and not to grow thin in the city,
where at some point you will have to live;
and one must imagine the absence of money.Most of all though: the living weight,the sound of his feet on the needles,and, since he is heavy, and real . . .
and, since he is heavy, and real,
. . . one must imagine lovein the mind that does not know love,
an animal mind, a love that does not dependon your image of it,your understanding of it;
So what is this scary metaphor for or symbol of a horse? I suspect it’s poetry—or art in general. Once “invented,” art, like a half-pretend, half-material horse, is full of considerations that are, if I may quote myself, dark, difficult, pragmatic, economic, philosophical, psychoanalytic.
Like O’Rourke’s symbolic horse, a poem or painting is indifferent to the nutrients for a literal horse, because the work of art is an invention, not a palpable, hungry, breathing, and above all, not a loving presence. So it is:
indifferent to all that it lacks:
a muzzle and two black eyeslooking the day away, a field emptyof everything but witch grass, fluent trees,and some piles of hay.
Like the Mona Lisa of the 1950s song, this invented horse is just a cold and lonely, lovely piece of art. Yet I do not mean to diminish the scope or sophistication of the poem by comparing it to something in pop culture as well as a child's imagining. By offering this notion of a poem, Meghan O'Rourke is able to conjure all the romance, gallantry, nobility, and simply all the pleasure of a horse. In a modern culture where horses are not a primary or practical means of transportation or labor, all those characteristics amount to a child's enjoyment of riding; it’s a fanciful, pretend world. So O’Rourke tries to give us the weightier aspects of invention as well.
Inventing a Horse by Meghan O'Rourke : The Poetry Foundation