dverse · poetry · sonnet · Uncategorized

Village Pastoral — revision 2 of 1

coal town

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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 thoughts on “Village Pastoral — revision 2 of 1

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 🙂


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