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Horses by Edwin Muir

            The poem "Horses" by Edwin Muir, who was an Orcadian writer. Who lived on a rural farm during his childhood and wrote this poem after moved to town in adulthood and experienced industrialization. Within the poem "Horses", Muir presented the theme of human and nature. Their connections as well as their contradictions. In this essay I will discuss how Muir presents the sense of relationship between human and nature. Muir begins with his childhood memories, "Those lumbering horses in the steady plough", the words lumbering and steady creates a contradiction here which creates a sense of action of the horses. When he also recalls his feelings about horses when he was small, where "they seemed terrible, so wild and strange,/like magic powers", horses are fearful creatures to him of which the industrialized machinery does the same - fear him. "When I watched fearful, through the blackening rain", the blackening rain suggests that it is almost night time, but at the same time put references to the industrial polluted nature. This leads the reader to think about the link between us and nature, where humans are natural intelligence, but we then become careless and overpowering nature.
             Duality of sense in meaning has been conveyed throughout the poem, where Muir could not distinguish his feelings between the differences of horses and industrial machinery. One example of this is "But when at dusk with steaming nostrils home/They came, they seemed gigantic in the gloam,/And warm and glowing with mysterious fire", it suggests that the horses going back at evening finished ploughing with visible steaming breath and burning body, but beneath the words, poet also suggests the industrialized machinery such as locomotives and factories which are also "gigantic in the gloam" and have steam rushing out of the chimney as well as burning coals being described as "mysterious fire".

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