Humans sometimes have the tendency to keep things that are only useful for their own personal benefit. In these two poems, â€œNames of Horsesâ€ by Donald Hall and â€œThe Bull Calfâ€ by Irving Layton, the things that the people would use for their benefit are animals. In â€œNames of Horsesâ€, the horse is killed because of old age and weakness. In the â€œThe Bull Calf,â€ the calf is killed because no money could be profited from it on the farm. In both poems, the animals have no purpose to the owners, which proves that humans only keep things that are going to benefit themselves. These poems have many things in common and a few differences. One thing they have in common is the theme of assured death and that farm animals are only useful if they help profit the owners.
These poems have many things in common, beginning with the farm life. The owners have these farms to make a living. The part that really connects these two poems is that there is no benefit from keeping the old and restless horse in â€œNames of Horsesâ€ or raising the calf in â€œThe Bull Calf.â€ The result is their untimely deaths. Another thing that these two poems have in common is their symbolic meaning. Yes, these animals were just taken out to pasture and killed, but thereâ€™s much more behind that. In â€œNames of Horses,â€ there was a sense of respect and love. The owner just wanted to help take away the horsesâ€™ pain. The symbolic meaning in â€œThe Bull Calfâ€ was the feeling of remorse from the narrator. The bull calf was dead and there was nothing he could do about it.
One difference in these two poems is that the death of the horse seems more suitable. The killing of the bull calf at such a young age, just barely after it was born seems to be a little bit more unacceptable. Another difference in these two poems is the tone.