Book Review:Horse Prayers by Anna Blake

Poetry!  The best poets, with an economy of words, can bring us ideas that hurtle through our heads with the speed and power of an express train or come in quietly through the door of our minds and pass through gently leaving their footprints.  In “Horse Prayers” Anna Blake comes in quietly  and leaves not only footprints but hoofprints.  Horse Prayers is an enchanting collection of poems about life on the Colorado prairie.  The poems speak mostly of horses and donkeys, but also dogs, goats and the prairie itself.

The poems are divided into sections of Moons: Wolf Moon, Pink Moon, Strawberry Moon, Harvest Moon, Hunter Moon, and Cold Moon. Each moon has a thread that runs through it.  My two favourites were in Wolf Moon; both told of the relationship we have with horses that is not about their submission to humans, or the humans’ control of horses but our link with them that spans millennia and how, if we quiet our chattering human minds, we can open ourselves to the horse and learn who we really are.

Here is one of the poems that spoke volumes to me.

WISH

We felt them close,

before we had skin,

from an infinite prairie

the vibration began.

A slow rolling nicker

rumbled, more felt

than heard. Horses

called to us before

we were born, so we

would remember their

warm breath when we

first saw fairy-tale images

in children’s books. We

were theirs long before

we called them our own. 20180803_125223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the other poem that will remain long in my memory.

WOMAN

Eyes averted, shuffling an invisible

walk. A predator who feels like sad prey,

trying to pass for normal, trying to

hold balance. It doesn’t fool the mare.

She sees it all, distant movements in

her periphery or tiny broken parts deep inside

complicated humans; bruised

children in aged bodies;splintered.20180803_125159 (1)

Intentions colored with anger,brittle

berayed love, honor abandoned for

sake of convenience. Details are less

important to the mare that the sour

emotions we hold tight. It isn’t her

job to patch us up and make us whole,

but for the moment , she can let us feel

what it would be like if we were.

 

Anna Blake understands the truth of why horses are so important to us. We all know, even non horse people know, that horses are so good with autistic children, wounded warriors with PTSD, all types of mental disorders and physical disabilities.  Why are they so good? It is not just because they are docile. There are other docile animals. Why not cows instead of horses? The answer lies somewhere in the mists of time and our evolution together.

There is a Native American legend that the Great Spirit created all the animals and then  told them that he was going to create Man and that Man would need help. The Great Spirit asked for an animal to come forward and help Man.  There was a pause. Then Horse stepped forward and said: “I will help Man.”

It does not really matter if you believe this creation story or not. For me it is a good illustration of our relationship with horses. This relationship is explored brilliantly by Anna Blake in her book Horse Prayers.

This is an enchanting book and I would recommend that you buy two copies; one to keep and one(or more) to give away to friends, whether they are horse people or not. Reading these poems will transport you to the world of the Colorado Prairie and the world of horses . It will take you to a very special understanding of where we, as humans, fit in.

*All photos in this post copied from Horse Prayers by Anna Blake*

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna Blake says:

    Reblogged this on Anna Blake: The Print Version. and commented:
    Horse Prayers has landed! So grateful for this wonderful review from Anne, and she shared two of my favorite poems.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true, Anne! Horses are therapeutic.
    I think it was Winston Churchill who said: “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it was Winston Churchill. Apparently he was a keen polo player in his day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Adding this to my list of books to read/buy…lovely connections.
    Thanks Anne for the ‘review’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You’re most welcome. I think you will enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anna Blake says:

    Thank you so much, Anne. I appreciate the kind words.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tina Schell says:

    Loved both the poetry and the photos Anne. My granddaughter will love this. Her birthday is in Sept. perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is a wonderful collection of poems. I think your granddaughter will like them. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the poem, and that cute little girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. doar nicole says:

    Nice poems, and the photos… the first one is extremely lovely! 🙂 I really liked these lines: “It isn’t her job to patch us up and make us whole, but for the moment. she can let us feel what it would be like if we were.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! And yes I also love those lines.

      Like

  8. Great share of “woman” poem & the legend 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I was so busy thinking of Anna as a “horse person” I forgot she is also a woman poet.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love it 💕👏 hoofprints from Blake 🙂 what a name too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Ray. Hope you are having a good weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, beach & sea 🙂 & cocktails 🍸 🍹 🌎😃

        Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.