Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creative Writing Assignment 2 -Narrative Poem

I was assigned the task  to write a narrative poem and by accident wrote a dramatic monologue that my professor actually liked:

              Swamp Rose

Old Tony Todd wanted to find a woman
of quality, who at least didn't have the clap
So he got him one of them mail-order brides.
Rose  was  from Ireland as I recollect.
I don't remember her last name, Mc somethin'.
He had  to go all the way to Wilmington
to pick her up from the docks.
When she arrived at the logging camp
she caused quite a hubbub,
we all wanted to get a look at 'er.
She weren't near as purty as Old Tony and us had  hoped
and she was a bit long at the tooth,
but Tony weren't exactly no Gary Cooper,
and there ain't much in a loggin' camp
to compare her to.
She was friendly enough, but 
I couldn't hardly understand  a thing she said,
but I doubt she could understand us  either.
She was a big strappin' girl
with curly red hair and green eyes,
and took  to  loggin' right away,
so I reckon Old Tony was pretty happy.
She had only been here about a year
when Old Tony up and died,
right there in his cabin.
You can imagine there was a lot of joking in camp
about what actually killed him.
She mourned  for a little while
and then went right back  to work.
She stayed in their cabin, minded her own business
and didn't look to have any intention
of going back to Ireland on no boat.
A few guys tried  to court her
and had nothin' but bruises to show.
One of them Johnson boys,
they are always up to no good,
tried to break into the cabin
and climb in bed  with her
She cut his pecker  clean off
with a buck skinner knife.
After more pain than I can imagine,
and more blood  than I thought a man held,
he finally died, which is just as well,
as it ain't much worth livin' without a pecker.
Rose disappeared into thin air.
We all think the Johnson boys kilt her.
It is easy to dump a body in the river.
It has been done before.
But that is another tale.
Lots of people claim to have seen her
through the many years since,
hauntin' the banks of the Waccamaw.
I don't know who started calling her
Swamp Rose, or when, but it stuck.
And  you know what? All them mean old
Johnson boys is dead. 
And not fall asleep, peaceful like, deaths. 
They was all kilt outright.  Weren't pretty.
Sometimes at night there are sounds,
I have heard 'em.
Sounds that ain't natural. 
That don't come from no animal or bird
I ever heard of.  Human like:
Wails and howls, moans  and screams.
The kind that make the hair
on  the back  of your neck stand up. 
I have no doubt that she is out there
Now my beer is empty and I talk better
when  my  tongue is wet.  
And I think better when my memory is greased.
After all,  some of this tale is 60 years  ago.
A feller can fergit. 


Anonymous said...

Love it!

raymond pert said...

Here's the best I can do in making the critical response you asked for: Since a dramatic monologue is spoken by a character, you gotta write it with language your character would speak. You nailed that. The narrator's voice/language: perfect. I like place names in poems. Nailed it. I like a good story that grows out of the world the poem creates. Nailed it. I think you nailed everything. In addition, Browning and Frost could have worked their whole lives and never written this poem. They don't know this world. You do, especially in your imagination. That's where the best poems come from. Then what happens in real life or facts don't get in the way. I enjoyed this poem a lot, even when it made my crotch hurt.

Nadja said...

Wow, that was a fantastic treat! I love how your writings allow me to really "see" the characters. I love it.

Christian said...