Horses on the Grass

By Grace Schulman b. 1935 Grace Schulman
From the tower window
the moon
draws a silver maple’s shadow
across a spangled lawn;
                                  horses
rear, manes lashing the air,
front legs floating.
                              Half monarch,
half shadow, the tree   
aspires to the sky;
one branch, cracked by lightning,
scrapes the earth.   
                           Reflected
on the grass, bent twigs
are curved hooves, galloping
as the moon rises.

Divided it stands
in wholeness, mourning
its victories, praising
the god of trees, the king of horses.

The tree holds souls
in a bark prison
poised like a runner at the starting line—
and bolts free, wildly
pawing the ground those roots lie under.

Grace Schulman, “Horses on the Grass” from Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Grace Schulman. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved, www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com.

Source: Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002)

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Poet Grace Schulman b. 1935

Subjects Trees & Flowers, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Grace  Schulman

Biography

Poet and editor Grace Schulman was born in 1935 in New York City, studying at Bard College, American University, and New York University, where she earned her PhD. She is distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, and served as the poetry editor of the Nation from 1972 to 2006. She also directed the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center from 1973 to 1985. She has published six collections of poetry, including Days of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Trees & Flowers, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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