The Cariboo Horses

  • Fed
    9 years ago

    Hello everyone, I was recently introduced to this forum by a good friend of mine and to say the least, I am very excited and pleased to see such an extensive and helpful place for both new and experienced poets. Up until a few months ago I had very little interest in poetry in general. However, my friend has been showing me various works by poets such as Blake and I am starting to really understand and appreciate both the complexity and originality behind the art of poetry. Unfortunately, that is exactly my problem. I have made several attempts to start writing poetry of my own, and to say the least, it has not been going very well. There are so many techniques and styles used in poetry and being fairly new to it all, I am quite lost. My friend has been helping me quite a bit but I would love to get the opinions and analyses of any of you who are willing to help. I was recently told to write an explication on any poem I found interesting. Being a Canadian I ended up choosing to focus on Al Purdy's "The Cariboo Horses". I have tried researching both the poem and general poetry techniques countless times but I am a bit stuck. If any of you could offer some of your expertise on this poem to help out someone inexperienced, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    The Cariboo Horses
    At 100 Mile House the cowboys ride in rolling
    stagey cigarettes with one hand reining
    half-tame bronco rebels on a morning grey as stone
    -so much like riding dangerous women
    with whiskey coloured eyes-
    such a women as once fell dead with their lovers
    with fire in their heads and slippery froth on thighs
    -Beaver or Carrier women maybe or
    Blackfoot squaws far past the edge of this valley
    on the other side of those two toy mountain ranges
    from the sunfierce plains beyond
    But only horses
    waiting in stables
    hitched at taverns
    standing at dawn
    pastured outside the town with
    jeeps and fords and chevvys and
    busy muttering stake trucks rushing
    importantly over roads of man's devising
    over the safe known roads of the ranchers
    families and merchants of the town
    On the high prairie
    are only horse and rider
    wind in dry grass
    clopping in silence under the toy mountains
    dropping sometimes and
    lost in the dry grass
    golden oranges of dung

    Only horses
    no stopwatch memories or palace ancestors
    not Kiangs hauling undressed stone in the Nile Valley
    and having stubborn Egyptian tantrums or
    Onagers racing thru Hither Asia and
    the last Quagga screaming in African highlands
    lost relatives of these
    whose hooves were thunder
    the ghosts of horses battering thru the wind
    whose names were the wind's common usage
    whose life was the sun's
    arriving here at chilly noon
    in the gasoline smell of the
    dust and waiting 15 minutes
    at the grocer's