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Horses - Edwin Muir

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by

Anewsha Talukder

on 23 February 2013

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Transcript of Horses - Edwin Muir

Analyzing Overall?? The use of negative connotations About Edwin Muir!! What so catchy about this poem? Biography & Summary Edwin Muir was born on 15 May 1887 on The Orkney island where he spent his early years on the idyllic setting of his father's farm.
But due to increased rents, he and his family have been forced to move to Glasgow where he found himself adrift in a large city with little education or no prospects. There is a saying that one should forget the past and live with the present, but in this poem, it is all about the poet's past memories where it begins with him surpassing reality and reminiscing one of his childhood memories - horses ploughing during a rainy day. In this poem, "Horses", the poet expresses the power of nature through his language techniques such as:
The use of similes
The use of "mechanical" metaphor
The use of oxymorons
The use of negative connotations Here, the poet uses a simile referrring to the horses' hooves -
"Their hooves like pistons in an ancient mill".
Through this, the poet conveys the reader that their hooves act like machines. In easier words, their hooves keep on moving up and down ploughing the whole field. The horses are described as being “mute”,“ecstatic” “monsters” on the “mould”. This oxymoron presents the horses as being deadly, yet happy, leading the reader to think deep of the poet’s message; the idea of reducing nature as our lives become mechanical, followed by the unveiling of his hatred for modernization. Further, the poet starts to explain the dark side, and despair
through negative connotations: the horses’ “smouldering” bodies, gleaming with a “cruel apocalyptic light”.
Here, the poet expresses his emotions towards the arrival of
evil, or apocalypse and his world turning dark. It is about a memory which brings in the struggle and
conflict between dark and light and also symbolic as it expresses the aspects of nature which bares the wildness as
well as innocence. Horses -
Edwin Muir Here, the words like “conquering”, and “great hulks” are considered "mechanical" and powerful, thus comparing the horses' power to that of a car engine.
This sounds effective because through this, the reader is able to visualize and sense the physical power of the animal. Again for that dread country crystalline, Ah, now it fades! It fades! And I must pine Their manes the leaping ire of the wind Where the black field and
the still-standing tree Lifted with rage invisible and blind. Gleamed with a cruel apocalyptic light. Now we are going to look at the poem
and look at the images set upon these
lines.. At the first half of the poem, the poet uses words like "seraphim" and "gold" to show the strong presence and value in nature. However, near the end, the poet uses "black field" and "still-standing tree" to bring in the dark tone as the poet dictates his realization of the faded nature and loss of its presence.
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