Horses by Edwin Muir

Those lumbering horses in the steady plough,

On the bare field-I wonder why, just now,

They seem terrible, so wild and strange,

Like magic power on the stony grange.

Perhaps some childish hour has come again,

When I watched fearful, through the blackening rain,

Their hooves like pistons in an ancient mill

Move up and down, yet seem as standing still.

Their conquering hooves which trod the stubble down

Were ritual that turned the field to brown,

And their great hulks were seraphim of gold,

Or mute ecstatic monsters on the mould.

And oh the rapture, when, one furrow done,

They marched broad-breasted to the sinking sun!

The light flowed off their bossy sides in flakes;

The furrows rolled behind like struggling snakes.

But when at dusk with streaming nostrils home

They came, they seemed gigantic in the gloam

And warm and glowing with mysterious fire

That lit their smouldering bodies in the mire.

Their eyes as brilliant and as wide as the night

Gleamed with a cruel apocalyptic light.

Their manes the leaping ire of the wind

Lifted with rage invisible and blind.

Ah, now it fades! It fades! And I must pine

Again for that dread country crystalline,

Where the black field and the still-standing  tree

Were bright and fearful presences to me.

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5 Responses to Horses by Edwin Muir

  1. Greg Davis says:

    A big truck’s a work horse
    Four wheelers are flies
    and there’s one thing for sure
    that a horse will despise
    They buzz up to quickly
    and get in your face
    seems like the Damn things
    are all over the place.
    From behind you they’ll pass
    then in front they’ll slow down
    The whole freeway’s a circus
    and the small car’s a clown.
    You turn on the blinker
    the signa stat (mechanical switch for turn signals in trucks) set
    one pulls up beside you
    you’re trapped in their net
    She wont let you over
    to let one get on
    cause she thinks she’s a Queen
    and you’re just a pawn.
    The one that’s behind you
    impatient and mad
    calls in your truck
    and says “you’ve been bad
    Then suddenly it happens
    You burst into rage
    accellerator down
    all horses engage!
    The big truck breaks free
    as it flies through the night
    but then you see Disco’s (Red and blue police lights)
    atop black and white!
    It takes you a long time
    to slow down and stop
    you should have known better
    but here comes the cop
    You beg and you plea
    and you try to explain
    but he just hands you the ticket
    and thinks you’re insane.
    Then back at the yard
    the job finally done
    the moral of this story….
    Relax and have fun.
    Written by Greg Davis :)

  2. pearl says:

    if you had an idea whereabouts i could find the analysis for this poem i would appreciate it. thankyou

  3. Karen Odoom says:

    I really need to get this cos i dont understand how the horese relates to his childhood memories and his father.

  4. brighta says:

    i dont get the poem “horses”

  5. JSMwaba says:

    brighta, Pearl and Karen try the teachers’ notes for some help

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