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Dear Knights and Dark Horses Hardcover – 16 Dec 2010


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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Must have for devotees of contemporary photography 13 Nov. 2010
By Stephen Hilger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dear Knights and Dark Horses, Thomas Roma's twelfth book of photographs presents an unanticipated yet striking pairing of motifs: mechanical pony rides that lay idle in front of Brooklyn storefronts and Army National Guardsmen assembled inside a cavernous armory as they depart for war. The ideas that bind these themes together become tangible as you page through this collection of sharply made black-and-white photographs. The riderless horses might represent youth spent or perhaps not fully realized--all the coins in the world could not buy enough rides to please. Alec Wilkinson's lucid introduction reminds us that, "anyone who saw the funeral procession of John Kennedy knows the meaning of a riderless horse." The soldiers in the armory appear like patients in a doctor's waiting room, expecting diagnoses that still remain unknown. Roma's careful depictions of the warriors' faces, stances, and fatigues foreshadow the pain of war, and distill realizations of disappointment and loss.

Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Walt Whitman rightly lead off the two respective photographic sequences of fantasy horses and departing fighters. Ferlinghetti's coming of age elegy "The pennycandystore behind the El" alludes to summer's end, "Too soon! too soon!" Seen against a cacophonous background of the modern day corner store-cum-bodega, it is apparent that the pony ride's time has passed. Certainly, the parting men would relish one more day at home. The inclusion of the poems continues a new direction for photo books by Roma that was first marked by the remarkable House Calls with Williams Carlos Williams, MD, a combination of Roma's photographs, writings by well-known collaborator Robert Coles, and the imagist poetry of Williams. Brilliantly conceived and handsomely produced, Dear Knights is a must have for devotees of contemporary photography and a valuable addition to the standard discourse on a society perpetually engaged in war.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another wonderful book from Thomas Roma 8 Nov. 2010
By oscar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have long admired Thomas Roma's photographs, and eagerly awaited the release of his newest work, Dear Knights and Dark Horses. In this book, as in many of his other titles, Roma treats his subjects with integrity and solemnity and engages with them in a very real way. Here he trains his lens on soldiers and coin-operated pony rides, and the unexpected pairing of these two groups of portraits creates a unique sentiment. Speaking at once to youth and innocence lost, the work is both timely and timeless. I highly recommend this book for anyone who looks at photographs, enjoys a good read (Alec Wilkinson wrote the introduction), or wants to give the perfect gift.
Dear Knights and Dark Horses / Thomas Roma 11 Nov. 2010
By Inbal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Dear Knights and Dark Horses" touches on the naivety belonging solely to adults.
The belief and amusing fascination with knights on white horses setting out to fight
for a better world and to earn eternal fame, still remains true amongst those eager to
believe...
As these modern knights are photographed on the backdrop of a cold night on their
mission to save the world, the unbearable burden on them is revealed to us.
The white horse is presented only as an image similar to those coin-operated rides
available to all, symbolizing the same naivety of children who believe that a horse,
even one made of plastic, has the capability to save the world.

Thomas Roma creates this rare and mischievous dialog between those worlds without
which it would be difficult to believe that knights exist in this world of ours.

More than ever, this book is relevant to our time, when the difficult and pressing
questions arising from a painful sobering up stand in contrast to the powerful desire to
maintain an unrealized fantasy.
Dear Knights and Dark Horses 22 Nov. 2010
By Richard LaBarbera - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Dear Knights and Dark Horses" is another fine achievement of Thomas Roma's many books about life. Like skillful directors such as Scorsese and Spielberg, Thomas Roma releases his 12th book as the war in Iraq unfolds. Beautifully photographed in true Roma style, he portrays our soldiers just as they are moments from being deployed along with the magical store-front horses that everyone has ridden in childhood, reminiscent of the magnificent Lipizzan Stallions often depicted in war.
The beautifully printed images are a visual experience for photographers of all likes as well as students of all disciplines. The 5 minute video at thomasroma.com is a must see for all interested viewers.
Knights and Horses in the 21st century 13 Nov. 2010
By amortal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dear Knights and Dark Horses is a small bitter-sweet book, part fantasy, part history, that will satisfy the reader seeking pleasure or self-improvement.

The book is divided into two sections. The first contains photographs of children's coin-operated horse rides. The second section contains an equal number of portraits of soldiers, alone and in groups, about to be deployed. Each section is informed by two other Brooklyn-inspired poets of the people, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Walt Whitman.

Dear Knights and Dark Horses is a must-have book, a spiritual meal, that reminds us of some very important things.
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