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Need horse poem and quotes

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  • Need horse poem and quotes

    I am putting together a picture book and would like to have a poem and some quotes in it. I esp like the ones about how society was built by the horse. But any will do. Thanks.


  • #2
    Can't read this one without bawling...

    CREDO by Maxine Kumin

    I believe in magic. I believe in the rights
    of animals to leap out of our skins
    as it is said in the Tlingit legend:
    That instant a bear appeared where a boy had been

    as I believe in the resurrected wake-robin,
    first wet knob of trillium to knock
    in April at the underside of earth's door
    in central New Hampshire where bears are,

    though still denned up at that early greening.
    I believe in living on grateful terms
    with the earth, with the black crumbles
    of ancient manure that sift through my fingers

    when I topdress the garden for winter. I believe
    in the red strings of earthworms aroused out of season
    and in the bear, asleep now in the rock cave
    where my outermost pasture abuts the forest.

    I cede him a swale of chokeberries in August.
    I give the sow and her cub as much yardage
    as they desire when our paths intersect,
    as does my horse shifting under me

    respectful but not cowed by our encounter.
    I believe in the gift of the horse, which is magic,
    their deep fear-snorts in play when the wind comes up,
    and the ballet of nip and jostle, plunge and crow hop.

    I trust them to run from me, necks arched in a full
    swan's S, tails cocked up over their backs
    like plumes on a Cavalier's hat. I trust them
    to gallop back, skid to a stop, their nostrils

    level with my mouth, asking for my human breath
    that they may test its intent, taste the lure of it.
    I believe in myself as their sanctuary
    and in the earth with its summer plumes of carrots,

    its clamber of peas, beans, masses of tendrils
    as mine. I believe in the acrobatics of boy
    into bear, the grace of animals
    in my keeping, the thrust to go on.
    Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



    • #3
      I have some public domain poems and other texts on http://opegasus.com.

      I am PMing you the URL of a site I'm working on that is expanding on the above, but it's only in beta version right now. It has some additional poems.

      Also, I have the full text of the history of the horse poem somewhere (not just the four lines everyone quotes). I'll dig that up tonight if no one finds it sooner.


      • #4
        Oh, here -- this was included in Songs of Horses (1920) so is public domain to the best of my knowledge.

        No Rest for the Horse

        There’s a union for teamster and waiter,
        There’s a union for cabman and cook,
        There’s a union for hobo and preacher,
        And one for detective and crook.
        There’s a union for blacksmith and painter,
        There is one for the printer, of course;
        But where would you go in this realm of woe
        To discover a guild for the horse?
        He can’t make a murmur in protest,
        Though they strain him both up and down hill,
        Or force him to work twenty hours
        At the whim of some drunken brute’s will.
        Look back at our struggle for freedom —
        Trace our present day’s strength to its source,
        And you’ll find that man’s pathway to glory
        Is strewn with the bones of the horse.
        The mule is a fool under fire;
        The horse, although frightened, stands true,
        And he’d charge into hell without flinching
        ‘Twixt the knees of the trooper he knew.
        When the troopers grow old they are pensioned,
        Or a berth or a home for them found;
        When horse is worn out they condemn him
        And sell him for nothing a pound.
        Just think, the old pet of some trooper,
        Once curried and rubbed twice a day,
        Now drags some damned ragpicker’s wagon,
        With curses and blows for his pay.
        I once knew a grand king of racers,
        The best of a cup-winning strain;
        They ruined his knees on a hurdle,
        For his rider’s hat covered no brain.
        I met him again, four years later,
        On his side at the foot of a hill,
        With two savages kicking his ribs,
        And doing their work with a will.
        I stroked the once velvety muzzle,
        I murmured the old name again.
        He once filled my purse with gold dollars;
        And this day I bought him for ten.
        His present address is “Sweet Pastures,”
        He has nothing to do but to eat;
        Or loaf in the shade on the green, velvet grass
        And dream of the horses he beat.
        Now, a dog — well, a dog has a limit;
        After standing for all that’s his due,
        He’ll pack up his duds some dark evening
        And shine out for scenes which are new.
        But a horse, once he’s used to his leather,
        Is much like the old-fashioned wife:
        He may not be proud of his bargain,
        But still he’ll be faithful through life.
        And I envy the merciful teamster
        Who can stand at the bar and say:
        “Blind Lord, with the justice I dealt my horse,
        Judge Thou my soul to-day.”


        • Original Poster

          Thanks guys :-)