Review of Barbaro: Beyond Brokennes

By Lyn Lifshin
Reviewer: Belinda Subraman

Front cover of book

Barbaro’s birthdate, April 29, 2003 at Springmint Farm near Nicholasville, Kentucky and his death at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, January 29, 2007 are already part of myth. The sixth undefeated horse to win the Kentucky Derby’s Run for the Roses, Barbaro crossed the wire with a convincing 6 ½ length win, the 5th largest win in racing history. During the gallop-out after the wire, Barbaro’s lead extended to 20 lengths, rare during post-race gallop-outs. A superb athlete, Barbaro’s courage and personality after his tragic breakdown at the Preakness, moments after he broke through the gate and was re-loaded, his courage and intelligence in the following months in the intensive care hospital, the roller coaster ride we took with him and with his connections will always braid him to us.

Among Lyn Lifshin’s recent books: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MYYEAR WITH RUFFIAN,Texas Review Press and THE DAUGHTER I DON’T HAVE. Forthcoming from Black Sparrow at Godine: ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME. She has over 100 books & edited 4 anthologies. Her website: www.lynlifshin.com


Even the straw
glowed. The
moon was red,
turned the stall
walls rose petals.
The shadows were
the color of a
Derby wreathe, a
prediction. Don’t
imagine she was
half asleep or
drinking sherry,
was a witch. In
the paddock,
vines quivered.
She wondered if
Barbaro had baby
teeth. She said it
was more than a
dream, it was as
if she was inhaling
the jade landscape,
the aura of horse

An earlier interview with Lyn Lifshin which touches on amusing literary connections. (Click the PLAY button when you get there.)