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Never Cry Fox

The recent and truly horrific attack on young twins in their cot in London - apparently by a fox (subsequently caught and killed) - has raised an outcry, and a perhaps understandable desire to cull the more than 10,000 urban foxes who live in the city. Some animal experts claim foxes don't naturally hunt or attack humans, and this must have been an impossibly rare accident - perhaps caused by the young cub feeling trapped in the room. On the other hand, the parents describe a bold and fearless animal.

The upshot is the mayor of London has discussed perhaps ridding the city of these animals. To lose the urban fox would be a shame. Not only has it inspired several excellent poems, from Ken Smith, and Robert Minhinnick, to others, but the urban fox is in itself a wonderful creature that adds much to the environment.

Not vermin, then. One recalls the outcry against the Canadian Wolf, and Farley Mowat's book, Never Cry Wolf, in response, which "humanised" the beasts, and saved many of their lives.


puthwuth said…
How about ridding the city of children instead?
Todd Swift said…
David, I love this Swiftian reply.

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With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.