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Myxomatosis
The story behind the poem

When I was fifteen, which was when I wrote this poem, it was fairly common in the countryside to see rabbits afflicted with myxomatosis. They were just as I describe although I don't recall ever hearing one moan. At that age I had more sympathy for the pain of an animal than I did for that of a human being. Even so it was a cruel sight which made a deep impression on me. The poem engages the pathetic fallacy whereby the environs and even the weather reflect the suffering for which they provide the backdrop. I had not heard of this literary device at the time.

by Damaris West

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