The Centaur

The Centaur

Can it be there was only one summer that I was ten? First published in 1956, May Swenson’s’The Centaur’remains one of her most popular and most anthologized poems. This is its first appearance as a picture book for children. In images bright and brisk and tangible, the poet re-creates the joy of riding a stick horse through a small-town summer. We find ourselves, with her, straddling “a long limber horse with… a few leaves for a tail,” and pounding through the lovely dust along the path by the old canal. As her shape shifts from child to horse and back, we know exactly what she feels.

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