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Friday, July 09, 2010

Poetry Friday--Poems About Horses

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf publishes a series of small format books of poetry in its "Everyman's Library Pocket Poets" series. We recently added Poems About Horses to our collection [808.819 POM]. In the foreword, editor Carmela Ciruaru says this about horses,
The extent to which humans' lives have been enriched by these animals is immeasurable; many of our most basic habits of work, play, transport, and warfare would have been impossible without them. It is no wonder that this profound relationship has inspired countless works of art, from ancient times to the present.
Here is a compact little story-poem by Thomas Hardy (And, please admire how I got the formatting so perfect! It took a long time to finagle all the spacing!):

No Buyers

        A Load of brushes and baskets and cradles and chairs
            Labours along the street in the rain:
    With it a man, a woman, a pony with whiteybrown
            hairs. —
        The man foots in front of the horse with a shambling
            At a slower tread than a funeral train,
        While to a dirge-like tune he chants his wares,
    Swinging a Turk's-head brush (in a drum-major's way
                          When the bandsmen march and play).

    A yard from the back of the man is the whiteybrown
            pony's nose:
    He mirrors his master in every item of pace and pose:
            He stops when the man stops, without being told,
        And seems to be eased by a pause; too plainly he's old,
                Indeed, not strength enough shows
            To steer the disjointed waggon straight,
        Which wriggles left and right in a rambling line,
        Deflected thus by its own warp and weight,
        And pushing the pony with it in each incline.

            The woman walks on the pavement verge,
                Parallel to the man:
        She wears an apron white and wide in span,
    And carries a like Turk's-head, but more in nursing-wise:
            Now and then she joins in his dirge,
            But as if her thoughts were on distant things,
            The rain clams her apron till it clings. —
    So, step by step, they move with their merchandise,
                And nobody buys.

Giddy up over to Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Yeehaa!

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