No. 65, Ancient Britons (November 2013)

Please click on link to download the issue (No. 65, Ancient Britons)

Table of Contents:

01.       Graves, The White Goddess (1948)

02.       Wikipedia, Four Derivations of Badger (2013)

03.       Elmer, Portrait of the Poet as a Dead Badger (2013)

I               The Stranger

II              A Dead Fox

III             The Skull

IV             A Dead Badger

V              Pilgrimage

VI             The Poet

04.       Anon, Anglo-Saxon Riddle (c. 960-990)

05.       Clare, The Fox (1836-37)

06.       Clare, The Badger (1836-37)

07.       Thomas, The Coombe (1914)

08.       Hughes, The Thought-Fox (1957)

09.       Hughes, Coming Down Through Somerset (1975)

10.       Hughes, Foxhunt (1975)

11.       Hughes, A Solstice (1978)

12.       Heaney, Badgers (1979)

13.       Kearns, Lockjaw (2013)

14.       Bêcheur, Badger (2013)

15.       Cohen, Writ of Outlawry (2013)

16.       Elmer, Badger Hunting (2013)

The arguments for the badger cull put forward by this government are motivated not by the scientific evidence for its affectivity but by the subsidisation of farming in the U.K. and the cost of compensating farmers for slaughtered cattle. The scientific community has said as much. But for the farmer whose cattle is threatened by the tuberculosis that only 30% of badgers carry, the badger is more than a pest that threatens his livelihood. Like the fox, the badger is one of the last remaining creatures outside of our control, beyond our ken, a wild and untameable beast that inhabited these isles long before man’s domestication of animals as livestock. Like a rebellious worker outside the farm’s factory gates, the badger represents the freedom we desire and fear. He is not an investment to be bought and sold at a profit. He does not labour to increase the wealth of his owners. He has no use in a world in which use has become the primary measure of value. If the fox, as Hughes said, is the magician of the wood, the badger is its poet, and for that reason, ultimately, the government plans to kill 100,000 of them over the next five years. 

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