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Names of Horses Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Names of Horses.
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"Names of Horses" can be counted among Donald Hall's best-known and most accomplished poems. Critics are drawn to the complexity of its vision as it addresses the large questions of time and mortality while exploring the events in the life span of a horse. As evidence of its complexity, critics have identified two seemingly opposite currents that course through the poem: the harsh reality of death (through the killing of the old and weak) and the comfort the poet draws from reviving memories of the past, no matter how painful. Writing in the Harvard Advocate, Richard Nalley notes how the poem engages overtly with death, and yet "there is a certain sentimentality and longing for the past" evident as well. The blending of these concerns creates a sense of bittersweet nostalgia. In the poem, Nalley states, "Hall wishes to make one feel an inclusive warmth and a fine...

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This section contains 343 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Names of Horses Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Names of Horses from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.