Poetry Across Time: Character and Voice Key Language: connotation, imagery, metaphor, simile Structure and Form: stanzas, type, patterns, contrast, juxtaposition Poetic methods: alliteration, caesura, assonance, rhythm, rhyme Character and Voice: Who is speaking and to whom? Tone of voice Links: Comparisons to other speakers, methods and themes Horse Whisperer Forster describes experienceInstantly introduced with an of a horse whisperer who is ataggressive tone towards the They shouted for me first sought out and thennarrator when their horses snorted, when restless hounded for his gifts. hooves traced circles in the earth and shimmering muscles refused the plough. Visual qualities My secret was a spongy tissue, pulled bloody Knows of way in which from the mouth of a just-born foal, to calm the horse The first stanzas have scented with rosemary, cinnamon, longer line lengths and a charm to draw the tender giants this shortens towards to my hands. Aggressive tone the end as a reflection of Horse Whisperer’s way They shouted for me of life drawing to a when their horses reared at the burning straw close. and eyes revolved in stately heads. They think of him as some sort I would pull a frogs wishbone, of witch-doctor Use of a simile to tainted by meat, from a pouch, compare the horses a new fear to fight the fear of fire, so I could lead the horses, This line could be seen as The poem is written in like helpless children, to safety. symbolic for the mighty horses free verse reflecting the rearing up in fear at the fire different aspects of the I swore I would protect narrative this legacy of whispers Symbolises change that but the tractor came over the fields mechanised agricultural like a warning. I was the life-blood machinery had on rural areas no longer. From pulpits I was scorned as a demon and witch. Links back to how they Pitchforks drove me from villages and farms. simile ‘as demon and The feel about him. Hex: Cast witch’ shows the a spell on; bewitch My gifts were the tools of revenge. population’s distrust of his A foul hex above a stable door skills with horses. so a trusted stallion could be ridden Forced to move no more. Then I joined the stampede, away as there was with others of my kind, Final short stanza - no more work to countries far from our trade. caesura between each named breed of horse Visual qualities Still I miss them. Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk. adds gravity to the The searing breath, glistening veins, loss and sadness that bring the steady tread and the pride, the Horse Whisperer horses to life most of all the pride. feels Interpretations of the poem: • After stumbling across a book on ‘strange phenomena’ while visiting a friend, Forster became fascinated by the techniques employed by whisperers and by the changing public perception of their skills. • The voice in the poem is an individual voice but represents the experience of all horse whisperers.