Image by Kitty Sullivan

The hare as witch animal

David Harsent


The hare as witch animal

David Harsent


Poem introduction

In my eighth book Marriage there's a sequence called 'Lepus', and here the hare, dissatisfied with an occasional appearance in my work, has elbowed her way centrestage. The titles are taken from section headings in a work by John Layard called the Lady and the Hare, a book I've been reading on and off since I was in my teens. It's both a psychoanalytical study of a woman who was having hare dreams and a cultural history of the hare. In legend, of course, the hare was often said to be a witch's familiar, and this poem is called 'The hare as witch animal'.

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