Homework Assistance
 Your teacher given you an impossible task? In search of divine inspiration to help you along? 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> Homework Assistance


Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: 12Next
Current Page: 1 of 2
The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l6.c5.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 21, 2005 07:12PM

Could someone please help me analyse Joanna Baillie's poem: The Horse and his Rider. What type of poem is it? How do I work out the metre?
Any help at all would be great. Thank you, Jeanne.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 22, 2005 12:36PM

I see two versions on the 'net, with different finishes:

THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER.

Brac'd in the sinewy vigour of thy breed,
In pride of gen'rous strength, thou stately steed,
Thy broad chest to the battle's front is given,
Thy mane fair floating to the winds of heaven.
Thy champing hoofs the flinty pebbles break;
Graceful the rising of thine arched neck.
White churning foam thy chaffed bits enlock;
And from thy nostril bursts the curling smoke.
Thy kindling eye-balls brave the glaring south;
And dreadful is the thunder of thy mouth:
Whilst low to earth thy curving haunches bend,
Thy sweepy tail involv'd in clouds of sand;
Erect in air thou rear'st thy front of pride,
And ring'st the plated harness on thy side.
But, lo! what creature, goodly to the sight,
Dares thus bestride thee, chaffing in thy might?
Of portly stature, and determin'd mien?
Whose dark eye dwells beneath a brow serene?
And forward looks unmov'd to fields of death:
And smiling, gently strokes thee in thy wrath?
Whose brandish'd falch'on dreaded gleams afar?
It is a British soldier, arm'd for war!


----------------------------------------------

THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER.

BRACED in the sinewy vigour of thy breed,
In pride of generous strength, thou stately steed!
Thy broad chest to the battle's front is given,
Thy mane fair floating to the winds of heaven;
Thy stamping hoofs the flinty pebbles break;
Graceful the rising of thine arched neck;
Thy bridle-bits white flakes of foam enlock;
From thy moved nostrils bursts the curling smoke
Thy kindling eye-balls brave the glaring south,
And dreadful is the thunder of thy mouth:
Whilst low to earth thy curving haunches bend,
Thy sweepy tail involved in clouds of sand,
Erect in air thou rearest thy front of pride,
And ring'st the plated harness on thy side.

But lo! what creature, goodly to the sight,
Dares thus bestride thee, chafing in thy might;
Of portly stature, and determined mien,
Whose dark eye dwells beneath a brow serene,
And forward looks unmoved to scenes of death,
And smiling, gently strokes thee in thy wrath;
Whose right hand doth its flashing falchion wield?
A British soldier girded for the field.


They each have 22 lines, so I don't know of a particular 'form' as such. It is basically iambic pentameter (look it up), with some substitutions to break up the sing-song effect, with lines in rhyming couplets.

That is to say, there are five 'beats' per line, every 2nd syllable getting a stress. Every ending is masculine, meaning single syllables at the end of every line (except for given/heaven, which is feminine).

You can look up any unknown/archaic words such as falchion.

I see a questionable construction error in 'brow serene'. This is called inversion, or anastrophe and is (today) considered bad writing because it reverses the normal word order merely in pursuit of a rhyme (with serene).

More information than you wanted? Oh, well.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 22, 2005 01:02PM

Oh, I just remembered while out walking the dog (a Jack Russell Terrier named Daphne, if you must know): rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter are labeled 'heroic couplets', very popular back in JB's day.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: April 22, 2005 07:16PM

"is (today) considered bad writing because it reverses the normal word order merely in pursuit of a rhyme"

But where would Shakespeare have been without it?

pam


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: April 22, 2005 07:30PM

But where would Shakespeare have been without it?

Methinks he'd say with a look of dread,
"Without my ill-formed rhymes, I'm dead."


Les


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 01:24PM

Hugh,

Thank you very much for your help. I've learnt a lot thanks to you.

It is the first version I'm interested in.

take care, jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 01:28PM

Hugh,

As regards your thought while walking your dog maybe 'The horse and his rider' is an epic?

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 01:31PM

Pam,

Thanks for pointing that out. Most useful.

Take care,

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 01:37PM

Les,

Are we talking about the 'is' in the last line -

IT IS A BRITISH SOLDIER, ARMED FOR WAR!

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: April 23, 2005 01:45PM

No Jeanne, I was responding to this line by Pam:

But where would Shakespeare have been without it?

Pam, Hugh, and I were off on a tangent. Sorry, I should have used the threaded view. Flat view is my method of choice.


Les



Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 02:00PM

Les,

Thanks for explaining it to me.

Jeanne.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l5.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 02:05PM

Hugh or anyone,

Can you suggest how I can find out what sort of poem this is?

I realize it's not a sonnet or a ballad. I'm really stuck.

Please help.

Jeanne.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 23, 2005 06:06PM

Because of the heroic couplets, perhaps 'heroic drama'? Just guessing. Nothing In Jeanne's textbook on it?

[tinyurl.com]


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l4.c5.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 23, 2005 06:34PM

Hugh,

Thanks for your guess. sounds realistic. No, I haven't seen anything in the textbook to give me a clue, but I'll keep on looking.

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.ne)
Date: April 24, 2005 11:54AM

Two other things occur to me after more reflection. One is that it has been said there are only three kinds of poetry: lyric, dramatic and narrative.

[tinyurl.com] />
[tinyurl.com] />
[tinyurl.com] />
Another is that (English) poet laureates have the duty of writing poetry that praises king/queen and country (or even royal weddings, such as the recent Charles & Camilla one). This poem praises the British soldier and his mount. So, there may be a name for such a poem, but if so, it escapes me at the moment. An anthem, yes, but that is is more of a hymn than a poem. Panegyric, laudation or encomium? Perhaps. It's not long enough for an ode or an epic, I wouldn't think. What's a short ode - an idyll? Are any of those words in the textbook's index?

Sure, you could always drop back and punt - call it a descriptive poem and defy anyone to prove that incorrect!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l4.c5.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 24, 2005 01:47PM

Thanks Hugh,

A very thought-provoking reply.

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Liz Falconer (---.force9.co.uk)
Date: April 29, 2005 03:37PM

Jeanne,

You're not doing A210 are you???!!!

In reply to your form question. I think Hugh pretty much has it covered but I would say an undramatised lyric in heroic couplets. Mainly IP with odd change in metre. In two parts with a turn at 'But Lo!'

Heroic couplets suggest didacticism or satire. I bet if you look, you can find both!!! I can elaborate if you want me to!!

If you are doing A210 with the OU why don't you drop into the A210 chat room and ask for an invite to the smart group- many discussion going on there.

HTH

Liz

P.S Thanks to whomever set up this page


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jamie Jones (217.154.168.---)
Date: April 29, 2005 09:07PM

oups....someone got busted...!!
I'm also doing A210, and looking through the internet seemed to be a good idea...I don't really get a chance to attend lectures, so any other method of sharing ideas is most useful.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.lns4-c8.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 02, 2005 08:14AM

Hi Jamie,

I hope you are finding the answers to my query useful. I'm finding them such a help. Anyway I'm now working on the first draft and I never thought I'd get to this stage. I'm finding 'tone' a bit of a problem.
Never mind Im sure we will get there.

jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: May 02, 2005 11:24AM

I'm finding 'tone' a bit of a problem.

Laudatory (adjective): approving: complimentary, commendatory, eulogistic, encomiastic, panegyrical, lyrical


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jeanne (---.l4.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 02, 2005 06:27PM

Hugh,

It sounds too complicated.

Jeanne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Anne McNaughtan (---.cable.ubr04.stav.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 03, 2005 06:10AM

Hi am also doing A210 at OU can not always get to tutorials, can you tell me how to access OU chat rooms? Am a bit hopeless on the computer front...thanks for the input into horse and rider.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Lyndsey (---.no-dns-yet.ntli.net)
Date: May 03, 2005 08:45AM



Hi i am also doing A210 this i a real help how are you all finding it so far? I too was a bit stuck poetry isn't my strong point praise to whoever set up this website
Lyndsey


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jamie (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: May 03, 2005 12:03PM

ah, "tone" i'm having no problems with. i'm definately picking up all kinds of praise, and admiration, awe even, at the power of the horse, the rider, and the majesty that the two together represent. but i'm also feeling some kinds of ridicule aimed at the rider. from the simple point of the use of the word "portly" (if it DID mean then what it means now, though unlikely) right to the use of the phrase "dares thus bestride thee...", like she is asking "what kind of crazy madman has placed himself perilously atop thee?"
also i find very telling the fact that two thirds is dedicated to a horse, and the rest about his "master".

should have it finished in time to send off (!)
jamie


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: May 03, 2005 12:57PM

I don't think that the poet meant ridicule- in those days, 'portly' was more of a compliment- it meant that you were rich enough to be well-fed. I see the 'dares thus' line as 'who is brave enough,' not 'who is crazy enough.'

This doesn't mean that I'm right- the poem says to you what it says.

pam


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: YASMIN (---.access.as9105.com)
Date: May 03, 2005 04:40PM

Thank you I was in despair. This poem is giving me nightmares.. very hard to com eby any notes etc. on it. Also registered with OU doing A210 and finding it quite a haul right now!

Anyway, The horse and his rider seems to be a juxtapositional title... Normally one would refer to THE RIDER AND HIS HORSE. I think jb is emphasising the majesty of animal over war-mongering man... ANy thoughts.
PS Thanks for the analysis really helpful


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 03, 2005 04:44PM

Hi
I'm doing the A210 and yes - trying to get inspired with this poem. I keep thinking maybe its a satire - the horse is the one with all the aggresive characteristics - while the rider is described with 'a brow serene' he is - "smiling" {..} gently strokes... all very peaceful and utterly ridiculous!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 03, 2005 04:52PM

I agree as well that the title is is a joke! If the poem was in praise - A Eulogy? then it would be the rider that was given the majestic description - but the fact that JB praises the horse - suggests her contempt for the rider ?
Ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gavin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: May 03, 2005 05:07PM

I go down the ridicule route. Many of the Romantic poets were heavily influenced by the French Revolution and its aftermath. There was, among poets of the time, a sort of radical consensus for the Revolution and a general contempt for the British establishment and the military which upheld it. Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron and to a lesser extent, Coleridge all wrote along similar lines - for the 'common man' against the 'oppressive' landowning classes.

Joanna Baillie really stands out from other female poets of this age, in that she comments on wider, worldly issues. Most female poets at this time restricted themselves to the Quoditian - the depiction of everyday events and did not touch on what was going on in the world (except in a symbolic way). But Baillie was a remarkable woman, who refused to be pidgeon holed in her poetry and her plays, as Byron noted in a letter of April 2, 1817:

“When Voltaire was asked why no woman has ever written even a tolerable tragedy? ‘Ah (said the Patriarch) the composition of a tragedy requires testicles’ If this be true Lord knows what Joanna Baillie does – I suppose she borrows them”

Another interesting thing to consider is that 'The Horse and His Rider' is the title of one of Aesop's fables, which runs along these lines:

'A HORSE SOLDIER took the utmost pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn. But when the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment. War was again proclaimed, however, and when the trumpet summoned him to his standard, the Soldier put on his charger its military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his heavy coat of mail. The Horse fell down straightway under the weight, no longer equal to the burden, and said to his master, "You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a Horse into an Ass; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from an Ass to a Horse?'

'Might makes right.'

Don't quite know what to make of that - but I'm sure Baille was aware of it when she wrote the poem.

Hope that's helpful to your analysis.

Gav.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.241.---)
Date: May 03, 2005 06:57PM

Interesting thoughts Gav,

I've heard mention of the fable but can't quite see its relevance to the poem at the moment. Given that the title of the poem -is the same as the fable - it is probable that Baillie was aware of it when she wrote the poem - maybe the title was picked to ridicule the 'British soldier' of the last line.

Yet I have doubts!- Not knowing much about Baillie's politics -(more research!) I keep thinking maybe I'm reading too much into the last few lines. I can't find ironic hints elsewhere


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Liz Falconer (---.force9.co.uk)
Date: May 03, 2005 09:07PM

Hi All

I am inclined to agree with Gavin in terms of a reading of 'ridicule', although, I am not inclined to believe it is related specfically to events surrounding the French Revolution- Byron was well after Baillie's time! In my mind, this reading can co-exist with a superficial patriotic reading.

I see the horse as an extended metaphor of nature: explosive power, pride & strength along with elemental and ethereal imagery.

I see the rider as the male romantic poet- delusions of grandeur- Wordsworthian egotist- believed themselves to be equal to or better than God. Thus the ambiguity in the last section- juxtaposition, reversal of word order, symbolism, double meaning and slant rhyme- all point to disingenuity!!

Other definitions of portly = arrogant/pompous; single 'eye' of 'dark eye' is symbolic. Different numbers of eyes have different meanings: one = subhuman, divine omniscience, superhuman (usually negative).

Okay, get to the point, Liz! The point is that JB was a romantic/female writer in the 1790s. She was unimpressed with the male poets of the day but could not overtly say so. She has encoded personal criticism of the male romantic poets of the day to the extent that only the most astute of readers could identify her criticism of her male contemporaries.

Poetry is so subjective- I may be completely wrong, but these are my thoughts, for what they're worth!

Hope at least someone follows my thoughts!!!

Liz


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 03, 2005 09:56PM

Hi Liz,
Some very interesting and inspiring ideas there! But surely Baillie was writing at the time of the French Revolution (1789)

The poem could be working on various levels. A critique of war and a critique of male arrogance. As you say - Baillie had to be oblique - as did all writers who disagreed with conservative ideology. So your interpretation and Gavins are both equally valid.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Diane d (---.range81-156.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 04, 2005 11:59AM

to get to the first class A210 conferenc in the OU site...

1. Login to your student home.

2. go to the "your links" box (probably the 2nd or 3rd one down depending on how many courses you're taking) and look for a link that says "first class for arts students"

3. click on this link (and yes in the security box wotsit).

4. click on the arts cafe link under where it says "OU community"

5. Click on OUSA arts room link

6. click on A210 link

7. say hello and beg somebody to invite you to the smartgroup, we're relitively friendly and we don't bite!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: May 04, 2005 12:40PM

[www.mantex.co.uk] />
Didn't work for me. Perhaps because I am not a student? Bugmenot didn't work either.

[bugmenot.com] />
Oh, well.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: YASMIN (---.access.as9105.com)
Date: May 04, 2005 04:47PM

Wonderful!
I also got some biblical reference to horse and his rider... relevant you think? I read somewhere that JB was quite religious...


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 04, 2005 05:19PM

Thanks for an interesting read. In response to Liz's last entry and the dark eye - in dream symbology one eye represents the refusal to accept anothers viewpoint. Whilst no dream like state exists here (though with the rider's laid-back manner he could be in a bit of a trance!) I'm sure it could work with the possible covert personal criticisms.
I'm good with the extended metaphor imagery and I'm glad you mentioned the elements because my husband thought I was off with the fairies. (No use running things past him!!)

In response to Yasmin: Baillie was the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister, though I'm not sure of her own conviction.

Sue


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: ck (---.cytanet.com.cy)
Date: May 04, 2005 06:06PM

it's part of the romantic writing genre am analysing it currently and no idea what to do lol


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.243.---)
Date: May 04, 2005 06:24PM

This is a lyric poem. It needs to be listened to. Baillie keeps up the old 5 bar two step with some nice syncopation in lines 3 – 4 -13-and 21.

We get a sublime description of the horse – tough muscle – held back – the generous spirit of the creature that presents its heart to the front line – you can just see the bullet that brings this lovely animal down!
Is it galloping or standing still? What the thoughts? All the stuff about chafe – bit – brace and so on – suggests it is being held back –
The ‘white foam’- caused by exertion or by a mad urge to be set free like a bullet.
And this is interesting – is it Personification or what? The horse becomes the weapon- the smoking nostrils – the kindling eyeballs – all powerful images of warfare. And I find this so sad – this lovely generous animal being turned into an obscenity of destruction.
And by Whom? Some fat cat – with such little imagination that he can watch the deaths of horses and riders – ‘unmoved [..] serene’ While he and his fat little tummy dream of Tiffin.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chilternrailways.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 04, 2005 07:06PM

Q: Can the horse be used as an extended metaphor twice? Once for war and then for nature because I can see and give examples for both?

Also , I think portly should be given its archaic meaning of 'stately or dignified', stature referring to reputation gained by achievement? Probably a high ranking Officer of sorts?...? Short and fat probably works better with the satire though!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.243.---)
Date: May 04, 2005 07:19PM

I think you can have as many metaphors as you like - After all William Empson was happy working with 7 types of ambiguity - so I'd think Baillie could probably manage two or three
Agree about portly - fat and with ideas of grandeur!
gill


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 05, 2005 05:32AM

Thank you - and Good Luck all A210ers!!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Dan (---.rdg.ac.uk)
Date: May 05, 2005 02:08PM

To any one is who doing A210 OU course,

Does the anthology just contain the poem, or does it contain an anaylsis as well?
Im stupid and forgot to order the book and it will take a week to arrive, which is well past the due date of the essay
thanks


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chilternrailways.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 05, 2005 04:31PM

Hi Dan

We should be so lucky!!! The Anthology gives a synopsis of Baillie's long life and definitions of:

sweepy : sweeping
falchion : broad, curved sword

Hope this helps,

Sue


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrailox.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 05, 2005 04:38PM

p.s - Do you need me to do a transcibe of the poem? Neither version mentioned here is exact to the one in the Anthology.

Sue


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jamie Jones (217.154.168.---)
Date: May 05, 2005 05:23PM

Dan...you are not in trouble, my friend!
really, all you need it this page. any analysis contained in the book is far surpassed by the analysis found on this page.
it is useful to have that book, but as a long-term thing, to look through, i only found it useful to read up on the references made in the "approaching poetry" and "romantic writing" (is that the name?) text books. it is also a very nice book to have around anyway if you like poetry.
hope you get it finished in time, but i also hope you don't do very well, in a selfish kind of way. i want everyone else to do really badly, so then my essay looks comparitavely (sp?) good. nothing personal to any of you, i just think i need all the help i can get on this one!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Fiona McLaren (---.lns6-c7.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 06, 2005 03:31AM

Hello everyone

Is the facing 'south' reference about Scottish Nationalism which Baillie was possibly sympathetic to; that is, facing south to England?
I still cannot work out if heroic couplets here are used in an ironic sense in mock parody of militarism or not. Is the poem a mock heroic or abbreviated epic?

I'm also doing A210 but haven't got a reply to my request to join a smartgroup.

Fiona


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.240.---)
Date: May 06, 2005 04:35AM

Hi Fiona,
I hadn't thought of that! Facing south????? From the point of any Brit - the fear of invasion would be coming from South of the channel.

Maybe Baillie watched a horse and his rider on the way to the South coast.

I wonder if there are any mythical references to south! Off to check it out

Good luck to all and sympathies to all fellow A210 ers who are having a hard time with this poem.

ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Rowan (---.ayrcoll.ac.uk)
Date: May 06, 2005 07:42AM

Can I just ask all you A210 - how do you feel about keeping this as a little group since it seems so hard to break into the chat room at OU. Sometimes it's lonely out there in study land!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: BethD (---.range81-151.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 06, 2005 07:50AM

Thanks so much to whoever set this up! Finally i have nearly 1400 words and that's good enough for me. This TMA has been a nightmare from the start...


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Tony Mc (---.range81-157.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 06, 2005 11:38AM

Finally I have been enlightened as to what this poem is all about! It is reassuring to know there are others struggling!

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons, did anyone else think the rider wasn't English? I ask as the last two lines indicate it is the British soldier afar, brandishing the falchion.

Or have I lost the plot?


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Peter (212.139.58.---)
Date: May 06, 2005 03:12PM

Tony

Gald you feel enlightened, I on the other hand cannot sum up this poem at all. This site has been helpful, but I still feel the poem is very ambiguos and complex. Any tips you would be prepared to share would be appreciated.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Tony Mc (---.range81-157.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 06, 2005 03:23PM

I have to agree. What also made me question the nationality of the rider was the fact a falchion is a sword typical in Spain & Italy. With the peninsula wars taking place in Spain, and with Britain having fought Napoleon in Spain (I've seen Sean Bean in Sharpe!) I wondered if he is French....


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 06, 2005 03:39PM

Hello!

Tony, my initial impression was as yours but if you take portly stature in its archaic sense of stately/dignified with good reputation etc., I think it's realistic to assume the rider is a ranking officer surveying his troops and the battle field. Works for me!!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gavin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: May 06, 2005 03:43PM

I don't think he's French - the poem explicitly states 'a British soldier'. Many French words were in common usage among literary circles during this period.

After looking over the poem again, I'm convinced that it IS ridiculing the soldier and war. It's iambic pentameter in rhyming couplets - 'heroic couplets', which were mostly used for satirical poems during the eighteenth century (see glossary of terms in Approaching Poetry).

This has been a useful discussion - much more useful than the OU site, which seems to be a 'I can complete a TMA quicker than you' competition!

Gav.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Dan (---.rdg.ac.uk)
Date: May 06, 2005 04:39PM

Sue- you're a life saver! If I could have a transcription of the poem from the anthology that would be fantastic and extremely helpful. Am struggling a little with this essay and perhaps having the correct poem would so so good, particuarly as I am getting into trouble for referencing course material enough!
Thank you


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 06, 2005 05:15PM

Dan
I've mailed it to you!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jamie Jones (217.154.168.---)
Date: May 06, 2005 05:38PM

i've been thinking....if we use any ideas from here, do we have to cite our sources?
i vote that we all cite each other on our essays!! i want to write everybody down at the end of my paper, and i think we should do it on every one until the end of a210.
anybody interested?


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chilternrailways.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 06, 2005 06:00PM

At this rate it will sound like a roll call!!!

Unless we're qouting anybody directly I don't think we have to, do we? We may take an idea but we all make it fit our own argument.

But I would like to thank................!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Dan (---.rdg.ac.uk)
Date: May 06, 2005 06:40PM

Thank you Sue- you're an absolute star!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: jamie jones (217.154.168.---)
Date: May 07, 2005 02:05AM

ginnyfly mentioned earlier about the positioning of the horse..his surroundings etc..galloping or standing still...how is everybody envisaging this? i'm stuck between a couple of ideas, the two of them in slow motion, spun round in black space like a matrix camera shot, or else she is describing a painting.
any other ideas?

i really better start getting some of this down in type, i only have 268 words, and soon will start to panic. maybe i will just present a link to this page instead.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.244.---)
Date: May 07, 2005 03:41AM

Jamie - You are doing better than me I have only 150 - 200 words - so far.
Love your descriptions. I did a google search for images but too many pages for my limited dial up speed (42K!!!!)
Gill


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Linda (---.l1.c2.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 07, 2005 05:36AM

I see thye horse in that not quite rearing up, pawing the ground position. Back legs bent, dropping its tail. "Whilst low to earth.........clouds of sand" Forelegs bouncing off the ground "The champing hooves....." and "Erect in air......" This image from the elgin marbles shows what I mean even if it is ancient Greek.
[www.greece.org]


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Lou (---.cable.ubr05.newy.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 07, 2005 07:02AM

Phew, thank God I found this page, it's so nice to know other people are struggling along, makes me feel so much better! I agree, to all A210-ers lets stick together and help each other through, I don't get to go to tutorials so it's fab to meet others of a simliar mind....i.e. sick of this TMA!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Peter (---.access.as9105.com)
Date: May 07, 2005 08:18AM

Hi

Can anyone enlighten me as to any specific themes regarding the poem. I sense pride in a physical and characteristic sense, but there also seems to be something underlying with regards to the preference of the horse over the rider which I cant seem to put into words!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: keith roberts (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: May 07, 2005 08:31AM

just a small point on the timing of the poem - states in back of anthology was published in 1790 - napoleonic war didn't satrt till much later smiling smiley


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Linda (---.l1.c2.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 07, 2005 09:37AM

Beginings of the French revolution then. But the descriptions including armour "And ring'st the plated harness....." and the inclusion of a falchion imply an earlier war. I googled falchion and found that it resembles a machete, was usually used by infantry and was in use between the 12th and 16th centuries.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 07, 2005 11:37AM

Hi Lou

Its difficult for me to get to tutorials and I cant say I am over impressed with the OU chat group - so I was delighted to find this page. Email me any time

ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 07, 2005 11:56AM

Linda - Thanks for the image. I think that is a fair representation of the horse - if not the rider. I also think that it is important we dont assume too much that this poem is about a specific soldier in a specific war. So the greek image is as valid as a contemporary one

Ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Tony Mc (---.range81-157.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 07, 2005 12:27PM

I hope everyone has managed their TMA on the poem...I'm still struggling I must admit. Still 600 words to go!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Cressa (---.range81-132.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 07, 2005 12:50PM


Hello, I'm another A210 student and would like to thank everyone. This has been a very helpful read but I feel a bit guilty for not putting any imput myself. So here it is!

I've personally not agreed with the ridicule aspect. I think the poem is filled with contrary images between the horse and rider. the horse seems impatient and furious. 'champing hoofs', 'kindling eyeballs' and 'nostril bursts smoke'. 'mane floating' and 'rising neck' is also movement of the horse. Impatience is conveyed as the rider seems to be restraining him 'braced' and 'chafing'. The rider however just seems to be sat on the horse and 'gently stroking' him with a 'falchion' in his other hand. ie calm in comparison.

I don't know if this is any help to anyone but I hope it does.

Cressa


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Amanda (---.cable.ubr03.trow.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 07, 2005 01:23PM

Hi All

I'm another A210'er and have found this discussion very intersesting. Like Cressa, I dont agree with the ridicule aspect. If the rider was portly in the sense of being fat, I cant imagine him being described as 'godly to the sight' - which is quite a compliment

For me it seems that the writer is almost in awe of both the horse and the rider. I may be on another planet(it's what poetry does to my brain), but Baillie saying 'fair floating to the winds of heaven' conjurs up some angelic vision.

Again, I'm one of those that cant get to tutorials, so its really nice to have found this discussion.

Amanda


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: keith roberts (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: May 07, 2005 01:29PM

just a thought, people might disagree smiling smiley
just wondering if it isn't a british soldier being described but the rider is looking towards a british soldier

whose brandished falchion dreaded gleams afar?
it is a british soldier (etc)

is the rider therefore looking and fearing the coming conflict with a british soldier?

thoughts???


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Amanda (---.cable.ubr03.trow.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 07, 2005 02:26PM

hi keith

Personally I read the last line as being the answer to the question at the turn of the poem

'But Lo! what creature, godly to the sight, dares thus bestride thee'

'It is a british soldier, armed for war!'

Amanda


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Cressa (---.range81-129.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 07, 2005 02:33PM

Hi

I agree with Amanda. After the turn in line 15 it's just a series of 5 questions that follow and they're all basically asking the same question. The questions are aimed at the horse.
Who dares to ride you?
Answer:
A British soldier.
I don't think the horse actually replies but the speaker answers their own question.

Cressa


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Tony Mc (---.range81-157.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 07, 2005 02:40PM

[www.gospeltruth.net] />
The above gives an interesting quote from Matthew's Gospel with regards to the rider's "dark eye". I just wondered with Baillie being the daughter of a minister, she may have been familiar with it....


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chilternrailways.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 07, 2005 02:55PM

That's a good bit of research Tony, thanks for that! It ties in nicely with Liz's divine omniscience (not literally of course!!!)

And I've still got a few more words to do than you!!!

Sue


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: mell (---.lns6-c7.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 08, 2005 05:56AM

Hi thanks to everyone I have found this so difficult and I went to the tutorial but it did not discuss this poem. My tutor did give me one hint though she said to look at the way the poem sat on the page - solid like a monument - that was it!! I think that the poem's layout could almost be as a moment with the poem written on it as an epitaph to war, the title acting like a statue??? Of course the whole thing is then a paradox because Baillie is not in support or awe but hates the whole image and this is why 14 lines is dedicated to the description of the horse and the last 7 the rider. only a thought i have 600 words to go!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: KarW (---.cable.ubr03.azte.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 08, 2005 08:36AM

Hi all,

In response to Amanda above, I would say that although "godly to the sight" might appear to be a compliment - it could also be saying that they only look "godly" and therefore may not be "godly" within, if that makes sense?

Karne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: caz2804 (---.213-249-199-161.dsl.kcom.com)
Date: May 08, 2005 09:44AM

Im am so glad I've found this page and like Cressa, feel a bit guilty for using all your hard work! - Its all really good stuff...

Reading the poem, I think it uses some really harsh sounds. In line 1 the words used sound really 'strong' and not soft at all but, then when we get to line 4 it sounds so much softer just by using the words 'floating' and heaven. But, the whole poem does sound to me as if the writer wasn't at all impressed with British soldiers!

One thing Im still not sure about is if the rider is the British soldier or, if as mentioned, the rider and his horse spy a British soldier as line 21 reads '...gleams from afar'? Can anyone help?

thanks in advance....


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Verity (---.range81-151.btcentralplus.com)
Date: May 08, 2005 09:52AM


In reply to Karne, I think 'godly to thy sight' is meant ironically - i that's how the horse should regard his master !

Also I think JB especially chose the word 'portly' to be derogatory. The OED says the word is archaic and means 'of stately or dignified appearance and manner' . But the fact remains that JB did not choose to use the word 'stately' in describing the rider, though that is the word she used when describing the horse ! (Line 2)

I'm

Verity


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: samantha (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: May 08, 2005 10:49AM

Hi all! I'm also doing A210 and can't attend many tutorials. I've been reading your input and found it very helpful indeed. It goes to show how people can see very diffrent things in the same text. I wish the OU chat site was as easy to access and the people were as friendly and as helpful in debate.
Does anyone have any positive feeling on how the poetic language contibutes to the effect and meaning of the poem? The meaning i'm still a little confused about, not sure if its complimentary to the rider and the horse or there's underlining ridicule about the reason they are actually there (Some form of war..possibly Revolutionary)
The effect i think is uplifting to the reader, I don't find it somber or sad as such, nor is it a particularly light and airy happy poem.
Many thanks again to you all for sharing your ideas, it's been most helpful to see other ways the poem can be looked at. Good luck to you all
samantha x


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: samantha (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: May 08, 2005 10:50AM

Hi all! I'm also doing A210 and can't attend many tutorials. I've been reading your input and found it very helpful indeed. It goes to show how people can see very diffrent things in the same text. I wish the OU chat site was as easy to access and the people were as friendly and as helpful in debate.
Does anyone have any positive feeling on how the poetic language contibutes to the effect and meaning of the poem? The meaning i'm still a little confused about, not sure if its complimentary to the rider and the horse or there's underlining ridicule about the reason they are actually there (Some form of war..possibly Revolutionary)
The effect i think is uplifting to the reader, I don't find it somber or sad as such, nor is it a particularly light and airy happy poem.
Many thanks again to you all for sharing your ideas, it's been most helpful to see other ways the poem can be looked at. Good luck to you all
samantha x


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 08, 2005 11:13AM

Afar can mean at or to a distance, so in this case I read that the rider is brandishing his falchion which can be seen from far away.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: AnneVM (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: May 08, 2005 05:22PM

Hello,

This is a good website to find, I'm enjoying all of the comments.
Regarding Baliie's view of war, check out page 183 of 'Romantic Writings' as It helped me to make up my mind.

Good luck to all

Anne


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: AnneVM (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: May 08, 2005 05:26PM

Hello,

I'm doing A210 as well and I want to thank everyone for thier comments. page 183 of 'Romantic Writings' might help to determine whether Baillie was for or against war.


AnneVM


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: fional (213.42.2.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 04:13AM

Hi everyone,

I'm so glad I've found this page. I'm doing the A210 and have just managed to finish the assigment. I've found all the comments very useful and interesting - I don't feel so alone!!! The poem was hard work and I'm still not sure if I've interpreted it correctly. I thought it could be a metaphor for the struggles of women poets in their fight to be recognized (having to write anon or under a male psuedonym) the description of the horse swings from masculine to feminine. Anyway ...... I'm still not really sure! but it's finished - now on to the next one!
good luck everyone

fiona


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jen Clare (---.l5.c5.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 09, 2005 07:11AM

Cheers to everyone

I thought I was going to hate this but you have really really helped me

Thanks

Jennifer

Although I do feel a little guilty as my tutor told me that the OU try and pick obscure poems to study because there is so much info on the net, and they scour the internet to make sure that there is no info on it.....


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.240.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 07:24AM

Bit late for further comments but for anyone who is struggling - like me have you thought about the slant rhymes!

Also did you know heroic couplets were often used for 'satiric or didactic purposes' - think I read that in Approaching Poetry. A lot of poetry in the 18th century used heroic couplets but with strong rhyme (masculine - I think its called!) steed/breed is a typical example - as is might/sight but
Baillie only uses four strong rhymes in the poem the rest are slant half rhyme like break/neck and sand/pride - I think she is using slant rhyme in heroic couplets to satirise the apparently admiring sentiments expressed in the poem - not put very well -sorry

Right back to work - Good luck all. I hope we can all work together on the next TMA. How about someone starts a thread on the next assignment?

ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue Roberts (---.chiltrail.adsl.gxn.net)
Date: May 09, 2005 08:12AM

Hi ginnyfly

i'm still struggling on too

Agree with the rhymes but I counted 5 true and 6 sight rhymes. (I'm sure this definition came from my tutotial in relation to another poem.) - and for the true rhyme I allowed for given/heaven (non-stressed additional syllable) I keep changing my mind about the satire/didacticism. Keep thinking that the whole thing is a parody of an ode? What do you reckon on that???

Sue

And I'll be back for the next one - who is going to pose the first question do you think???


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Honora (---.dsl.pipex.com)
Date: May 09, 2005 09:20AM

Hi, I am new to this but would love to share some ideas before starting writing this assignment on OU A210 TMA 3.

Does anybody else think the metre is strange on the first line. I know there is an iambic pentameter for the poem, but surely the first line does not follow this, and with the word BRACED being in capitals this seems to highlight the fact that the poem starts with a stressed syllable!! That means that there is a trochaic beginning falling into iambic in the rest of the line. Am I going completely bonkers and have I lost the plot?

In addition, I am struggling with the voice, and surely it must be about more than the horse and the rider? Also can anybody help with the metaphors, is the whole poem a metaphor? Oh dear. Help!!!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Gill Pell (217.205.242.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 10:04AM

Hi Honora,
Absolutely agree the first line is not your classic ip The first word BRACED is obviously meant to be stressed. Your scanning is exactly like mine - she seems to be using a trochaic foot . According to Bygraves (Approaching Poetry) this is done by poets to vary the rhythm. But I think that Baillie deliberately breaks the rules in the first word - maybe to hint that this is not a standard hearth and home God/Country type poem. If you are losing the plot then so am I!

Voice? Well it depends doesnt it. If you see the poem as a kind of Eulogy of the British Army (and you can easily read it this way) then the voice would be admiring - awed by the horse and the serenity of the great British soldier who dares to mount him.
If on the other hand you read the poem as satiric -( have you read all the threads yet!!! ) you'll see that some of us think the poem was anti war so the voice is satirical - and its up to you prove it - think slant lines - odd rhyming and so on -
I found this essay about another of her poems

Baillie's Ahalya Baee is a combination of authority and domesticity far superior to the warring rulers around her. She represents what may be assessed as the epitome of womanhood for Baillie, but she is ultimately a victim in the patriarchal arena of war and confirms that women's commitment to sustaining life directly contrasts with men's engagement in war and violence. In Baillie's conflict of genders, man prevails in the physical world, but woman prevails in the spiritual—according to this feminist octogenarian, the sublime state'

Ref
Produced in collaboration with the University of Chicago. Send mail to Editor@AlexanderStreet.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2001 Alexander Street Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved
Visited site 9/5/05

Metaphor? I see her description of the horse as a metaphor for a weapon.

Sorry about the rough reference very busy rushing trying to get it in by tomorrow! Good luck
ginnyfly


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: kirsty jones (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: May 09, 2005 12:32PM

Hi,
I've left my TMA right to the last minute (have been doing it on the sly at work today!) and this site has been a great help.
Just thought i'd share my thoughts... i think that the horse could be a metaphor for the common man that has to go and fight wars without wanting to and the rider is the government (or the upper class) that makes the decision to fight the war and doesn't have to take the risks with their lives (that is why the soldier in the poem is calm about the battle). I'm not sure if this is a bit far out though- might be reading too much into it. I've also picked up the metaphors of war/weapons with the description of the horse etc so i might just go with that.

Has anybody else noticed the use of the natural elements (the weather) in the horse part of the poem 'winds', 'thunder', 'clouds' and 'air'- i thought this could be symbolic (a motif?) of the horse's (or what it represents)strength and that it is not controlled by humans (the rider).

Voice? I think it is important to put in your essay that the speaker and the writer are different- so the poem could not be expressing Baillie's personal opinions. I think it is 3rd person perspective.

Good luck to everybody like me- last minute merchants!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue (overseas) (---.hr.hr.cox.net)
Date: May 09, 2005 12:45PM

Hi all fellow-suffering A210 ers - have a thought for me - have just arrived in the States for 3 years and the americans can't understand what I'm saying let alone Ms Baillie!!! Enjoyed the first 2 TMAs but it is reassuring to find that all of you are finding the poetry as difficult as I am!! Have peeked ahead to TMA 04 and that looks even worse!! Good luck!! I'd love to be able to comment but am just about to start the TMA so can't help!!

All the best

Sue

P.S. At least with our time difference I get 5 hours more than you to e-mail my TMAs in - HA!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Sue (overseas) (---.hr.hr.cox.net)
Date: May 09, 2005 12:46PM

Hi all fellow-suffering A210 ers - have a thought for me - have just arrived in the States for 3 years and the americans can't understand what I'm saying let alone Ms Baillie!!! Enjoyed the first 2 TMAs but it is reassuring to find that all of you are finding the poetry as difficult as I am!! Have peeked ahead to TMA 04 and that looks even worse!! Good luck!! I'd love to be able to comment but am just about to start the TMA so can't help!!

All the best

Sue

P.S. At least with our time difference I get 5 hours more than you to e-mail my TMAs in - HA!


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Jaybee (213.78.119.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 12:47PM

I cannot believe the first word being in caps is significant. It is common in publishing to print the first word of shorter poems in caps. If you look through the book you will notice that many of the poems start with a capitalised first word, including all of J Baillie's.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Hugh Clary (12.73.175.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 12:48PM

The first line could be interpreted several ways, such as a headless iamb ([while] braced, [when] braced, [now] braced) instead of a trochee. Dactyls, too?

BRACED in the SINewy VIGour of thy BREED,

Oops, too many syllables between VIG and BREED. Still, stressing OF is not pleasing either.

I feel sure we could criticize the frequent apostrophes (brac'd, gen'rous, involv'd), but again this was commonplace way back when. More confusing is the lack of the apostrophe in other places, but we we may probably infer she intended archèd and chaffèd below, because of the syllable count.

Graceful the rising of thine arched neck.
White churning foam thy chaffed bits enlock;


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: ck (---.cytanet.com.cy)
Date: May 09, 2005 03:36PM

actually Dan the poem was published in 1790 a year after the french revolution, but no proof WHEN it was written. as to aesop i made that reference too.

it's a very daunting thing to analyse this poem, i have contacted a PHD friend on Gender Studies who has no clue on Romanticism, great huh?

i wish everyone who does A210 good luck, i certainly need it.


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: May 09, 2005 04:01PM

Honora,

Try clicking on 'Flat View.' It will make the other posts appear all on one page.

pam


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Peter (212.139.34.---)
Date: May 09, 2005 04:05PM

Hi

Can anyone help me? Where in the texts does it talk about masculine and femine words, I cant seem to find anything.

Congrats to those that have finished and good luck to those still trying


Re: The horse and his rider
Posted by: Lou (---.cable.ubr05.newy.blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: May 09, 2005 04:19PM

Page 43 Literature and Gender,

Good luck everybody!! Up to 800 words, so not doing too badly...: )
Lou


Goto Page: 12Next
Current Page: 1 of 2


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.com powered by Phorum.