Containing more than a hundred poems by seventy-four poets of twenty-two nationalities, Say This of Horses represents the abundance of poems about horses that have been written throughout the ages and around the world. Whether probing the ages-old connection between horses and humans, the immediate physical presence of horses, or the metaphysical elements of these magnificent animals, this collection celebrates the horse as what Maxine Kumin calls “our enduring myth, the repository for our love and terror.”
Divided into six sections, Say This of Horses considers horses in a multitude of times and places. “Antiquity” explores the forging of the earliest mythical ties between horses and humans. “Here, Now” places horses in the present, where their physical presence is most acutely felt. “Esssence” explores the metaphysical qualities of horses. “Harnessed” contains a selection of poems about horses in war, at work, and in sport and recreation. “Mirrors” shows them as imaginative symbols. Finally, “Lenses” moves into the realm of abstraction and fantasy.
The selections within this far-reaching collection are joyous, moving, erudite, and at times profoundly sad. Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, W. S. Merwin, Tess Gallagher, Yusef Komunyakaa, Pablo Neruda, Anne Sexton, Wallace Stevens, May Sarton, Jane Kenyon, and James Dickey, among many others, are sure to delight and surprise readers familiar with or just exploring the rich literature on horses.
Guillaume Apollinaire, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, C.E. Greer, Donald Hall, Joy Harjo, Imru’ al-Qays, Ted Kooser, Philip Larkin, Ann McCarthy de Zavala, Rainer Maria Rilke, Patiann Rogers, William Carlos Williams