Lorna Crozier's poem, "A Brief History Of The Horse", offers many different interpretations. However, the structure of the poem breaks down into three stages: past, present, and future. By examining the archetypes within the poem, it can be suggested that the horse stands to represent the feminist struggle, the ongoing battle for women to have an equal place in society.
In explicating "A Brief History Of The Horse," it is of primary importance to examine the logopoeia (thought level) of the poem. The archetype of the horse suggests the poem's feminist aspect. To elucidate, the horse, as a Jungian archetype, represents motherhood and the magic side of man. What Jung refers to as the "`mother withing all of us,' or intuitiveness, and lies in the subconscious"(Cirlot, 151). In Crozier's poem, reference to the subconscious is quite apparent in the first stanza or stage; the horse grazes in "pastures of sleep." A grazing horse is also symbolic of freedom and peace (Oderr, 69); however, this freedom can only be obtained in sleep. The mother figure is also represented by the fact that the soldiers are within the horse. They are in the belly of the horse: "the soldiers feel the sway of the horse's belly as she races night across the meadows"(260). This implies the notion of a fetus in a womb. However, the men (soldiers) are not aware of the outside world of the horse, believing that they are in "a hold of a ship that smells of grass and forgetfulness"(260). Thus, the notion that the horse is grazing in a pasture of green grass (peace), yet the men(soldiers) are unable to see the truth. They are unaware of what problems the horse is actually faced with. The soldier...
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...ermore, regardless of how much the horse is repressed it will eventually do what it wants to do. It doesn't matter what label is placed on the feminist struggle, it is inevitable that women will have a place equal in society to men. The horse will eventually graze "calmly in the meadow", and there will be a time when men and women are equal.
In conclusion, the poem moves from the basic history or repression of the horse to the future outlook. The horse stands as an archetype for the mother, the feminist struggle. Therefore, the poem becomes a history of the feminist struggle, from being born of ancient times, through the ignorance of current times and eventually it will come to rest. Without a doubt, women will eventually have an equal place in society. The poet is quite adamant that females will become equal to men. The feminist movement cannot be suppressed.
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