Hamilton on Wolfhagen

In this response to a large oil painting in the collection, poet Allis Hamilton recalls her poem Hare, as having ‘writing itself onto my page’ after viewing Philip Wolfhagen’s Southern Vista I. As Allis describes, "there is no visible hare in Wolfhagen’s painting yet to me it felt like it was there, or could quite easily be there, in among the shadowy hedges of the landscape."


after Philip Wolfhagen's Southern Vista I




on the edge of wonder­,

bewildered by breath

in the nudging gloaming,

hides a hare in the thicket;

its calling no longer of light,

but of all the mystery of night.

Entrapped in more sorrow

than leaves in the woods,

the hare watches; haunted

by its last days,

dying in winter light,

going home to its lost self –

breathless at the forgetting

of so many spent days

frolicking in spring light,

leaping and gnawing

in the long grass – all going now

with its twitching breath;

its felt paws emptying.

Allis Hamilton

Local visual artist, poet and musician, Allis Hamilton is a member of CAM. Her poetry is published in UK and Australia, in places such as The Poetry Review, Meanjin, Southerly, Westerly, Overland and the Australian Poetry Journal and she has been guest poet at festivals and readings in London, and across Australia. Hamilton’s music and poetry were featured on BBC Radio 3 last year, and she has been a finalist in the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing. Hamilton currently lives off-grid in a tiny shack in the bush surrounded by animals.

Womindjika Woorineen willam bit
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Wokuk mung gole-bo-turoi
talkoop mooroopook

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home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people
we offer you people good spirit.
Uncle Rick Nelson

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