Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poetry Month: Ballad

The theme for my poems this week was inspired by Jolea's Facebook status, which was that "I dream of a better tomorrow... where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives."

We bear our burdens as a yoke
however small we be.
Who knew my life would be a joke
for all the world to see?

I went to cross the black divide;
a grub I meant to catch.
I left the wife back at the farm,
our chicklings for to hatch.

I meant the grub to be a sign,
a token of my love.
I did not know they thought my act
essentially a flub.


My motives, they examined them;
my acts they did abjure.
They gave no thought to my feelings,
but plagued me evermore.

Now evermore I live with this:
a pox upon my name.
I find it to be libelous;
My lawyer says the same.


A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming.
The Ballad of Marian Blacktree

Oh, do you know the mountain road
That leads to yonder peak?
A few will walk that trail alone,
Their dreams they go to seek.

One such was Marian Blacktree,
A lowly sheperdess,
And courting her was Tom, the swain,
Who loved her nonetheless.

A thought occurred to Marian
While watching o'er her sheep,
And gazing at the mountain thus
She nodded off to sleep.


That night she came to Tom and said
She longed to know the sky.
"I'm weary of this valley, love,
I want to learn to fly!"

Poor Thomas did not want to leave,
This valley was all he knew.
So when she turned and left him there
Her heart, it broke in two.


Her faithful swain did track her,
All night the trail led on,
And finally at the mountain top
He looked, but she was gone.

As morning broke and lit the sky
An eagle he did see:
It circled 'round him thrice and cried.
He knew now she was free.


Copyright © 2001 Dendrobia


  1. Uh-oh! The text of your description here and on Acrostic doesn't wrap!

  2. This poem does rap, as in "most ballads are suitable for singing." (It also wraps for me, as in the lines do not extend infinitely to the right.)

    You rock. April is going to be a great month.

  3. I bow to you for this one. I LOLed on the fourth one.

    Was singing each one through... I'll give these a try next for sure.



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