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Surely Spotsylvania
TaylorC

For General John Sedgwick

After so many wounds, why
 1
would you take cover over a few
 2
stray bullets?
 3
 
 
The heavy casualties
 4
of Antietam behind you,
 5
and the almost forgotten names
 6
 
 
of Chancellorsville and Salem
 7
Church blurred out by Gettysburg
 8
and the Wilderness, surely Spotsylvania
 9
 
 
was just another place you’d tell
 10
your grandchildren of
 11
when questions came
 12
 
 
about the war between the states
 13
they’d learn to call civil.
 14
You’d tell them how your men loved
 15
 
 
you, looked up to you, even called you
 16
Uncle John.  You’d tell them
 17
how you directed artillery
 18
 
 
placements to shower fiery shells
 19
into those screeching rebels.  
 20
You’d tell them about the miniballs,
 21
 
 
how they teased your men,
 22
how you stood, unmoved
 23
and unashamed, saying something
 24
 
 
about how no one could
 25
hit an elephant
 26
at this distance.
 27

20 Feb 07

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Comments:

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

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