by Edwin Muir
The Horses “The Horses” by Edwin Muir is still very relevant to the 21st century audience even though it was written over 50 years ago. The poet explores a number of exciting images that I will have chosen to investigate in this essay. “The Horses” concerns the aftermath of a devastating nuclear war. Edwin Muir describes the sheer horrors and immense tragedy. He illustrates the uninhabited world through the eyes of one of the very few survivors of the recent war. Towards the end of the poem we recognise that the survivors have to work with nature to live which meant they worked on farms and with animals to grow food for their use. There are many different themes in this poem but I feel the most significant theme was nuclear war. Edwin Muir stresses the effects of nuclear war, which is still a massive issue in today’s world. “The seven day war that put the world to sleep” The poet analysis that the nuclear bombs wipeout nearly the entire human race. This line intensified the enormity of the nuclear attacks. It only took mankind seven days to destroy the world. “ Swallowed its children quick” This quote is one that brings horror to your heart. The nuclear war killed of a mammoth majority of the human race. By using swallowed, Edwin paints an image of a giant monster taking one great bite out of the world. It seems as though no one was expecting these great loses after the war. I found another theme in this poem is survival. This poem expresses the great need to work side by side with nature; you can’t turn your back on it. “They have pulled our ploughs and borne our loads” The quote shows me that the humans are having to use old methods to live. They have changed their whole method of living and are now resorting to an ancient way of life. Also I found it weird that after the selfish human beings pushed nature further and further out of their life’s, the horses came back and forgave the humans...
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