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Horses by Edwin Muir

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Introduction

Horses by Edwin Muir This poem is about how that when Edwin was a small child his parents owned a farm and he would watch the horses.Thus, it is about a past memory which arises struggle and conflict inside the speaker's mind between dark and light , good and evil as well as purity and experience. The poem is highly symbolic one as it expresses the double aspects of nature which bares the wildness as well as innocence. The attitude of the poet in the poem is that he is scared of the horses as they frighten him as he says (They seemed terrible so wild and strange.) He starts the poem by saying that he was staring out of the window of his home and how that he was watching the horses working on the fields (Those lumbering horses in the steady plough.) Edwin seems to fear the horses as he remembers the size of them when he was a small boy he says (They seemed so wild and so strange.) ...read more.

Middle

Then near the end of the poem he says (Ah now it fades! It fades!) He users repetition to say that he is now come out of his dream of his youth spent on his family farm. Then in the last verse he says (Where the blank field and still standing tree.) He has visited the sight and that is all that is left of the farm. Therefore, the poem isn't only dealing with a childhood memory, but it is rather deeper as it tackles how those horses stood for evil and dark aspects of life .This is obviously shown when he used words and images like "apocalyptic , monsters, fire, dark" .Nevertheless, they also represent goodness in the use of words related to light "gleaming, serphum of gold ,glowing" which typically reflects life in general with its light and dark sides going together. Furthermore, the poet not just talking about a universal theme, he also recaptures a personal moment in his life when he used to see these horses and how as a child he reacted to them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their "rage" is invisible exactly as life with its dual faces that represent strong, powerful and fearful feelings. Language here is symbolic which reflect a more profound issue that deals with the dark aspect of God's creation which is at some time is beautiful and terrifying . The horses are described with exaggeration like beasts of supernatural power ,this is clear in words like "great hulks, monsters, magic power, mysterious fire". There is also sensual pleasure in words like "ecastatic , rapture" . The speaker's feeling reflects a mixture of fear and awe, the fear can be seen in "fearful presences, they seemed" .The awe is seen in the child's memories the speaker remembers , and their eyes as brilliant". The peom is divided into rhyming couplets .Many of the couplets are paradoxical ,for example the word "mill" and "still", the word mill implies speed and movement while 'still' implies silence and immobility.The word 'light' and 'night' in stanza six are paradoxical, they show the light interrupt the night. Some couplets depend on similarity like in words 'flakes and snake' it compares the twisted movement of flakes to the zigzag of the snake. ...read more.

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