Where are the Great Rabbit Poems?

It’s times like this, when I’m a bit short of ideas, that I think it’d be nice to blog about cats.   They’re clearly loved by many, judging by the number of cute snapshots of handsome cats, or links to new cat poems, that appear, daily, in multiple places on the internet.

As recently as this February, The Poetry Foundation included a prominent feature entitled Cat poems: Our feline friends reveal a sensory, and even spiritual, world beyond the human. (And that’s only the tip of the tail at The Poetry Foundation – run a search for ‘cat poems’ or ‘cat articles’ if you’re in need of more feline-related writing and you’ll soon feel as satisfied as the cat who got the cream.)

Yes, undoubtedly, a cat blog would be popular, and highly probable, IF I HAD A CAT.   But, sadly, owing to a cat allergy in our family, the pets of choice chez-nous are two fluffed-up rabbits, happily ensconced in a hutch (with run attached) in our garden. two rabbits outside

So how about a blog about rabbit poems?

They are the world’s third most popular pet but I’ve yet to see #rabbits or #rabbitpoems trending on Twitter.

A recent search on the excellent Poetry Archive revealed 18 poems about cats but only six about rabbits, and at least one of these was, in reality, referring to a hamster.    It seems to me that rabbit poetry is a woefully under-represented genre.

A search on PoemHunter.com led me to A Rabbit As King Of The Ghosts, a beautiful poem by Wallace Stevens which suggests, I think, that rabbits themselves are all too aware of the oppressive popularity of cats.

I’ll continue to forage for rabbit poems and if you unearth (unburrow?) any, perhaps you could let me know.

To be continued…

22 thoughts on “Where are the Great Rabbit Poems?”

  1. Oh dear – the only rabbit poem I can think of is Myxomatosis by Philip Larkin which is both a brilliant poem and about a rabbit – but probably not what you were looking for as a rabbit lover. Still – you have Watership Down – how many good cat novels are there?


  2. I have a rabbit poem – Thumper – in my 2010 collection, The floorshow at the Mad Yak Cafe, and an older one – A question of breeding – in an out-of-print collection, Mementoliths.


    1. How strange, Kim! The link works for me – please try again and let me know. I love your ‘Watership Down’ poem published in your book’If We Could Speak Like Wolves’ by the way!


    1. Hi timethief! There are more rabbit poems out there so I will be doing a follow-up post. But I hope nobody’s expecting cutsey bunny poems – the poems I’ve been sent so far are on the darker side.


  3. There’s always Ian Duhig’s The Lammas Hireling, but it’s about a hare. I was told recently that hares are more closely related to deer than they are to rabbits, but I don’t know what to believe any more! That hasn’t helped, has it? Sorry.


    1. Hi Isabel! I love Ian’s poem but it is about a hare as you say. I wasn’t being entirely serious when I titled this post, by the way, but several people have directed me to some brilliant rabbit poetry and I’ll be posting the links soon – also some poems 🙂


  4. That’s quite grim, Anthony! Clearly there are far more rabbit poems out there than I realised. Rebecca Goss alerted me to a poem by John Whale about Mary Toft who, in the 1700s, convinced eminent surgeons that she’d given birth to a litter of rabbits, and Polly Atkin has directed me to Alan Brownjohn’s poem ‘Last Rabbit in England’. Watch this space because several people have sent me some stunning rabbit poems and I’ll be posting them here very soon. As always, thank you for commenting 🙂


  5. Dear Josephine,

    Found this poem for you Called “Wild Rabbits” by Averil Stedeford
    2nd prize Bedford open competiton 2012-13

    Can be read on The Interpreter’s House website

    Best stephen


  6. “Reward”, the opening poem of Adelle Stripe’s superlative “Dark Corners of the Land” – sadly not available online but the collection is avaialable still form Blackheath Books


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