Girls Horse Club Blog

Poetry in Motion

Published by • Jul 22nd, 2007 • Category: Books & Writing, by Julia

by Julia, age 13

poetry.gifI love to read and write poetry. There are several things that make poems enjoyable to read. Words have to flow and rhyming helps too. Although, what makes the best poems are ones that don’t necessarily have to rhyme, but they just seem to click. What one reader likes another might find challenging to read or boring. Well, horses are the same way I think. Horses could be considered poetry in motion. Enjoyable horses have flowing gaits or maybe beautiful coats. But a horse with choppy gaits or a plain coat may be the best horse for one rider, not because of the outer glamor, but because of the bond they share that seems to click when they ride together.

Another thing poetry and horses have in common is size. It sounds funny, right? Think about it like this. You and a friend are going riding. She chooses a pony only about 12hh while you choose the tallest horse in the barn, a 16.3hh warmblood. You come across a large, open field and decide to race. You both push your horses into a canter. You figure your horse’s long legs will eat up ground. But your horse lacks the competitive streak and desire to win. So no matter how hard you push him, he doesn’t quite go fast enough. While the pony, though small, canters with every ounce of strength inside him. It still takes him all his might to match the tall warmblood. The large horse wins because of his size, but you get the message clearly that he’s not a born competitor and doesn’t try his hardest to get ahead. On the other hand, the pony would race in the Kentucky Derby if you asked him.

poetry2.gifPoetry is the same way. The length of the poem doesn’t matter as long as the point is made. For example, Marisa’s poem When We Move is short, but most horse lovers would enjoy the message. It seems to click for me. It doesn’t have to rhyme or be long — it tells a great message and it moved me. But someone else might disagree and not favor it because it is short, and they might think there is no fun in reading it.

Without the qualities the reader wants, a poem is just a poem. It has no special meaning beneath it. But every reader likes different things. The same thing applies to horses. No two people, horses, or poems are alike, and they seem to choose one another.

To simplify things, just look at horses as poetry in motion.

did-you-know.gifDID YOU KNOW horses inspired one of the first motion pictures?

The animations adapted for this article are the work of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), an English-born photographer known for his early use of multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated celluloid film strip still used today.

The story goes like this: In 1872, Leland Stanford, a businessman and racehorse owner, had taken a position on a popular debate of the day — whether during a horse’s trot, all four hooves were ever off the ground at the same time. To answer the question Stanford hired Muybridge, who developed a scheme for instantaneous motion picture capture. The technology involved chemical formulas for photographic processing and an electrical trigger.

In 1877, Muybridge settled Stanford’s question with a single photographic negative showing Stanford’s racehorse Occident airborne during trot. Unfortunately this negative did not survive, but the poetry in motion above resulted from that work.

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  1. Julia, I love this blog! I never knew how poems and horses can be so alike! Thanks for using my poem as an example! :)

  2. Julia that was so inspiring! You did an excellent job. It was wise to notice the similarities between horses and poems. I feel in love with this blog as soon as I read it! Keep it up! :D

  3. Thanks to both of you. I enjoyed writing this very much, I can relate too it, as can you. Anyway, thanks for the praise, I’m glad you enjoyed reading. B-)

  4. This is one of your best bloggs!!!! I LOVE it!! :D :D (Dont think me teeth are that pretty. I get braces soon.)

  5. I LOVE your blog! I am always a big fan of your poems and now you gave me something to *chew* on for thought 8-}

  6. Thanks ponyprincess! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Julia, I’ve always thought when horses do dressage it looks like poetry in motion. They are so graceful!

  8. I know, me too. I love watching the full extended trot.

  9. Oh my! I just read this and looked at it and I LOVE it! Awesome! :D