Thursday, November 10, 2011
He goes on to say:
"Why should I be less enthralled by any of these creatures than by a game bird? My answer is scarcely recondite, yet few will grasp it who have not traveled my kind of beautiful miles. And of course, indifferent or plain hostile to genuine hunting, that 's exactly what most people will never do. I preach to the small choir. To the great congregation my sermon is either an attenuated frontier romanticism or, more commonly, a bloodthirst tricked up as aesthetics.
It's true enough that I can't evade the fact of blood. A kill defines the hunt and all its subordinate objectives and agents, including the hunter: in that one moment, the path of an elusive and superbly equipped prey intersects with a human predatory capacity, both schematic and intuitive, mundane (which boots to bring, which shells?) and superstitious (hunt high ground in an east wing); and for that one moment, the world reveals a gorgeous coherency.
The anti-hunting propagandist is appalled by such a sacramental perspective, precisely because its icon is a bloodstain. Nor will the hobbyist sportsan read me rightly. I speak only to and for the passionate hunter, the one who regards this business as more than mere sport. Surrounded like everyone by a mechanized and abstractive culture, he appreciates how seldon human gesture can be unmediated, literal.
I've always understood all this somewhere in my soul, but I've need to come this far before bringing it to articulation, however imperfect." p. 25
Sounds right on to me.
Ps. Sidney Lea is the poet laureate of Vermont, you've got to love a state like this.