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Senecio Jacobaea, Ragwort, or St James's Wort, or Stagger-Wort, or Stammer-Wort.      Date: early 20th century
Ragwort

 

Pull the ragwort

Get the roots out

Never let them lie

They will pay you

Twelve a penny

Lest the cattle die

 

 

© Janet Sutherland

Picture 10041033, illustration by Mabel E Step, Wayside and Woodland Blossoms, circa 1909

 

 

Janet Sutherland was born in Wiltshire and grew up on a dairy farm. She has written three books of poetry, most recently Bone Monkey (Shearsman, 2014) and is working on her fourth. Her poems are widely anthologised and recent poems have appeared in the New Statesman and The Spectator. 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.