Say This of Horses: A Selection of Poems

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.
Contributors include:
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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The physicality of horses and our attachments to them bring out the best in many of these poets, who describe them so tenderly their rippling flesh seems to come alive under our hands. This book is a solid, well-designed, and sometimes daring poetic representation of the history of and human response to horses.”—Dorianne Laux, author  Facts about the Moon

“Horses’ names remembered at a burial pasture; a stud pining for the mare whose kick fractured his cannon bone, a vicious but loved mare sent to auction, a vet’s-eye view of hard foaling, anticipations of dog food—this fine collection explores the heartache of horses along with their grace and their grandeur.”—Linda Woodbridge, Weiss Professor of English and the Humanities, Pennsylvania State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587295263
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Greer is professor of geography at Indiana University, where his research has focused on the human place in nature. He and his family have raised horses for various competitive and pleasure riding disciplines on a farm outside Bloomington since 1978. Jenny Kander is a founding member of the Bloomington Free Verse workshop and produces daily and weekly poetry programs for community and National Public Radio stations.

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Table of Contents


Foreword   Maxine Kumin     xiii
Preface     xv
Antiquity
The First Horse Prayer   Theodore Enslin     3
from "Burial of the Minnisink,"   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow     4
With the Flesh Remaining   Jean Monahan     5
Two Horses   W. S. Merwin     6
from "Cuchullin in His Chariot,"$dAncient Erse Legend     8
The Myth: Raison d'Etre   Pattiann Rogers     10
From Dread in the Eyes of Horses   Tess Gallagher     12
Horses and Men in Rain   Carl Sandburg     13
Here, Now
Hard Foaling   Michael List     17
Young Horses! Young Horses!   Paul Boldt     18
All through the Rains   Gary Snyder     19
The Grace of Geldings in Ripe Pastures   Maxine Kumin     20
After Rain   David Baker     21
Equus   C. E. Greer     22
Bareback   William Hathaway     24
After the X-Ray   Alison Brackenhury     25
[Terrible]   Lawrence Ferlinghetti     26
Dawn Feeding   Leslie Ullman     27
from"Horse Sense,"   William Hathaway     29
Amanda Dreams She Has Died and Gone to the Elysian Fields   Maxine Kumin     30
Healing the Mare   Linda McCarriston     31
Old Lilacs   Ted Kooser     32
At Grass   Philip Larkin     33
Thinking of Death and Dogfood   Maxine Kumin     34
Yellowjackets   Yusef Komunyakaa     36
Names of Horses   Donald Hall     37
An Elegy on the Death of Dobbin, the Butterwoman's Horse   Francis Fawkes     38
Elegy with a Bridle in Its Hand   Larry Lewis     40
Essence
Horses Graze   Gwendolyn Brooks     47
A Blessing   James Wright     48
The Sorrel   Roger Pfingston     49
Horses   Vizma Belsevica     50
You Can Lead a Horse to Water   Jean Monahan     51
Two Horses Playing in the Orchard   James Wright     53
The Horsemen   David Wagoner     54
The Judas-Horse   David Baker     55
The Bronco That Would Not Be Broken   Vachel Lindsay     57
The Appaloosa    Michael S. Weaver     59
Sending the Mare to Auction   Jana Harris     60
Horse   Jason S. Greer     61
Horses   Pablo Neruda     62
Horses in the Lake   Pablo Antonio Cuadra     63
from "The Golden Ode,"   Imru' al-Qays     65
Piano   Stanley Plumly     67
Feeding Horses   C. E. Greer     68
from "If Poetry Were Not a Morality,"   Tess Gallagher     69
Sonnet to Orpheus, 1:20   Rainer Maria Rilke     70
Horse   Anne Sexton     71
White Horses   Claude Wilkinson     72
Harnessed
The White Stallion   Umayyah Ibn Abi Salt     77
Say This of Horses   Minnie Hite Moody     78
Horse Description   Labid ibn Rabi'ah     79
The Battle of Lake Regillus   Thomas Babington Macaulay     80
from "Horses and Prisoners,"   James Dickey     82
Battle   Aleksandr Tkachenko     83
The Ballad of a Blind Pit Horse   Paul Zech     84
The Klipsan Stallions   Linda Bierds     85
The Trail Horse   David Wagoner     87
The Horse   William Carlos Williams     89
The Morning Track   Edward Parone     90
Morning Workout   Babette Deutsch     91
Polo Ponies Practicing   Wallace Stevens     93
The Horse-Pulling   May Sarton     94
Bronco Busting, Event #1   May Swenson     96
Stewball$dIrish Folk Song     97
Phaeton   Robin Becker     98
Two Horses   Roger Pfingston     99
Mirrors
Morning Once More   Joy Harjo     103
There Are Two Worlds   Larry Levis     104
Horses   Murilo Mendes     106
She Had Some Horses   Joy Harjo     107
I once knew a man   Lucille Clifton     109
The Summer of the Watergate Hearings   Maxine Kumin     110
Blue Cloud Rides Horses   Edgar Silex     111
In the Nursing Home   Jane Kenyon     112
Grazing Horses   Kay Ryan     113
Ice Horses   Joy Harjo     114
from "The Horse Fair,"   Robin Becker      115
On Looking at Stubbs's "Anatomy of the Horse,"   Edward Lucie-Smith     117
Neon Horses   Dorianne Laux     118
Horse in Amsterdam, after Rembrandt   Lawrence Ferlinghetti     120
Horse Collage   Jenny Kander     121
Caballos   Lola Haskins     122
The Horse in the Drugstore   Tess Gallagher     123
[Don't let that horse]   Lawrence Ferlinghetti     124
Lenses
Dream Horses   Nancy Willard     127
Southern Horses   Xi Chuan     128
We Are Riding   Rajzel Zychlinsky     129
Horse in the Cage   Stanley Plumly     130
White Horse of the Father, White Horse of the Son   William Pitt Root     131
Naked Boys on Naked Ponies   Pattiann Rogers     133
The Triangular Field   Stephen Dobyns     135
The Dusk of Horses   James Dickey     136
Horsehair Insulation   Jean Monahan     138
from "Sitting in a Small Screenhouse on a Summer Morning,"   James Wright     140
Ponies   Lauris Edmond     141
The Horse   W. S. Merwin     142
Pegasus   Varlam, Shalamov     143
Horses   W. S. Merwin     144
The Thunder of Silence   Mihai Ursachi     145
Contributors     147
Permissions     159
Index     165
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