Symbolism is the use of an object or action to express ideas, emotions, or a state of mind. Writers use symbols as a way to allude or imply something. Symbols are often more powerful than directly stating an idea, and they tend to move on a deeper level. They can even bring a subconscious connection to the poem when used correctly. There are many reasons why writers and authors use symbols, and many people can agree that they bring life and essence to their writing. Throughout the collections of poems in Silverchest, Carl Phillips uses symbolism often, in a lot of different ways. .
Throughout reading the compilation poems of Silverchest, I came across the use of a horse a few different times. This stood out to me in many different ways because I have always had the idea that a horse symbolizes freedom or passion. While looking deeper into the poems, I began to see that the horse might symbolize more than that. In the poem "Anyone Who Had A Heart", Phillips talks about the idea of sex being a need rather than a want, and how it's desired. He's with someone in this poem, and we know this because he says "After it's done, if the weather's good, we tour his garden: heliotrope, evening primrose" (Phillips 51). Going on, Phillips writes, "We go down to the stables to visit the horse that, when they were nothing, just shivering foals still, he once asked me to give names to" (Phillips 52). I looked further into what a horse might symbolize and found that they often symbolize sexual and masculine energy, along with passionate desires and driving, influencing forces. As I pointed out earlier, Phillips is talking a lot about sex in this poem, which ties in with the horse symbolizing sexual energy. He is also talking of a mysterious "he", which links to the masculine energy that a horse symbolizes. As you continue reading the poem, there is a line that says " now the foals, they're stallions.