" Horses”

Edwin Muir

in First Poetry, 1925

Notes Compiled and Edited by simply RI

First Reading

• The eyesight of horses now, in today's, leads the

speaker to consider his feelings to horses

if he was a kid: ‘Perhaps some childish hour

has come again'.

• Key focus:

– The various descriptions of horses and the speaker's

feelings on the horses

– An other-worldliness about them, something magical

– Admiration and fear happen to be mixed

– A clear Passionate feel about the poem: e. g. ‘And oh

the rapture…'

Stanza 1

• ‘lumbering' provides impression that the

horses will be moving in a slow, large and

awkward way

Stanza 2

• Pistons inside the machines within an ancient generator are

used to describe the movement from the horses'

hooves as your child ‘watched fearful'

• The use of imagery sucked from the early

industrial age is definitely interesting about what it lets us know

about the child's dread

Stanza three or more

• The term ‘conquering' suggests a reference to

an even previous age

• The word ‘ritual' and the points

‘seraphim of gold' and ‘ecstatic monsters' hint

at something questionnable or pre-historic

Stanza 4

• The ‘rapture' delivers a Romantic impression of

worshipping these natural creatures: discover lines


Stanza your five

• ‘glowing with mysterious fire' relates to the

‘magic power', which describes the horses he

sees in these days (in the first stanza)

Stanza six

• The powerful force of the mounts is captured in

the eyes gleaming with a ‘cruel apocalyptic


• The religious imagery follows upon from the

‘struggling snakes' of stanza your five

Stanza 7

• The repetition of ‘it fades' suggests reduction,

straightforwardly the fading of his recollection

• ‘Pine' means to think a ongoing, often sentimental



• To assist a closer studying of the poem as a


Stanza 1

• Process 1

– Look up this is of ‘lumbering' and then

consider the way it contrasts with the description

in lines 3 – 4

Stanza 1

• Task a couple of

– Appearance closely at the meanings of ‘terrible', ‘wild' and ‘strange'

– These are generally of course terms common in everyday

consumption, but specific dictionary explanations of these

phrases might deliver unexpected and original suggestions

– Note that the race horses are ‘lumbering', whilst the

plough is definitely ‘steady'

Stanza 2

• Check that you could have understood the shift in


• The rest of the poem deals with the speaker's

memory space of his feelings as a child.

• What impression will you feel is established by the

simile of the ‘pistons'?

Stanza 3

• The references from this stanza in order to a preindustrial age. • Consider the effects of these terms:

‘conquering hooves', ‘ritual', ‘seraphim of gold' and ‘mute ecstatic monsters'.

• You must consult a dictionary wherever


Stanzas 4 and 5

• What do you choose of the strengthen in stanza four?

• Explore the words used to describe the mounts,

and to consider what they disclose about the

speaker's frame of mind?

• What contrast is usually signalled through ‘But when ever

at dusk…' at the beginning of stanza five?

• What do you make of ‘mysterious fire' below and

the ‘magic power' attributed to the present-day

mounts in stanza one?

Stanza 6

• Analyse the effectiveness of the imagery: the

‘cruel apocalyptic light' of their eye and the

personification of the blowing wind.

Stanza several

• Just before considering the final stanza and

reaching a judgement about its effectiveness,

you may read the complete poem (perhaps

working in pairs).

• Having studied strongly the previous stanzas,

how do you today feel that the last stanza

should be spoken?

• How does the tone right here differ from the tone

consist of parts of the poem?


• In order focus on the sounds of the poem, you

might in pairs or small groupings practise examining

the composition aloud.

• Try to get a suitable words for the speaker since

you examine, and change the sculpt as ideal.

• Finally, annotate a copy of the poem, indicating

briefly the effects made by symbolism and sound


• Select among the a...


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