Winter 2024 – Poetry

The Aldgate Horses – LJ Ireton

Now cool in the fountain – 

A memory of earth water;

Squelching feet in fields

With cleaner conscience,

Louder heartbeats.

The speaker conveys admiration for one of the bronze horse statues in London. A memory of earth water, under stone readings of oxygen. These are highlights of some of the unique metaphors used in the poem. The choice of phrasing also offers an echo of archaic quality. A tone of repose moves throughout the poem within a subtle ambience of intimacy between the speaker and the horse statue. The statue is commended for its strength and beauty, represented as a muse of hope that became an epitome of life itself in London. Steel sinew/ they saw the russet muscle and mane, The life of London/Was the breath of the horse.

Lost, lost/ In Tyger-roared smog. The allusion to William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ tells us of the speaker’s awareness of the inevitable human experience of adversity (‘evil’). The speaker desires the symbolism of the statue to be resuscitated as a reassurance that hope has not left us, and that this presence exists wildly and freely.  Stroke your sculptured face/For a pulse, Standing stone/For medieval movement – and run.

I also saw this poem as an invitation to see how the past speaks to us. How it can inspire us. How might an area of the past empower you and become a part of tomorrow’s light? This poem also suggests the idea of time as an abstract concept, yesterday being just as powerful and longed for as today. What’s been can be here

Hamsa, Associate Editor

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By Amber Kennedy

Amber Natalie Kennedy is a poet and fiction writer from Oxfordshire, England and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Spellbinder Magazine. She currently works full time in publishing. She has a master’s degree in Creative Writing and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, both from Durham University. She has attended and led several different writing groups.

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