Monday, 16 November 2009

The Poetry Unicycle: Part 1 - Going Solo

Seeing as how I've nearly frozen my chewbies off waiting for a bus that's not giving any sign of wanting to show up, I've no choice but to unlimber my handy-dandy foldaway totally-undetectable-in-normal-use Poetry Unicycle!

This week's wobble was written in 1985. I wanted to use it on da bus when we had the Ted Hughes thing going on, but it was too much like his poem, so I didn't.

I still sort of like it though, so here it is.

The Horses

They come every morning
Galloping from the far downs,
Drawn in charcoal with precise even strokes
Onto a parchment sky.
They run ahead of the dawn light,
Lest its radiance catch them
And pain their night-black bodies
With day's lesser colours.
Their hooves, lost in the haze
Of the early morning mist,
Do not touch this earth.
The horses themselves breathe
The air of some other world
Or some other time.

Before man came to this place
With fence, crop and bridle
The horses were here,
Rolling the round green world
Like a huge circus ball
Under their ebony hooves.
Now they only come at dawn
To look upon the world of man
Before it stirs to wakefulness.
Then, tossing their ancient heads,
They leave with spirited dignity.
When men have all gone
And the timeless downs are free again
The horses will be here.


  1. Thats a very good poem Argent,and it is very Ted Hughes-ish.
    I really liked the notion that the horses were spinning the world under their hooves.The whole thing had a lovely atmospheric feel to it, I enjoyed it.And all this done while peddling a unicycle? Wowza!

  2. My kind of poem, "lest the dawn light catch them and paint them" Lovely.

  3. TFE - Thank 'ee kindly sor, the unicycling's not so bad once you get used to it.

    ER - Glad you enjoyed. I actually have very little knowledge of horses, I just admire them from afar.

  4. You were right to like it and keep it. It's annoying when things occur to us which cover the same ground as more famous poets than ourselves - I've just written one with a similar problem.

    I always liked the Edwin Muir horses poem.

  5. Dominic and NanU - thanks for the kind words. Let's hope the bus is back in some form soon.


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