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HOOFPRINTS by Jessie Haas

HOOFPRINTS

Horse Poems

By Jessie Haas

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-053406-0
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Haas takes the idea that poetry can tell stories a step further than usual here: into history, more specifically, the history of the horse. She does this in 104 poems, from the first horse-like multi-toed creatures 65 million years ago (“Couldn’t run fast— / just fast enough”) to modern-day dressage (“This rider, / in black jacket, white breeches, / is accountable for each step taken”), from Holland to Iraq to Mesopotamia, from the horse as meat to transport, to companion, and back to meat again. The language is precise, careful, and true; the history multifaceted as history should be. “The fantastic happens daily, even now/and daily we record it. / In time our descendents will prove/that it was possible.” Ambitious, accomplished, adventuresome. (Poetry. 10+)