Village Pastoral — revision 2 of 1

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Village Pastoral

*

Here is the latest revision, using enjambment:

*

Each morn, sun’s rise, she passes a dog, long dead,

bloated, rotting roadside; its sick stench,

maggot’s perfume, cause ripe wretching and swoon.

She prays for rain to wash it all away.

*
Town’s well; wives talk, pails rise, smiles fall, eyes slip

to blued finger dots down Ruth’s pale thin arm.

Sunrise stumbles down mud encrusted streets

while eggs and pork sizzle in a cast iron pan.

*
Water, boiled with ash, dries the croup — and tears that

climbed the hill with six still, pine boxes; she knows

he dreams while blasting seams, of sons to carry

on; his grimed face at day’s end holds tired hope.

*
We sailed from hell, starved, full of sin, but glad

Sunday reminds us, stained souls, contrite, are cleaned.

++++++++++++++++++++++

This was before adding enjambment:

Coming, going each morn, each afternoon

Dead dog, rancid, bloated on the roadside

Sick stench, like rosebud’s perfume, makes me swoon.

Praying for rain, float on, unwelcome hide

*

Courtyard’s well, where villagers’ buckets meet

Counting bruises on Mrs. Leary’s arms

Sunrise stumbles down mud encrusted streets

Fried eggs, bacon grease, tea, good wife’s best charms

*

Boiled water and lye keep the croup at bay

Six still, pine boxes upon Chapel Hill

Grimy from the mines, washes smudge away

Please give us a son, finds strength to thrust still

*

Our journey from hell to new hills of green

Sunday service reminds, souls are made clean

 

61 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    This is so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      “the good old days”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        Yes, they weren’t though!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. rob kistner says:

    Soul wrenching Jade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Definitely a grim existence for them, but better than the alternative.

      Like

  3. Mish says:

    Sad but I can imagine, very realistic. I like the straight forwardness as you paint each scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Mish.

      Like

  4. kim881 says:

    You’ve painted such a gloomy picture of the village, Jade. Immediately in the first stanza there’s a ‘Dead dog, rancid, bloated on the roadside’ and in the second stanza the women are ‘Counting bruises on Mrs. Leary’s arms’. How anyone managed to survive all the violence, sickness and poverty back then, I’ll never understand. But then, we are seeing it all now in these so-called modern time and we are supposed to be civilised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      you know, you bring up a troubling reality, that we are sliding backwards. what is weird is that first line came to me on its own, as an image. maybe it is a story that needs to be told?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dad4Gracie says:

    Such very vivid imagery…almost overwhelming…but I had to read on to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      thank you for reading and sticking with it until the end. this family had been through a lot 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice description in this phrase: “we retched, our passage from hell”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Frank.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rothpoetry says:

    A very powerful poem Jade. The vivid repulsive images really work for you. I do like the hope found at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dwight, thank you very much.

      Like

  8. I really like the unique subject and the style of short parts, like images of the struggle of the past (maybe still is somewhere).. just shows that a sonnet subject can be anything.

    If I would give you one advice (since you asked for it) maybe a stronger volta in the end where you break the grime with something graceful… (just a little thought)

    Know I should have done the same with my own sonnet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ok thank you very much for the feedback. will work on the volta

      Like

  9. lynn__ says:

    Troubling scenes we’d rather not view but, sadly, for some this is reality…yet, always hope for a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, Lynn, always hope…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You set the mood right away with the dog…it was stark and brutal, and depressing. So well done. I read this in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you Lynda!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Vivid and disturbing. Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you Punam. It wasn’t easy to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. You did a mighty fine job.

        Like

  12. Imelda says:

    Your writing is so vivid. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Imelda. It was a tough one

      Like

  13. Gina says:

    a dreary scenario but you paint it well with words. the end of each stanza bleeds the heart a little more each time i read it, you truth slices, so well written and I salute the theme you have chosen. a difficult theme for a difficult form, somehow they all come together with your choice of words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for the feedback, Gina. It is appreciated. I plan on tweaking the end a bit and will see what you think of it then…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gina says:

        i look forward to reading again, notify me when you do please?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a wonderfully detailed description in such a concise poem. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for the feedback, Carol. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Like

  15. Sabio Lantz says:

    Dear Tao-Talk,
    Let’s start with what I like:

    (1) The subject matter — very rich. Having lived in poorer parts of Asia and visited poor parts of Central America, I can feel some of this poem.
    (2) I am glad you stuck to rhyme, a sonnet without rhyme seems silly.
    (3) The story was so promising. And the turn at the end was cool — almost a haiku. But … Se my critique below.

    My critique:
    I’m a stickler for plain, unhidden poetry, so take my thoughts in light of that. Many people love scattered things. It is, however, a montage to me, with many references unfortunately lost — I wished I’d learned more. Bjorn tells us “If you like it would be interesting if you added a short note about your thoughts when writing the sonnet. The comments will be a part of the book in the end.” So I suggest you and a little story explaining the poem to help us. But my preference is that a poem not need too much explaining.
    Who is Mrs. Leary, who is the wife, what is unwelcome “hide” (is that a verb or noun?). Who prays for son? See, difficult for me, yet so promising and great images. Well, that is me. Many probably love the elusive.

    BTW, when reading the comments, I could not see that anyone understood it any more than myself except as a inside-story montage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sabio, thank you very much for taking the time to read the sonnet and to give your pros and cons on it. Will absolutely consider what you’ve said and try to either add a short introduction or tweak it to be more transparent/plain. Maybe nobody “got” it…. Thank you again for the feedback.

      Like

      1. Sabio Lantz says:

        I see your addition. That helps indeed, but my favorite poetry is that which does not need a story to decode. So my challenge would be to write a poem which is basically self-sufficient and not mysterious or confusing. This story, btw, is not an experience of yours, but of whom? My other bias is that I prefer personal poetry, not fiction, but many disagree with me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I again appreciate your feedback, Sabio. It is very much appreciated, thank you. If you want to check out some of my other poetry, I’ve got it tagged at tao-talk. Maybe you will see one or two that are more “self-sufficient and not mysterious or confusing”. That said, maybe I’ll try that on one of the prompts at d’Verse and see what happens. About poetry being personal or fiction, my belief is that there is room for both.

          Like

  16. V.J. Knutson says:

    Your edits are very effective – excellent portrayal of unimaginably hard lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      VJ thank you for taking a look at them and for the feedback. It is appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. V.J. Knutson says:

        You are always welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. jillys2016 says:

    The pine boxes is brilliant! That is more of a ‘show’ than a ‘tell’ – excellent choice in revision!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Jilly!

      Like

  18. jillys2016 says:

    So, what do you like best? Which version is most accurate to your intended voice?
    I applaud your quest and dedication to the editing process!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I think the enjambed one is way way better. Once the formal “end rhyming” constraint was removed, it was easier to work on the rhythm, and rhyming ended up coming in of its own accord. The meaning seems more clear and less disjointed as well. What are your thoughts about the two?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jillys2016 says:

        In truth, I like both and am hard pressed to place one above the other. They stand well on their own merit and are wonderful examples of how you have used the poet’s tools to work and rework your excellent writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Jilly, thank you again for the learning experience and very much appreciate your kind words.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Glenn Buttkus says:

    I like the revision slightly better; enjambment, in this case I agree, smoothes out and revs up the rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, thank you very much for the feedback.

      Like

  20. First I do think the last two lines made the volta much stronger… to struggle on, and live… reminding me of how important those days of rest are most important if you live in grim circumstances. I think that the enjambment added a lot to the flow— great to see you work with your poem

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback on it, Bjorn. I agree it reads much better with the enjambment (and without the constriction of rhymes at the ends of lines).

      Like

  21. Lona Gynt says:

    This poem paints a time and place vividly, both versions stand fully on their own without need for additional context or explanation. A poem is not a short story or a novel, but an experience, a glimpse into a time and place . Sometimes they do tell fully drawn out stories, like Glen’s western epic or Homer’s I Iliad, but this paints a picture precisely and vividly, I feel like I know essential corners of this place and struggle and dreams of this family, so in this, I disagree respectfully with the prior comments calling for more narrative, that would make a cool story, but not necessary for the purpose of a sonnet. I love love the rhythm of the second version, the smoothness gives a structural contrast to the rugged life that might actually heighten the terror. I do like the first Volta and reconciliation a tad better though, but I am a sucker for traditional rhyming in those last two lines, I think a rhyme clinches the wind up punch line so powerfully, and the “green” “clean” rhyme really nailed that home for me, and it is such a sweet ending, all that wretched mess in life, but the spirit can still take time to hope for a better world. LOTS and LOTS of superb humanity here, even among the understated grief implied in the pine boxes. But I love the second Volta also. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Lona, your feedback makes me feel better about them in that there is a hope that the feelings were expressed clearly enough to be understood. Your articulating ability is appreciated very much! Thank you for your time in looking at them ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lona Gynt says:

        I got on the sonnet trail late, but glad I did, was worth it just to meet this family. Thanks Jade 🙋🏻‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m finding it hard to comment on the form, because the content is so powerful. I think that both pieces are strong – and very moving. I didn’t need more explanation – a poem isn’t necessarily a complete story, for me, sometimes it can be a series of images to be pieced together. I thought the volta was strong enough in the first piece, and I liked the full rhyme there. In the second piece the rhyme wasn’t quite strong enough, and I felt it drifted a little bit too far from the form. I’m not sure that matters, in some ways, because it’s such an evocative piece in its own right.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh – and I love the title, and how you subvert it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you! I thought of how painters often paint idyllic scenes of these places and I wanted to travel under the facade.

      Like

  24. memadtwo says:

    Somehow the first version’s starkness speaks more to me, but both have memorable images that create a whole lifetime. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you and I appreciate your feedback, K.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A complex, deep poem for sure – yet I believe I ‘got’ it and that it needs no further explanation. I like both versions; perhaps yet another rewrite with the best features of each would be better still? Enjambment is not a requirement, it was a suggested in order to get away from too much of a ‘sing-song’ effect; but enjambment too can be forced (just as rhyming can) to the detriment of a poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rosemary, I very much appreciate your feedback. I haven’t looked at them since the revision, but I may try to synthesize them and see what happens. Again, thank you 🙂

      Like

      1. Actually, re-reading, I do think, as others have said, that your revised version flows much better.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Thanks Rosemary!

          Like

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