O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows,
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane,
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.

Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground
When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the rein.
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound
Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain.

Give him, she said, something of yours as a charm.
Throw him, she said, some poor thing you alone claim.
No, no, I cried, he hates me; he is out for harm,
And whether I yield or not, it is all the same.

But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove
Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand;
The terrible beast, that no one may understand,
Came to my side, and put down his head in love.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Louise Bogan's poem The Dream

1 Comment

  1. Laura says:

    Your fear can be overcome with trusting that life will take you where you need to go. In the poem she describes herself, almost like a child fearful of the ups and downs of life. She describes a woman taking hold of the horse, in a way that she could not. The woman tells her to give something to the horse, surrender in a way, to life and trust in it.

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