Did you see Alan Braden’s poem featured in the Poetry column in today’s Oregonian? It’s about the “brute geometry” of horses. This poem is featured in an artist book we carry here at 23 Sandy of the same title, “Details of the Four Chambers to the Horse’s Heart.” A fine book by area letterpress printer Joseph Green using the full text of Braden’s poem.
Excerpt of text reads:
Listen. The last time I saw my father
alive, he spoke of horses, the brute geometry
of a broken team in motion. He tallied
the bushels of oats, gallons of water
down to the drop each task would cost.
How Belgians loved hardwood hames the most.
Give them the timber sled at logging camp
any day, the workable meadows in need
of leveling, tilling, harrowing, new seeding.
We could’ve been in our dark loafing shed,
cooling off between loads of chopping hay,
the way he carried on that last good day.
With proper encouragement, he said,
they would work themselves to death.