A captivating anthology that celebrates one of nature’s most majestic creatures and the age-old bond between humans and horses.
All kinds of equine characters grace these pages, from magnificent warhorses to cowboys’ trusty steeds, from broken-down nags to playful colts, from wild horses to dream horses. We encounter the famous Trojan horse in Virgil’s Aeneid, and then see it from a wholly different perspective in Matthea Harvey’s whimsical “Inside the Good Idea.” Longfellow’s Paul Revere defies an empire on the back of a horse, while Shakespeare’s Richard III vainly offers his kingdom for one. Robert Burns’s “Auld Farmer” dotes affectionately on his aging mare, while the mares of the king of Corinth in Paul Muldoon’s “Glaucus” devour their owner. Robert Frost’s little horse stopping by the woods is gently puzzled by human behavior, and Ted Hughes is dazzled by a stunning vision of horses at dawn: “Grey silent fragments / Of a grey silent world.”
Mythical and metaphorical horses cavort alongside vividly real animals in these poems, whether they be humble servants, noble companions, beloved friends, or emblems of the wild beauty of the world beyond our grasp.