Bewildering Stories

Michael Murry explains

Gaelic Bardic Verse

Michael Murry explains the form of “They Also Serve.”

My brother Jack the high school teacher challenged me to write some anti-war poetry in Dan Dearach Gaelic Bardic Verse: i.e., seven-syllable lines, four-line stanzas of two couplets each, with the last syllable of the first and third lines rhyming with the third syllable of the second and fourth lines, respectively, and with the last syllable of the second and fourth lines rhyming also.

It’s easier to understand when we look at it. The rhymes are in bold and color:

Gone to soldiers every one
Mother’s son so brave and true
Looked his duty in the eye
Saying, “I will serve for you.”

Michael has sent us a cycle of three poems. This is the third, chosen for this issue because of its thematic relevance. The first in the cycle will appear in issue 115; the second, in issue 116. It really doesn’t matter in what order they’re read.

Copyright © 2004 by Michael Murry and Bewildering Stories

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