And Now For Something Completely Different… (via The Faery Inn)


So I’m a bit late with this blog post. I came across the following piece from The Faery Inn well over a year ago, and decided I would use the idea myself. As much as I loved the idea, though, and as much of a “free post” as it seemed to be, when I went to get started on it, it proved more difficult than I anticipated, and I put it off a few times, until finally it just went on the shelf and started gathering dust. I was cleaning up some old posts early last month, and decided that April, National Poetry Month, would be the perfect time to bring it back out. And, again, I had other things I wanted to write first, and so it got pushed back toward the end of the month. And, then, I got busy, and didn’t post at all the last few days of April, and now I’m doing my Month After National Poetry Month post. Oh well.

Here’s the original post, which is good stuff:

And Now For Something Completely Different... I have lost all inspiration and motivation to write today, so I turned to WordPress’ suggestions. I know that if I write absolutely nothing today, I will regret it. Anyway, they (ever so kindly) linked me to this page, and this is the prompt I chose: Choose a favorite poem written by somebody else, type a copy of it, delete every other line from the poem, and write your own lines to replace those you’ve deleted. Next, delete the remaining lines f … Read More

via The Faery Inn


Trying to find a poem to work with, I decided to go with one by my first favorite poet, A.A. Milne.

The Invaders
by A.A. Milne

In careless patches through the wood
The clumps of yellow primrose stood,
And sheets of white anemones,
Like driven snow against the trees,
Had covered up the violet,
But left the blue-bell bluer yet.

Along the narrow carpet ride,
With primroses on either side,
Between their shadows and the sun,
The cows came slowly, one by one,
Breathing in the morning air
And leaving it still sweeter there.
And one by one, intent upon
Their purposes, they followed on
In ordered silence … and were gone.

But all the little wood was still,
And if it waited so, until
Some blackbird on an outpost yew,
Watching the slow procession through,
Lifted his yellow beak at last
To whistle that the line had passed ….
Then all the wood began to sing
In morning anthem to the spring.


The hybrid version:
The Invasion

In careless patches through the wood
Where silence stayed because it could,
And sheets of white anemones,
In hidden places no one sees,
Had covered up the violet,
As if it were a painter’s regret.

Along the narrow carpet ride,
Marching with a mismatched stride,
Between their shadows and the sun,
The strangers wandered, almost done,
Breathing in the morning air
Exhaling all their fear and care.
And one by one, intent upon
Forgotten worlds, they ambled on
In ordered silence … and were gone.

But all the little wood was still,
The footsteps faded, the silence shrill;
Some blackbird on an outpost yew,
As if to share a secret he knew,
Lifted his yellow beak at last
His voice strong, its echo vast ….
Then all the wood began to sing
Honoring the glory of a fallen king.


My version:
The Invaded

In battered halls, so much withstood,
Where silence stayed because it could,
The acrid smell of smoke-filled breeze,
In hidden places no one sees,
Dull the shades of dark sunset,
As if it were a painter’s regret.

From the kingdom, an ebbing tide,
Marching with a mismatched stride,
Too worn to stay, too tired to run,
The strangers wandered, almost done,
And begin to hope, those who dare
Exhaling all their fear and care.
Looking forward, content to shun
Forgotten worlds, they ambled on
Into their future … their yesterday’s son.

And pinprick stars the sky did fill,
The footsteps faded, the silence shrill;
But one old man did whisper true,
As if to share a secret he knew,
Then louder still, sang of days past,
His voice strong, its echo vast ….
Promises of what new days would bring,
Honoring the glory of a fallen king.

One Response

  1. I love all three versions! I’ve never read that poem before, and it’s beautiful. Your version is darker, but just as lovely. So glad you decided to do this exercise – I’m not by myself now!

    And thanks for sharing the link. :-)

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