Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge ‘Washington’s Grief’ by Alex Rubstein The Society January 12, 2021 Beauty, Culture, High School Submissions, Poetry 10 Comments . Behold the father of this infant land, Conductor of our daunting foe’s defeat, Now warmly laureled for his noble stand Through which our liberty was made complete. Yet Washington the praise did humbly hear, For he had seen the suff’ring and the strain— No pay, scant food, harsh cold, poor gear— Of soldiers who his precious love did gain His heart was filled with earnest gratitude As he embraced his officers most dear. Such scenes of sorrow seldom had been viewed, For every eye was filled with somber tears. He deeply grieved that he could not bestow The money nor the praise that they were owed. . . Alex Rubstein is an 11th grade student homeschooled in Canton Aargau, Switzerland. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 10 Responses David Paul Behrens January 12, 2021 When I first read this, I never would have guessed it was written by someone in the 11th grade. Well done! Reply Alex Rubstein January 13, 2021 Thank you for your words of encouragement, Mr. Behrens. It is most appreciated. Reply Yael January 12, 2021 Wow, that’s a beautiful poem, and totally amazing for 11th grade. Congratulations: you have a most impressive talent of tongues. Reply Alex Rubstein January 13, 2021 Your words mean a lot to me, Yael. Thank you so much. Reply A.B. Brown January 12, 2021 A lovely patriotic sonnet. Keep it up! Reply Alex Rubstein January 13, 2021 I welcome that as a very high compliment. Thank you. Reply C.B. Anderson January 14, 2021 This poem is a upstanding example of iambic pentameter, but line three of the second stanza has only four feet. Reply Alex Rubstein January 14, 2021 Thank you for your observation. I was experimenting with using fewer syllables—or iambs—in order to emphasize that specific line. The length of five iambs to describe the condition of the soldiers seemed to cumber the desired effect of the line. With a reduction of one iamb, it lifted the load and, yet, the line’s purpose was retained. What are your thoughts? Reply C.B. Anderson January 15, 2021 Reducing the number of feet in lines is okay, but it should be done consistently, either by making every line, say, tetrameter, or by alternating lines of different lengths in accordance with a pattern you establish at the outset. Alternatively, you could shorten the list of noun phrases and add syllables to some of them, e.g.: No pay, too little food, and shabby gear — I find that any line can be modified to fit an ordained structural plan. These are my thoughts. Alex Rubstein January 15, 2021 Thank you. Those are some great suggestions that I will definitely keep in mind. I appreciate you taking the time to clarify it for me. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.