We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Horses by Norman McCaig – Poem Analysis Essay Sample

essay
  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 865
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: poetry

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

Norman McCaig writes the poem, summer farm in a metaphysical style. His poem talks about the more complicated questions of existence and life itself, that can not be explained by the physical realm of things. His poem begins describing the farm that surrounds him, and then changes subject as his mind wanders seeking to answer metaphysical questions that are lingering in his head. The first verse of the poem is a general description of the farm. However his thoughts seem to be in a pattern, picking out the unevenness of the world. He uses a range of similes in the first stanza. His first line says “straws like tame lightnings lie about.” The comparison illustrates the uneven zig-zag pattern of the straw. Later on he creates another simile where he refers to water being, “green as glass.” This simile confuses the reader. Though water may be murky and therefore green, glass is not usually described as green. This simile adds to the pattern of unevenness and also serves to create a vision in the readers head that connects water and glass by the smooth flatness of the two. The next part of the stanza describes “nine ducks,” as they “ go wobbling by in two straight lines.” This also seems to have a pattern of unevenness. Firstly, the fact that there are nine ducks would make one line longer than the other and therefore uneven.

Secondly, the fact that the ducks are wobbling in a straight line gives un uneven effect. Bringing out the unevenness of the farm in the general description leads the poet to question why as the poem progresses. The second verse goes into more specific description as certain things in the farm begin to catch his eye. The two subjects of this description are a hen and a sparrow. “A hen stares at nothing”, say’s the poet, and “then picks it up.” The other descripti

on says “a swallow falls and flickers through the barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue.” The

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
motion of the two animals are used as metaphors of the poets metaphysical thought process as he try’s to answer life’s questions. His mind is blank until suddenly there is a hint of an answer and then he loses it. This motion of thought is similar to the sparrow and the hen. This verse is a continuation of the poets use of patterns in his writing. It is alo the beginning of his use of animals as metaphors for his thoughts, which is continued in the next verse. The third verse seems to ignore the farm as the subject shifts to the poet himself. The poet seems afraid to let his mind wander, not wanting to be tormented by the unanswerable.

He just wants to focus on the farm, but seems less able to control his train of thought. He says “ I lie not thinking… afraid of where a thought might take me.” He is trying not to think but merely observe. Then suddenly he looses control and his mind begins to drift into metaphysics. He illustrates this inability to control his thoughts as a metaphor comparing himself to a grass-hopper. He says “the grasshopper… unfolds his legs and finds himself in space.” This describes his mind, as it suddenly jumps from thought into some kind of imaginary space, from which he can observe life from a third person point of view, so that he can answer his questions. The last stanza brings out the metaphysical idea’s that have been haunting the poets mind, as he falls into space and observes the world from a third persons perspective. This verse talks about what the poet can see when his mind is able to view the sequence of time on which life exists. The poet talks about his vision of himself from space. He says “self under self, a pile of selves I stand.”

This line talks about the metaphysic belief that there is not just one present, but an identical past and future. Seeing the time sequence allows him to realise that this fact as he sees numbers of himself. He talks about how all the different realms of the same moment are “threaded on time,” and thereby connected. He also uses his “metaphysic hand” to look through the farm and the entire setting around him. He sees “farm within farm.” Therefore viewing every parallel moment in time “and in the center” he sees himself. The last verse of the poem changes the poems tone entirely. It startles the readers as they listen while the poet discovers the truth about time, realizing that he is the product of generations before however, after reading the last stanza it becomes clear that every animal he describes has a deep meaning and correlation to the poet’s thought process. This poem finds depths of philosophy out of a simple description. Just observing a farm allows the poets mind to discover what he believes to be the secrets of existence, and through the poem, his beliefs become clear to us.

We can write a custom essay on

Horses by Norman McCaig – Poem Analysis Essa ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Filipino Metamorphosis - Poetry Essay Reviewing

Once upon a time there was a poet who woke up and found himself turned into ''some kind of animal''. It was dog-like with sharp teeth, whiskers, a hand becoming a paw, a voice with a ''keening sound''; it scratched and rooted around in the soil with a swishing tail. The creature still maintained another 'self', the voice of a more human consciousness, yet could suddenly understand everything: "the birds saying something about sadness, the dogs discussing sunlight. '' By the end of the experience in the poem (Persona) he realized that his 'animal' self was just one of his many selves and was ready to introduce them. This is one of the imaginative conceits that Joel M. Toledo chooses in his new book 'The Long Lost Startle'. He uses it to engage with that post-modern pursuit: 'Naming of Parts', to quote the title of the famous poem. Like Henry...

The Water Dragon

The theme I chose for this poetry project was fantasy. I chose this theme because I really enjoy fantasy and it inspires me, and it's a subject filled with wondrous surprises. I like reading books about fantasy, and the many different mystical creatures they are based on. Fantasy means a lot to me, because it's the main subject I like to illustrate. I have liked fantasy since I was little, and I believe I will always enjoy the mysteries that come with it. One of the poems I chose to include in my project was "The Water Dragon", written by Anne Johnson. I thought this poem was very well written, and I liked how it rhymed, because it made it more enjoyable to read. While reading this poem, I tried visually picturing the Water Dragon and the narrator who feared her. I believe the author's use of words and well-detailed...

"Tonight I Can Write" by Pablo Neruda...

Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. The reason that there is so much suffering in the world is because people still love and care for each other. The love which is shared by the people bonds them and hence makes their hearts wrung and suffer. This essay explores the emotion that is love and its connotations in situations where a lover suffers due to the immeasurable love which he feels for his beloved. The House of the Spirits is an epic novel of love, magic, and family pride. Initially, the novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers, but became an instant best seller when published in Barcelona in 1982. The book was first conceived by Isabel Allende when she received news that her grandfather was dying, and she began...

Popular Essays

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?