Franz Marc’s Blue Horses


The Large Blue Horses (1911), oil on canvas, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I step into the painting of the four blue horses. / I am not even surprised I can do this.

One of the horses walks toward me. / His blue noses noses me lightly. I put my arm / over his blue mane, not holding on, just / commingling. / He allows me my pleasure.

Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain. / I would rather die than try to explain to the blue horses what war is. / They would either faint in horror, or simply find it impossible to believe. / I do not know how to thank you, Franz Marc.

Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually. / Maybe the desire to make something beautiful / is the piece of God that is inside each of us.

Now all four horses have come closer, are bending their faces toward me / as if they have secrets to tell. / I don’t expect them to speak, and they don’t. / If being so beautiful isn’t enough, what / could they possibly say?

Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (New York, Penguin, 2017), p. 21.



1 Comment

Filed under poetry

One response to “Franz Marc’s Blue Horses

  1. Lindsay Hill

    Thank you for the beauty, wisdom, humility and humanity of your many posts. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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