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Poem - THE HORSE by Ronald Duncan

(Composed in 1954 to be read at the end of the Horse of the Year show & featured in 'The Essential Horse' exhibition).

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
England's past has been borne on his back.
All our history is in his industry.
We are his heirs, he our inheritance.

Take a copy of this poem with you to the museum. The Museum has many paintings of horses, people associated with racing and actual races. Find a painting or part of a painting which reminds you of something you are inspired by in this poem. This could be a line of the poem or just a word.

By looking closely at the painting, make a list of words based on what is happening in the picture that you can use in your own poem. Use the title of the painting as the title of your poem or make up your own.

Try to 'paint' a picture using words for your poem. Try to capture the 'mood'. Include some similes, alliterations and metaphors if you can.

As a guide this during-visit activity can link well to the following National Curriculum programmes of study: KS2&3 English National Literacy Strategy Links KS2&3 PSHE.

NB before the visit - read & discuss the poem in the classroom.

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