Updated: May 21
It feels like being thrown
overboard to lighten the load
of a ship,
becalmed in a storm.
It must be snowing oats
over The Horse Latitudes,
one stallion is still alive!
You grab the horse's mane
and the horse pulls you,
but the strong Labrador Current
pulls you in another direction.
All your human strength holds
on to the horse as it pulls you,
pulls you through the Unpastured waters
of the cold North Atlantic,
where the current is strongest
and the longing for home
pulls you, unbridled
and running through the long
and dark steeplechases
of the heart.
David Thane Cornell
Here's comment on how and why David wrote the poem.
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT DAVID POEM, HOMESICKNESS:
The idea for this poem was born in a hospital bed ten years ago, when I was suffering from a life-threatening blood clot. I desperately wanted to go home as I was getting better in my recovery. The medical team kept saying, maybe tomorrow we can discharge you, but tomorrow came and then they said tomorrow and this went on for a week. This emotional tug of war with the doctors and my homesickness became a malady, a torturous current. The thought of Horse Latitudes came to me spontaneously and I saw that as analogous to my personal situation, a feeling of abandonment-- horses thrown overboard and drowning. I often use mythology to create perspective in my poems, hence the opening line of Homesickness. This approach to writing a poem is inspired by my late poetry mentor and friend, Siv Cedering Fox, who was also a horse lover, wrote quite a few poems and prose poems about horses. Repetition of a word in a poem is a hallmark feature of Fox's poems, a tension that builds up to the poem's climax-- such as 'pull' 'pulls' and 'pulling.' Many of my poems I see as emotive devices, tapping my deepest innermost feelings. The way I see it, nothing-- neither emotions nor events are ineffable. If things in my life become beyond words, then I am no longer a poet.
Comment of Dr Pragya Suman is below
Homesickness is actually a story of a soul struggling through an ordeal and an everlasting emotion clinged to a tussle.
It is an exemplary of modern poetry weaved in a single stanza with multiple lines . Poet has used line breaks so meticulously that they produce magic by juxtaposing images.
Modern poetry believes in deleting words for visual spacing .
Organic or subjective imagery talks about emotion or sensation of a person ,fear ,hunger. As the poet has himself described about his mental state so no further explanation is needed on emotional elements all we have to look for it's a literary explanation.
Stallions , Labrador current , snowing oats , ships are metaphors ! Labrador current is cold current in the North Atlantic ocean .
A Geographical metaphor !
That is dragging the poet in its grasp but he is unyielding and wants to be out of its circular clutch along with the stallions .
Stallion is his brave soul and Labrador current is his tormentic time.
Stallions are always used in literature , Shakeaspear was also fond of them . In the past they were the main source of battle ,bravery and travel . In modern times with novel inventions they are not like their permeating past but limited in particular zones . Mainly they are used in racecourse and use of "steeplechase " indicates horses of a racecourse were in the mind of the writer during writing.
Movement of the poet with a stallion produces the effect of Kinesthetic imagery.
Kinesthetic imagery is visualization of movement or sense of a body in motion .
" Pulls " is used as anaphora .
Homesickness is a cocktail of a trio "economical words ,free verse and visual fixing" in a struggling soul !
Dr Pragya Suman