the road. It showed no inclination to move, and I wondered if it was injured. But it finally slipped through the fence, and then waited as I pulled alongside, and was able to watch it from a few feet away. Eventually, it proved its rude health to my satisfaction by exploding into a lightning fast dash across the field to cover.

1 comment:

Kirk Wisebeard said...

They have some very big hares near Blatherwycke.....