Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shakespeare's Horse

The following poem was written a few years ago after reading Shakespeare's Sonnet 50 which you may read for yourself here.

Shakespeare's Horse
(In response to Sonnet 50)

Magnificent was the beast
Who carried our noblest poet,
The one who gave voice to humanity's woes and triumphs;
Whose song would be heard for ages to come
And whose words would set the standard
For a new era.

Perhaps it was a country lane,
Or it may have been a London side street
That they traveled that day.

"Beast of burden" is too trite a term
For the equine essence
Who collaborated in the Bard's journey.
The man bore within his heart
All the joys and sorrows of a people,
And enough dreams of love and despair
   to fill the world.
It was not the first time
That a four-legged creature
Carried humanity's hopes
Along an earthly road.

Which is why one is jolted
And dismayed
To hear of the poet thoughtlessly kicking
A bloody spur
Into the side
Of his creature companion.
            How unlike a god.

But here is that redeeming moment seen
Which covers many doubts that might have been:

The horse's groan
Resonated with the poet's own grief
And gave voice to his unutterable heart-felt emotion.
It brought the man to himself
To live in the moment
On the road,
On the journey,
Bearing his own burden.

And the groan shared by man and beast
Spoke more than all the words that would come
From the acclaimed poet's pen.

Charles Kinnaird


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