The Horses Analysis
This is a poem by Ted Hughes where he talks about a male observing a horse. The poem starts off with, ‘I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark’. This creates a setting of an early before sunrise, when the atmosphere is chilly, dark and gloomy. ‘Evil air, a frost-making stillness’. The ‘air’ is being personified suggesting that the atmosphere is cruel and unsafe. ‘Not a leaf, not a bird. A world cast in frost.’ The word ‘frost’ means the state of coldness sufficient to cause water to freeze. The repetition of the frost emphasizes the hardness and stillness that it shows no sign of living at all. Not even a leaf or birds are to be found. ‘A world cast in frost’, gives a very stunning image of a world decorated with ice crystals. ‘I came out above the wood where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.’ The first line shows that he climbed through the woods and now this line is telling that he is now above the wood. He is now looking at the scene from above so he can see it more clearly. ‘My breath left tortuous statues in the iron light’. This line is a metaphor showing that it was so cold that even his breath froze into a twisty, bendy statue. ‘But the valleys were draining the darkness till the moorline.’ This shows the process of the darkness being slowly removed. Blackening dregs of brightening grey – halved the sky ahead. This line shows an image of the sky being half dark and half bright. It shows the process of the sun becoming brighter and brighter killing off the evil darkness. It shows the contrast between the skies. And I saw the horses: huge in dense grey – ten together- megalith still.’ This line shows he saw the horses and the he paused to look at them. The horses were like a huge standing out show piece. The metaphor of ‘Megalith-still’ is showing that’s the horses were so still that they were like large stones. ‘They breathed making no move, with draped manes and tilted hind-hooves, making no sound.’ The...
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