Having just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary I decided to dedicate a post to my dear husband who I fondly referred to as M.A. Fox, throughout our courting days. There is a story behind his nickname.... of course.
Fox Hunt by Ken Roko. See Etsy Shop, here.
One of the poems we had to learn at school was John Masefield's Reynard's Last Run, a poem about fox hunting which I found upsetting. When M, a complete stranger, sat down next to my desk during the first week of my first job (I was 18 and he was 28) he was not to know that I disliked the poem. He proceeded to recite one of the many verses of Reynard the Fox to me. If it hadn't been for his spectacular heart-fluttering grin and the fact that I was intrigued by this stranger's unusual pick-up line I would have turned away in embarrassment. The office secretary had warned me that a "playboy" had seen me waiting for my interview a month earlier and that he would be back to meet me when I started work. I worked in Town Planning on the 12th floor and he worked in staff section on the 3rd. He waited a few days for me to settle in before introducing himself and returned daily to recite a few more lines from the poem as a prelude to conversation.
On a day I wore a blue dress....
"In the bottom below a brook went by.
Blue, in a patch, like a streak of sky."
.... though he assures me that it was the red dress that captured his heart.... and he was hugely impressed that I was familiar with his favourite poem.
Rien Poortvliet (Remember the book Gnomes?)
Many of these quotes have become part of our lives. What I didn't realize then was the poem had 339 verses. At school we had studied a portion of the poem which ended on a question mark. Had the fox reached safety? It was highly unlikely but I was relieved to discover that the fox had in fact survived and as the years have gone by we have read and re-read all 339 verses and many of the lines have become my favourites too.
Walrus ivory Fox. Punuk or Thule, Princeton University Art Museum
The air blew rank with the taint of fox:
The yews gave way to a greener space
Of great stones strewn in a grassy place.
And there was his earth at a great grey shoulder
Sunk in the ground, of a granite boulder
A dry deep burrow with rocky roof,
Proof against crowbars, terrier-proof,
Life to the dying, rest for bones.
The earth was stopped; it was filled with stones.
Then, for a moment, his courage failed.
His eyes looked up as his body quailed,
Then the coming of death, which all things dread,
Made him run for the wood ahead.
- Reynard the Fox by John Masefield.
See whole poem and info here
Textile sculpture by Elisabeth Higgens O'Connor . Click here for website
Robert Janz. See more here
Martha Dimitropoulou (pine needles)
Red Fox by Renee Harris (embroidery, fabric, rice paper). Click for website
Fox Scarf by Sarena Huizinga. Click here.
Nighttime Garden Fox, hooked rug by Dulcy Stewart. Click here.
A Skulk of Foxes by Lawrence Cox. Click
Erica Salcedo. Website here and blog here