The Tartar Swept (by August Kleinzahler)

Original Text: 
August Kleinzahler, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003). This poem is reproduced on the Griffin Prize Web Site (from the winning volume on the 2004 International Shortlist).
1The Tartar swept across the plain
2In their furs and silk panties
3Snub-nosed monkey men with cinders for eyes
4Attached to their ponies like centaurs
5Forcing the snowy passes of the Carpathians
6Streaming from defiles like columns of ants
7Arraying their host in a vasty wheel
8White, gray, black and chestnut steeds
910,000 each to a quadrant
10Turning, turning at the Jenuye's command
11This terrible pinwheel
12Gathering speed like a Bulgar dance
13Faster and faster
14Until it explodes, columns of horsemen
The rest of the poem cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011