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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 8 years ago

How do you like my serious poem?

Inspired by one of those questions that comes up every so often : What is your power animal ? And by Seamus Heaney's poem The Names of the Hare. It is about my favourite animal, that haunts the hills where I live and gets a white coat in Winter.


Mountain Hare, Blue Hare,

Old Miss Grey, Young Miss White .....

The ghost of Winter

With one foot in spring

White when the hill has turned green

Still invisible.

Little Miss Distance, Turncoat,

Heather Duster, Disappearing Act .....

Who travels in time but stands outwith

Who has made a deal with Old Mother Scotland

Who has twenty one gears but rarely needs them all

Who could go a lot faster

Who is not a rabbit

Nor a lamb

Nor a stone.

Who will use a path if there is one

Fly an inch above the heather if there is not

Explode at our feet and be a distant statue

Before we can say any of her names.

Snow Rocket, Windcheater,

Ghost for all Seasons .....

Who leaves footprints white

Upon white just to show

She can touch the ground.

Strangeness, Charm,

Our Friend On The Hill,

Little Secret .....

Who can become two hares

In two places at once

Hide behind the Moon at midday

Slip between this world and the next

Taking us with her

Before we can say Lepus Timidus,

Another of her names.


@synposis : I agree the last line sounds a bit trite. What could I put instead ? The full Latin name Lepus Timidus Scoticus ? Or nothing at all (finishes on Timidus) ?

Update 2:

OK. Timidus it is then. Maybe a little free verse self-indulgence and give it a line all of it's own ?

Before we can say Lepus


(Might suggest a lame attempt to capture the hare by saying its name, and missing by a mile.)

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Constructing an entire poem out of kennings (different ways of saying the same thing, especially of naming an object) was popular in lots of dark age poetry. In celtic poems it was almost a distinct form, and in Welsh the technique (called dyfalu) is still used by modern poets such as Euros Bowen.

    You can hardly go wrong with such a poem: the form stops sentiment or emotional haze (the two great wreckers of most poetry) from intruding, as long as you use it ruthlessly.

    I enjoyed this quite a lot. I think one can do more with dyfalu (it is possible to structure the form, to give the poem direction: Dafydd ab Edmwnd's I Wallt Merch is one of my favourite examples). I think you should consider ways you can direct this technique in your future work.

    But even just giving the technique its head often produces a poem full of colour and detail. I think you have done that here. I enjoyed this a great deal, and I have already read it several times over.

    I don't think you need the last line; anyone clever enough to get a grip on the poem can work that out for herself.

    But it is probably the best thing posted here so far this year. Keep up the good work.


    'Timidus' is a good place to end this poem; (especially for folk who know a little Latin).

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    That was outstanding! x

    Funny, today I was talking to a friend about how I do not like poems, as I never see one that truly makes me stop... and want to immerse my self in the story it tells x Well, maybe that it why I found you and your poem? Cause my opinion has totally changed from reading your work :) x This really is, in my eyes, one of the best poems I have ever read. Its like a work of art ^^ x A quote I think I should say about this, is "The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery", I truly believe its a work of art and does create my imagination to want to experience the mystery :) x

    Congratulations on your work, it really is amazing. I may only be 16 and may not know a lot about poetry, but this is my honest opinion :) x

    Thank you for brightening my day, Alice x

    Source(s): None, the poem itself founded my (personal) answer x
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  • 8 years ago

    I do like your serious poem and pleased to see The Duck in flight. The Duck can write. Very much enjoyed this piece and saw the wonderful imagery of hares tearing across the purple heather (well it was in my mind) as well as snow covered ground. Like how you approached this piece and also of course the critique given by Synopsis which is always so informative.

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  • 8 years ago

    Since my taste for poetry remains stunted at the dirty limerick phase, I shall refrain from answering so that better critics may speak. I will just say that I am glad to see the Lemsip Max doing its job.

    Also I really liked the line "Explode at our feet and be a distant statue".

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  • 8 years ago

    "Never, never ever

    was the hare so un-together

    as to rove the wild puce heather

    lending glimpse of her wild wide homes.

    Her magic unassailable,

    her instincts fair, to all - untrainable,

    her innate value, only available

    to her true lovers, and their poems.

    Ill-wind attempt to trap her joys,

    she has many a `bad-him` time;

    `Tis complimentary to her fleet

    of foot, that you have wrought such rhyme -


    Source(s): Inspired by the questioner`s deeply meaningfuls poem.
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  • 8 years ago

    A wonderful poem which took me by surprise.

    A poet you are Sir, and one with 'hidden' talents.

    A pretty pleasing poem...Thank you for sharing.

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  • 8 years ago

    Between this Q & another I just recently answered, I'm craving jellied rabbit something fierce...

    It's nice, poems & me...well...sorry, can't give any technical advice other than it's nice...LOL

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  • 8 years ago

    This makes me re,member Watership Down. I was 5 when I decided that I am, in fact, Fiver.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Ace! Loved it! And down to earth too - love the grounding phrases!


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