Horses by Norman Mcaig- Poem Analysis

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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 description says “a swallow falls and flickers through the barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue.” The motion of the two animals are used as metaphors of the poets metaphysical thought...
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