Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Gift Horse OR Lines on the Anatomy of Power

A few days ago, I uploaded a new video shot by my friend Graham Collett to my You Tube channel, reading a poem over it that I wrote for the occasion. Some readers have contacted me in the past to say they cannot access You Tube for one reason or another so I am posting poem and video here today. (See below.)

Alternatively, you may be able to access it directly on You Tube:

OR Go to my You Tube channel and search by title:

The 4th Plinth is the north-west plinth in Trafalgar Square in central London, UK; set aside for a rolling program of contemporary art works. The current work depicts a skeletal horse in bronze. The artist, German-American Hans Haacke, says it is a tribute to economist Adam Smith and English painter George Stubbs. (The horse is based on an engraving by Stubbs taken from ‘The Anatomy of the Horse’ published in 1766.) Tied to the horse’s front leg is an electronic ribbon displaying live feed from the London Stock Exchange thereby completing the link between power, money and history.
There are many metaphors for wealth and power of which The Trojan (Gift) Horse of myth and legend is but one…


Measure of means, icon for history
gifted with beauty and power;
a horse, once tamed, a worthy ally

An ages-old metaphor for industry,
no less so for sport, and leisure;
measure of means, icon for history

Well trained, no more trustworthy
a vehicle of human endeavour;
a horse, once tamed, a worthy ally

Sometime victim of the inhumanity
human beings show one another;
measure of means, icon for history

Life force against worldly adversity,
(live metaphor for Earth Mother)
a horse; once tamed, a worthy ally

Imaging death as a skeletal memory,
elegy to nature and human nature;
a horse, once tamed, a worthy ally,
measure of means, icon for history

Copyright R. N. Taber 2016

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