Being hunted is surprisingly easy.
You would think you would lose
Your concentration on what you want
To think about. Not so. Or that
The sound of the wind in the high fir tops
Would come to signify only
Fear. No. That wind blows straight
To wherever the pleasure in wind
Reaches, the sound of hardship
And of solitude when neither
Is pressing—€”evocation
Rather than experience. Evocation
Overcomes experience. Experience
Is less experience, sometimes,
Than the notion of another life€—€”
One you’€™ve never had, or did have
So long ago you were someone else. Birds
Likewise. They fly in and among
The pains of persecution
And dispel those pains. What
Pains? And gradually it doesn’t
Matter to you that you are hunted
And known in the main by the hunter’s
Wrong emphases. How well the hunter
Scrutinizes field-marks, but field-marks
Have nothing to do with evocation:
The scars of experience, they’€™re simply
Those. Perhaps if the hunter aims
At experience and its field-marks
He will miss, and you—€”you may
Escape, being a creature of evocation
And thus not subject to the hunt.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Hunted”?

Love and death, the usual. Also, of course, the glamour of language and the world.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Hunted”?

Slant rhyme, a mixture of contemporary and archaic diction, a degree of obscurity so excessive that naturally even I could not understand it—let alone anybody else.

This poem “Hunted” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 184 (Spring 2005): 26-26.

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