What a great exercise Dverse has come up with this week! Thanks to Claudia and Zsa from the zumpoems site.
The task is to take a passage of prose and, following several steps, ‘translate’ it into poetry.
October moonlight shone clearly on the solitary tree, draped with gray moss, scarred by lightning and warped by wind, looking like a venerable warrior, whose long campaign was nearly done; and underneath was posted the guard of four. Behind them twinkled many camp-fires on a distant plain, before them wound a road ploughed by the passage of an army, strewn with the relics of a rout. On the right, a sluggish river glided, like a serpent, stealthy, sinuous, and dark, into a seemingly impervious jungle; on the left, a Southern swamp filled the air with malarial damps, swarms of noisome life, and discordant sounds that robbed the hour of its repose. The men were friends as well as comrades, for though gathered from the four quarters of the Union, and dissimilar in education, character, and tastes, the same spirit animated all; the routine of camp life threw them much together, and mutual esteem soon grew into a bond of mutual good fellowship. (http://freeread.com.au/ebooks00/fr100279.txt)
It needed very little change to become poetry according to my tastes…a testimony to the quality of the prose as it stood.
On Picket Duty (found from a story by Louisa May Alcott)
October moonlight on solitary tree,
trunk moss draped, lightning scarred, wind warped-
warrior campaign nearly done.
Underneath, a guard of four.
Behind camp-fires on distant plain.
Before, a road, army-ploughed
strewn with battle relics.
To the right, a sluggish river slides
through impervious jungle;
To the left, swamp air heavy with malarial damps,
discordant sounds, air robbed of repose.
Four men – friends, comrades,
from four quarters of the Union.
Unalike in education, character, tastes,
fired with the same spirit;
camp life nurturing esteem,
a bond of brotherhood.