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Interpretation Of Muir's Horses Essay

598 words - 2 pages

Interpretation of Muir's Horses


My interpretation of Edwin Muir's poem entitled "Horses" is one of a past memory and the conflict and anger brought about by this memory , a conflict between light and darkness, good and evil in the mind of a elderly dying man, fearing death as he gazes out across a field. The memory being that of a day from his past, where he as a child farm worker watched a team of horses ploughing the stubble back into the field during a rainy day which gets progressively more stormy. The horses making their way to and fro across the field leaving furrows, the setting sunlight breaking through the clouds picking out images in the distance. Images getting darker and more vivid as the horses drew nearer. A symbolic religious conflict being acted out between good and evil with almost mythological qualities, leading to a crescendo of images eventually fading to the old man lamenting and wishing to be as that child, at the beginning of his life with all the purity and innocence that children have.


The poem has the distant images of horses as a theme. These horses are then developed from distant images to full blown religious similes in full conflict. The poem is in the form of a four line verse with an almost constant AA BB rhyme. The line lengths are constant but some lines do run on into the next. The rhythm of the poem begins with a slow pace, this is suggested by the word "lumbering" in line 1, then the piece begins to slowly pick up the tempo at line 13. This tempo to me then builds with each successive line until a climax is reached with line 24. The poet then purposely puts the brakes on the...

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