poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Surely Spotsylvania

For General John Sedgwick

After so many wounds, why
would you take cover over a few
stray bullets?
The heavy casualties
of Antietam behind you,
and the almost forgotten names
of Chancellorsville and Salem
Church blurred out by Gettysburg
and the Wilderness, surely Spotsylvania
was just another place you’d tell
your grandchildren of
when questions came
about the war between the states
they’d learn to call civil.
You’d tell them how your men loved
you, looked up to you, even called you
Uncle John.  You’d tell them
how you directed artillery
placements to shower fiery shells
into those screeching rebels.  
You’d tell them about the miniballs,
how they teased your men,
how you stood, unmoved
and unashamed, saying something
about how no one could
hit an elephant
at this distance.

20 Feb 07

Rated 8 (8) by 1 users.
Active (1): 8
Inactive (0):

(define the words in this poem)
(48 more poems by this author)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


I like this.
It feels... I don't know. Like there isn't much in it you couldn't just find on Wikipedia, but the presentation is pretty sweet.

However, some lines, like Line 18, feel like they should be broken up. They feel too long. I would suggest moving "artillery placements" on to a line of its own, perhaps.

Also, I think you use the word "and" too many times. In the second stanza, for instance, I feel that it would read better as:

The heavy casualties
of Antietam behind you;
the almost forgotten names

And Stanza eight:

how they teased your men,
how you stood, unmoved
and unashamed, saying something

I hope I'm not out of line with my suggestions.
 — the_recluse

thanks for the suggestions...I made some changes to the poem, and I think it's working out nicely.  Thanks!
 — TaylorC

Newest (expand)
Recently Commented (expand)