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NaPoWriMo Challenge #26.

The Challenge:  systematically erased whole words and even lines, while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words. You can see a brief excerpt here.  I didn’t exactly do that.  It was too hard for me.  There, I said it.  It was too haa-ard.  Plus, I’m way behind in my challenges.  I just erased some words, and added some puctuation to one of my favorite poems:  The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Paul Revere are probably rolling in their graves.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on the Isle of Wigh...

 

 

St.Stephen's Catholic Church across Paul Rever...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight.  Ride.  Revere.

 

Listen and hear
Midnight Revere,
April, in Seventy-five;
Man alive!
Remember that year?

 

British march
from town to-night,
aloft in the belfry
as a signal light,-
One-land, two-sea;
I will be,
Ready.  spread the alarm
Through village and farm,
up and arm.”

 

“Good-night!” with oar
rowed to shore,
moon rose over the bay,
Wide moorings lay
British man-of-war;

 

phantom ship, mast and spar
Across the moon, a prison bar,
black hulk, magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

 

friends through streets
With eager ears,
men at the door,
arms, and feet,
their boats on the shore.

 

climb the Old North Church.
stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the chamber overhead.
startled pigeons from perch.
By ladder, steep and tall,
To the window in the wall,
listen and look down
Lay the dead,
on the hill,
night-wind went
Creeping  from tent to tent,
whispering “All is well!”
A moment, the spell
Of the place and secret dread
Of the belfry, the dead;
All his thoughts are bent
On something far away,
A line bends and floats
tide, a bridge of boats.

 

impatient to ride,
walks Revere.
impetuous, stamped the earth,
The Old North Church,
above the graves on the hill,
Lonely, spectral. still.
lo!  belfry’s height.
a gleam of light!
to the saddle he turns,
lingers and gazes, full sight
A second burns.

 

A hurry in the street,
A shape, in the dark,
in passing, a spark
flying fearless and fleet;
through the gloom light,
fate riding that night;
spark struck by steed, in flight,
land into flame with heat.
mounted the steep,

 

beneath tranquil broad and deep,
Mystic, meeting ocean tides;
under the alders that skirt edge,
soft on the sand, loud on ledge,
his steed as he rides.

 

twelve by the clock
When  crossed into  town.
crowing of the cock,
barking of the dog,
damp of the river fog
after the sun goes down.

 

One, the village clock,
He galloped into Lexington.
the gilded weathercock
the moonlight passed,
meeting-house windows, black, bare,
Gaze with spectral glare,
they stood aghast
bloody work they look upon.

 

Two, the village clock,
He o the bridge in town.
Bleating of  flock,
twitter of birds among trees,
breath of morning breeze
Blowing over brown.
one safe, asleep in bed
Who would be first to fall,
Who would be lying dead,
Pierced musket ball.

 

You know the rest? 

 

you read.
Regulars fired and fled,—
farmers gave ball for ball,
behind fence and yard wall,
Chasing down the lane,
crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the road,
pausing to fire and load.

 

through the night rode Revere;
through night went his alarm
To village and farm,—
defiance, not of fear,
voice in darkness, knock at door,
echo for evermore!
on the night-wind of the Past,
Through history, to the last,
In darkness, peril and need,
people waken, listen, hear
hoof-beats of that steed,
midnight message of Revere.

One more day of NaPoWriMo.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Love what you did with the poem, Adela. You’ve inspired my to do this with some of my favorites. ( I’ve done a couple of Haikus this way, with much shorter works — after several attempts to grab the essentials. You are right — it is HARD!)

    Thank you for reading and listing my post and our site. I will definitely start watching yours now.

    Michele
    Michele recently posted..My Birthday and Paul Revere’s HorseMy Profile

    • Adela Adela

      I’ll keep an eye out for what you’re up to, Michele. Thanks for stopping by.

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