Saturday 29 December 2007


Ever since we had a pet rabbit (the adorable and much missed Anya) I have looked at rabbits in a new light. No longer are they almost a pest species, ten a penny in fields everywhere across the UK. Now they are adorable furry things with loads of personality. There is a colony of about twenty rabbits that lives on the hill below Edinburgh Castle. These rabbits are thin and scrawny, their heads bent to nibble the thin grass on the hill, only occasionally daring to go into Princes Street Gardens, where the grass is thicker but there are people around too. Over on Arthur's Seat, the rabbits seem better fed, sleeker as they scamper around the hill, glowing in the sunlight. When we visited Orkney, we saw brave bunnies who lived on the seacliffs, their burrows overlooking the sea.

I wrote a poem about Anya here. I'm currently reading my review copy of Poetry Speaks Expanded and was struck by this description of rabbits in Denise Levertov's poem Come into Animal Presence:

...............................The lonely white
rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
...the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence

Animal for Weekend Wordsmith


RG said...

Hello ... your poem about Anya did indeed capture a pet bunny!

Thanks for checking our site too. Yes, one wishes all society followed the "First, do no harm" motto!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

Levertov really has some amazing poems. Have quoted her several times; but this one is new to me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Having lived with my first house-rabbit for over two years now, I can certainly concur that rabbits are fascinating and full of personality. I think this is a little-known fact, especially among cat- and dog-people, and indeed before we adopted our bunny, I thought that rabbits were very cute but essentially dull. If anything, I would now say that they are too interesting, likely to get up to mischief at any moment and needing constant supervision, like a toddler, unless you can manage completely to rabbit-proof the entire flat, which is surely impossible.

The best place in Edinburgh that I’ve found so far for wild rabbits is Blackford Hill, judging by the number of rabbit toilets (neat but large piles of droppings) scattered around. Of course you’ll have to go there at dawn or dusk to spot the actual rabbits, since they hide well underground during peak dog-walking hours.

I wonder whether you and Mr Craftygreen plan to adopt another bunny. I’m very much in two minds as to whether I’ll want rabbits in the future, since they’re so demanding, although they’re so rewarding too. I suspect Ms Golebnik will have the casting vote on this though!

Mocca sends her regards …

Crafty Green Poet said...

Golebnik - we can't decide about a new bunny, you're right about them beign demanding, but they are great fun! Thanks for the link to your photos - those are excellent, i haven't a flikr account though so can't comment there! We'll need to check out Blackford Hill for bunnies then! Though I defintely recommend Johnston Terrace under the Castle at dusk for lots of bunnies!

Rabbits' guy - thanks!

Ascender - yes I really enjoy her poems too!

Anonymous said...

It's a funny thing, how these beasties are imagined by us. In Australia rabbits are an introduced pest, feral creatures doing untold damage to the natural ecosystems. When I see a bunny all I can think is..'yummy'.

Crafty Green Poet said...

gingatao - I'd hate rabbits if I were in Australia too. They were introduced here too by the Romans but are better controlled by our resident predators.

Janice Thomson said...

I like rabbits very much and had them when the kids were young - but I do remember with shock seeing them run up and down the hallways in the city of Victoria. Apparently they were over-run with them.
Loved the poem about Anya.

Deb said...

Your Anya was beautiful. I loved the poem, especially the last lines.

Levertov's description amazes. Thank you for posting it for us.


And thank you for your kind words about my dog. It meant a lot. I'm sorry I hadn't seen your posts about Anya and could offer the same, earlier.

Pearl said...

yes, living with an individual of a species will do that. :)

I have Poetry Speaks the original. Magical book.

Love the ending of your rabbit poem. Such whimsy and joy in sound and content.

Crafty Green Poet said...

janice - thanks! Yes I think rabbits can take over if they're unchecked!

Deb - thanks. I was very sad to read about your dog...

Pearl - thanks, glad you like Poetry Speaks, seems as though a lot of bloggers have bought it. I'm woring through the expanded version - the review will be up soon!