The Corner


The British poet Philip Larkin (1922-1985) wrote a poem called “Myxomatosis,” which was the name of an animal disease deliberately introduced by British scientists to cull the rabbit population. The poem is written in the voice of a man (Death) approaching a fevered, dying and unaware rabbit, to put it out of its misery.

Caught in the centre of a soundless field

While hot inexplicable hours go by

What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?

You seem to ask.

I make a sharp reply,

Then clean my stick. I’m glad I can’t explain

Just in what jaws you were to suppurate

You may have thought things would come right again

If you could only keep quite still and wait.

This poem, its last two lines in particular, make me think of all the hopeful people in Europe and North America who believe that the deadly scourge of Islamofascism armed with weapons of mass destruction can be fended off without having to fight.


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