When sorrows come, Hares and poems.

I was struggling to focus on my work a couple of days ago, mostly due to my sorrows having a day of battalions rather than single spies…So I sat down and made something with my scraps of self made collage paper just to be making something. I can’t walk much right now so it seemed the only viable alternative to spending time in the woods. I hoped it would help me find a way back into my work. It did.

I posted it to twitter and someone said who liked it said it reminded them of a medieval poem called ‘The Names of the Hare’ And that Seamus Heaney had done a beautiful translation of it.

I found both the original and the translation by Seamus Heaney.

Here they are. I think they and this image were somehow made for each other.

Original poem

The mon that the hare i-met
Ne shal him neuere be the bet
Bote if he lei doun on londe
That he bereth in his honde—
Be hit staf, be hit bouwe—
And blesce him with his helbowe.
And mid wel goed devosioun
He shal saien on oreisoun
In the worshipe of the hare;
Thenne mai he wel fare.
The man the hare has met
will never be the better of

And Heaney’s translation

The man the hare has met
will never be the better of it
except he lay down on the land
what he carries in his hand—
be it staff or be it bow—
and bless him with his elbow
and come out with this litany
with devotion and sincerity
to speak the praises of the hare;
Then the man will better fare.

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