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Terrible Horse

Dreamed 1941 by Louise Bogan

O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows.
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane,
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.

Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground
When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the rein.
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound,
Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain.

"Give him," she said, "something of yours as a charm.
Throw him", she said, "some poor thing you alone claim."
"No, no," I cried, "he hates me; he's out for harm,
And whether I yield or not, it is all the same."

But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove
Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand,
The terrible beast, that no one may understand,
Came to my side, and put down his head in love.

--Louise Bogan--


In a non-dream poem the glove might well be added just to rhyme with the final line. But this is a dream. When Bogan offers the horse her "right glove" this may be punning dream-advice: offer your old rage and fear "right love." I suggest this because my own dreams often use this pun, such as: Tough Glove.

This is from Louise Bogan's Collected Poems, 1954. Bogan's own title for the poem, 'The Dream', is unsearchable in an online dream-library; Terrible Horse is purely my title of convenience. I'll index both of course.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: nightmares - horses - anger - fear - Jungian shadow figures - courage and cowardice - repression - animas and guides - advice - giving - puns - healing - transcendent dreams - poetry - similar dream, similar poem! Patagia's Witness, 2006.

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