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Picture 13450401, The Running of the Hare, linocut print by Robert Gillmor, image copyright Mary Evans / Robert Gillmor

They drove the hare from its form
by Janet Sutherland

 

When it be cas’d … cut it into little pieces, lard them here and there*

 

shy brown hare

tucked into earth

 

by blackthorn

brake

 

where trembling

grasses surge

 

heart-stung

to startled g|race

 

 

© Janet Sutherland

Picture 13450401, The Running of the Hare, linocut print by Robert Gillmor, image copyright Mary Evans / Robert Gillmor

 

 

* Note to the epigraph: Hannah Glasse (1708–1770) was an English cookery writer. The instruction “First catch your hare” is sometimes wrongly attributed to her, but her recipe for roast hare begins “Take your hare when it be cas’d”, meaning simply to take a skinned hare.

 

 

Janet Sutherland was born in Wiltshire and grew up on a dairy farm. She has written four poetry collections, most recently Home Farm (Shearsman, 2019). Her fifth, The Messenger House, in which this poem appears, will be published by Shearsman Books in early 2023. Her poems are widely anthologised and recent poems have appeared in the New Statesman, The Spectator and Long Poem Magazine.  She won the 2017 Kent and Sussex Poetry Prize and received a Hawthornden Fellowship for 2018.  Her essay ‘Reznikoff and his Sources’ appeared as an afterword to the Black Sparrow (US) and Five Leaves (UK) editions of Reznikoff’s Holocaust.  A founder member of Needlewriters writers’ cooperative, she lives in Lewes, East Sussex.

 

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