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Poetry Magnum Opus

Entranched Love

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard

Loving every vital curl of his own sweet girl

Tom led, Molly twirled, new perm in a swirl;

In the thrall of dream so very real did it seem

Tom tasting his Molly's bright red cherry lips

With sumptuous sips, as his young heart skips.

New Year's Ball 1911, he in a boy's very heaven.

'Twas the county dance where he took a chance

Tonight, Tom primed to pop a proverbial question,

Plea pressed: "Yes," she said, to his nice suggestion.

Three years on, dreams are gone, in a sodden trench

Present's wrench from perfume to the sodding stench

Tom woke, to the ever present accrid smoke of war;

Leaving all behind, his home and love, and what for?

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Hello Frank. Your poem reflects the naivety and harshness of those times, with a down to earth picture from one of the greatest tragedies to afflict the 20th century.

Purely as a point of interest: it reminds me of a poignant contemporary folk song, which was written almost half a century later, whilst many from that era were still alive. The song is called “Dancing at Whitsun” and was set to a traditional tune, “The False Bride.”

Verse 4 reads:


“Down from the green farmlands and from their loved ones

Marched husbands and brothers and fathers and sons

There's a fine roll of honour where the maypole once stood

And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun”


Folklore has it that during World War I, some previously all-male morris dance traditions survived by being done by the women, while the men went off to war and, all too often, never came back. Regards, Geoff.


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David W. Parsley

Frank, I find myself wanting to repeat Benjamin's opening observations on the naivete and subsequent disillusionment characteristic of the time. I also like the interesting change-up on the rhyme pattern, diverting to internal rhyme lines in the middle before resuming end-rhyme.


Note: Once again Benjamin comes up with apropos folk lore and song. Nice complement.


- Dave

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