Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Here you will find reviews of, selections from, and commentaries concerning books, many of which don't even appear on Amazon's radar. But what goldmines for the literate foxhunter!

The Fox’s Morning

the foxs morningThe Fox's Morning & Other Stories, W.H. DeCourcy Wright, edited by Ann L. McIntosh, illustrated by Peggy Kauffman, The Elkridge-Harford Hunt, Maryland, 2010, 106 pages, $33.00It is possible that the fox was not content with such a diet as nature has provided for him, but chose to invade the domain of man, and to filch from an ill-protected roost of chickens, a matronly hen, whose eggs had been helping to fill the basket of some thrifty farmer’s wife. Pleasure would be too mild a word to employ in describing the fox’s sensations resulting from a successful venture of this kind. Wild rapture would be more appropriate, with a dash of sneering derision and scornful mockery of humankind, whose efforts at poultry raising the wild animal finds so interesting. In any event, it is probable that he welcomes the pale light of dawn as a signal for him to relax.

Hark! Old Horse

carla hawkiinson.41Carla Hawkinson, MFH with her soulmate, Forty-One, her inspiration for the poem / Joy Bragg This poem was first published in the Summer 2008 issue of Covertside when I was editor of that magazine. It was re-published in 2013 (the year the old horse passed away) in Foxhunting Life. It’s time for a reprise, if only to remind our readers that there are some excellent contemporary sporting poets still among us, though precious few.

The horse, Forty-One, died at age twenty-seven. He hunted the better part of nineteen seasons for the author, who was MFH of the Tennessee Valley Hunt.

At Galway Races

william butler yeatsWilliam Butler Yeats“At Galway Races” was written in Coole Park, Lady Gregory's house, in 1908 after the poet had spent a day at the Galway Race Meeting. That is over a century ago but the wish it expresses is the same as that expressed by the new Minister for the Arts in Ireland, Heather Humphries, in a recent radio interview. It is a wish that is shared by virtually all artists, literary and otherwise, however 'elitist' they're supposed to be: "Art for everybody." And it is one that Yeats expressed often in prose and poetry.

AT GALWAY RACES

The Ballad of the Foxhunter

william butler yeats 1865 1939 charcoal by John Singer Sargent.Wikimedia Commons.smallWilliam Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), charcoal drawing by John Singer Sargent / Wikimedia CommonsSomething happened to William Butler Yeats on his way to becoming a painter...in the footsteps of his father. He decided he liked writing poetry better. Certainly he was a favorite of most of the English teachers I’ve ever had, but I don’t remember any of them assigning his foxhunting poems for study! Yeats was born in Ireland, so the foxhunting came naturally.

“Now lay me in a cushioned chair
And carry me, you four,
With cushions here and cushions there,
To see the world once more.