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Means to a Quest-(story telling in verse)-{finished product}

Once there was a lovely land
'twas specifically so grand,
where a king ruled, with his queen, and the couple's prince;

they lived their lives without a care
for an even hand ruled so "fair",
such a great king had not ruled, ever since!

The young prince was coming of age
and minus squires and, his page,
he was given a quest to accomplish, on his own;

after there were two more 'morrows
he'd find the pond of double sorrows,
thus proving, he was now completely grown.

The night afore he'd start his quest
the king's sorcerer's unrest,
concerned both the king, and also his worried wife;

his words had calmed the king, back down
"The boy will earn his royal crown....
but, feel two feelings for the first time, in his life !"

"I don't have a clue, what they'll be
it's a strange quest, you soon shall see;
that day your boy will learn his lessons, double...";

"..He'll not appear as if a fool
with integrity he'll fairly rule;
never starting, and always steering clear of trouble!"

The king then, was very pleased
and also so greatly relieved,
that he summoned the finest of all his steeds;

the queen said her own, "Good-bye"
she teared-up, and daintly dabbed her eye;
handing each an Earl sandwich for his needs.

They studied maps 'till way past noon
for a path around the moss lagoon,
'till a plan formed that they all could each condone;

After horse and helmet both were donned
he set out to search for this sorrow pond,
but, this quest he was to journey, all alone.

His men, coerced to just remain
drove each other quite insane,
by having to wait for their future king;

he had to complete his life's quest
they hoped for him, the very best;
wondering what exactly would, their future bring?

The prince entered the dark, Briar Woods
loaded with quest-like goods,
to see him through what he would soon endure;

how long would he have to search
through thistles, thorns, and the thickest birch;
to prove his heart was also clearly, pure?

He let out frustrated whistles
as he battled thorns, and the sharpest thistles;
however, intently searching on and on;

he hoped soon, that he would learn
if he took even one wrong turn,
completion of his quest would be all but, gone.

For several days he did ride
while this pond seemed content to hide;
in the thickest forest known to any land;

up ahead flowed a rushing stream
that flowed Northly, it did seem;
until it rose to a waterfall, so grand!

On his coal-black, king's knight's horse
both needed rest soon but, of course;
as he followed the footprints, of a playful fawn;

he tried his best to do a "re-think"
whilste his steed, leaned down to drink;
spying sorrow's pond right, across the lawn!

His mount was listless, and a bit idle
so, he let loose his leather bridle,
and knelt down to pick up some rocks, and stones;

stones that would gently slide
through his slippery hands they'd glide,
knowing all his thoughts and feelings weren't his own!

He tried, but he just couldn't sleep
and so took all the stones he'd keep,
of the prettiest, pebbles lying all around;

the gods had been so very kind
allowing him to make this find;
he mounted up, turning home without a sound.

The stones added so much weight,
while considering his upcoming fate
it appeared his questing days were all but, done;

his heart felt so very glad
for, he would prove to his dad;
that he was both a good prince, and good son!

After crossing through the forest's yard
he rode through it extremely hard,
he needed an end to this tiresome roam;

his pockets were completely lined
with all the stones that he did find;
but, what he yearned for most, was to be at home.

Through the Briar Woods, he'd finally clear
his quest and trek ending so, near
he rode on, whilste trying to retain;

he loved his Dad, the wisest king
so, the stones to him, he would bring;
in hopes no one would think of him, insane!

Back through the thickset brush
he rode on in an anguished rush,
with stones in his pockets hurting him so bad!

On, he rode faster still
with all of his heart, and will,
he would no more be thought, as just a lad!

The way back he finally chose
had thorns that ripped off most his clothes,
and he had equalled his weight with those damned rocks;

aching were his weary bones
plus, he lost many so many stones,
he was shredded right down to his winter socks !

Refreshed from a bubbling brook
'twas importent for the prince to look
in a manner befitting any future king;

he re-bagged mostly all his proof
to prove he didn't ride off, aloof;
and his demeanor would show of his brave handling.

Out of the thicket he had passed
the next meadow was the last,
then he'd be climbing right up Shadecreek hill;

the way back had an increased grade
plus, it's complete lack of any shade,
this quest was not to make him look so, ill !

For two days he did ride
until finally he spied,
in the distance, the highest castle dome !;

the prince lowered down his head
to his trusty steed he then said,
"Sir Duncan, come on! Please take us, back home!".

The drawbridge was quickly dropped
his highness's ears finally popped,
and when he touched down on familiar ground;

he gathered the stones and every rock
but, his heart felt quite a shock!
and immediately he turned and then he, frowned.

To explain, he did sincerely try
he also, almost started to cry
he was the happiest he'd probably ever been;

he felt tired from his race
as he looked at each familiar face,
he felt the hearts, and souls of his countrymen!

I feel so happy and so sad
he told his king and of course, his dad,
the king knew he really had grown, up;

then, through a thorn-ripped hem
fell some gold, and a single gem
so, the prince began filling up his cup.

When he had finished filling them
there were more than just a single gem,
the cups that he had filled totalled, twenty-two !

All the stones he'd taken had turned
to precious gems, and then he learned,
just "why" he felt happy, AND so blue.

All those stones that he'd picked up
filled each goblet and each cup,
had turned into a treasure, oh, so grand !

They lived a long time, tax-free
and just between you and me,
he became the fairest king in all the land!

His quest teaches him, to this day, still
for if more pockets he'd stopped to fill,
he might not have considered every friend;

this way, he'd done everyone, right
he sleeps quite well each, & every night,
and with that said, our saga finally does end.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Last few words: 
continuing to write.......of epic proportions.
Editing stage: 


a few typos
'twas spicifically grand, - specifically
lived thier lives with narry a care - their and nary
the king's sorceror's unrest,- sorcerer’s
handing each, an Earl sandwhich for needs. - sandwich
Horse and helmut were donned - helmet

the theme of this appeals to me, and I am intrigued as to how the prince will go in his quest and just which two lessons he will learn… so you have set me up to want to read more

however, the rhythm (imo I stress) is a little rough for something that is obviously going to be a long read…. and can I suggest that you maybe make the stanzas a little longer so that the ideas are more together?
just eg

Once there was a lovely land
'twas specifically grand,
where a king, a queen, and the couple's prince;
lived their lives with nary a care
for an even hand so fair,
for a king, not one had been this, ever since. (this doesn't make sense to me - but it may be just me)

The prince came of age
and minus his page,
he was to search out a quest all his own;
that after two 'morrows
find the pond of two sorrows,
thus proving that he was full grown.

The night afore quest
the king's sorcerer’s unrest,
concerned both, the king and his wife;
his words calmed the king, down
"The boy will earn his crown....
but, must feel two feelings in life."

"Don't know what they'll be
it's a strange quest, you see,
but the boy learns two lessons, that day...."
"...he'll not be a fool
with honesty he'll rule;
so his subjects will love, and obey!"

The king then, was pleased
and so greatly eased,
that he summoned his finest of steeds;
the queen said, "Good-bye"
which teared-up her eye;
handing each, an Earl sandwich for needs. 

Studying maps 'till past noon
for a way 'round the lagoon,
'till a plan formed that all could condone;
Horse and helmet were donned
he set out for the pond
 but his quest he must journey alone

witha little work on the meter/rhythm this would be a great write

love judy


'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

...try and listen to your suggestions because, they're always so helpful. Consequently, I've dealt with the "halfing of the stanzas"....and the spelling errors...and so, to my thanx.
!)-Q, Judy;

Neopoet is "newtriffic" !
...from the heart, or a reasonable faxcimile;
david a. goodwin #{:>{)} @==

author comment

...but, it's not finished, yet. Soon, l promise.

Neopoet is "newtriffic" !
...from the heart, or a reasonable faxcimile;
david a. goodwin #{:>{)} @==

author comment

Don't make us come find you.

This is fun, fun, fun.
Judy made most of the complaining comments I would have, so I'll only reiterate the meter. I have a tendency to feel that the longer the work, the more consistent the meter needs to be that the reader relaxes and doesn't work at "fixing" the rhythm in his/her mind. The deliberate changes in the length and such works well, we simply need some cleaning up of what you have.

But now the meat... This is storytelling sir. A clean exposition without bogging us down with unnecessary information, a complication that grows in steps and a climax in the first part of our piece. The resolution here answers some questions while posing others.

You still use too many commas for me, but I'd read the next part even if I wasn't running the fool workshop.
This is really good stuff. Clean up the meter. And always do what Judy says.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

This is a delightful story Doc. However, I hope you're not planning on leaving it by the wayside as I still think some work on the meter would improve the whole effect. There are far too many lines that stumble my read, but as for the story- it's marvelous.
Being something of a Faerie tale, it needs to have a fairy tale feel and that means a much more consistent meter throughout. I realize many poets fear the dreaded "sing-song", but a healthy dose here would work.
What are your intentions?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

...I've definately my share of "tweaking", if you will. I don't hear it when I read aloud; but can see it happen when I read it. Most probably the phrasing whilste I speak.

Neopoet is "newtriffic" !
...from the heart, or a reasonable faxcimile;
david a. goodwin #{:>{)} @==

author comment

I just finished reading your poem. It's a nice piece, and a marvelous story, and very easy to follow. Like everyone who's commented so far, I only had problems with the meter. Which will obviously need some cleaning up.

There was this little typo though:

"...'twas importent for the prince to look
..." That should be important.

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

...sir g; I understand the emphasis. My background, (sort of a wierd one being a Polish-Cherokee Indian) told me to learn the language, well.
I tried but, was given higher grades for using the commas, and such;, you can well understand it's important to me. Thanx, for that.
I most probably have a problem breathing, or with either....dialect emphasis, or the way I read...but, I can never...for the LIFE of me, hear my rhythm, or cadence problem you, Judy, Seren, wierdelf, & others have commented about...yet, it's there. I need more "schoolin'", I reckon.
I also thank, you....for your kind words about the story; however,( 'twas Polish grandfather told to me, on several occasions); I really earned no "points" for even creativity!
But seriously, I DO appreciate your input. I wonder, if anyone can explain it to me....truly; so that I can comprehend, "why", it occurs, so often....and I...can't run accross it, when I read it?
I'm doomed, because I cannot fix this with punctuation, and my repettitive readings, aloud; seem to be "drilling" it into me ! Then, every once in a while; I can get it...right ! Go figure.
Thanx, again;

Neopoet is "newtriffic" !
...from the heart, or a reasonable faxcimile;
david a. goodwin #{:>{)} @==

author comment

writing in meter is not difficult. What I suggest (and this comes from the last person who should help anyone with meter) is that you read some poem (long ones) written in a particular meter, so you get used to the "feel" of the of the stresses in the line, and the ways to work around a thought so it sticks to meter.

You can try Tolkien's Lay of Leithian, which is available online (

It's written in octosyllabic couplets, and a good reading (out loud) may make you more familiar. Also, speak to wierdelf and wesley snow.


No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

doc, there is really nothing wrong with your meter except that it borders more on free verse than meter if that makes sense.- it reads as a story (lol i know that it is) rather than with the movement of a poem...

if you want to see how the rhythm reads to others, the trick is I think to read each line as a separate thing from the rest of the poem

take a pause  between each line and read each one as you would a story or novel, and often you will pick up where you are putting the emphasis on words for the sake of the poem’s required rhythm when it is not really there in everyday speech


I have parsed your first stanza
and then rewritten in in ‘judy’ style and parsed that
can you see how it is less jerky in its read with the stresses more evenly spaced?

Once there was a love -ly land
 'twas spe –cif –ic’ -lly so grand,
 where a king ruled, with his queen, and the coup -le's prince;

once up-on a time a love -ly land ex –is -ted
 spe –cif -ic’ -lly ‘twas ev –‘ry bit so grand,
 where ruled a king, with his queen, and the coup -le's prince;

maybe this will help - lol maybe not?
love judy

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

... (shudder)...

In storytelling we have a greater need for longer thoughts and therefore use enjambment more than most poets.

However, enjambment often leads from one verse to the next with a different scan than if the sentences were absolutely separate (by the way Doc, this is not necessarily what happens in your poesy as much as a general thought).

We write a verse that (through enjambment) leads into the second verse accenting a syllable where it would not be accented if the second sentence stood alone.

Does this make any sense?

In most of these occasions I have found that an inversion in the sentence structure is called for. I have been reamed repeatedly for using "inversions" as though they create an archaic sounding sentence structure where I have always felt it simply made for a "different sounding" sentence.

(I disagree with Judy's scan and use your verses, Doc, only because that's where we are).

Once there / was a / love-ly / land
'twas spe-ci / fically / so grand, (where "fically" is "fi-kly")
where a king / ruled, with / his queen, / and the cou / ple's prince;

Once there / was a / lovely / land.


'Twas spe / cifi / cally so / grand. (again "cally" is "kly")

Ruled there / did a / King and / Queen and / their fair / Prince.

Here I have kept to the catalectic trochee that Doc began in line one with the extra length to line three.

I draw attention to line three where, to keep the meter, I begin the line in what some have in the past told me sounded "old"- "Ruled there did a King and Queen". Certainly a more modern sounding phrase would be "Where a King...", but I have to say that I don't consider my inversion an "old" way of phrasing, but rather slightly less common is all. 

I think we avoid a lot of these inversions because they sound alien to our ears and yet, were we to use them more often we would find the ordinary commonality in them.

The inversion is our friend.





W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

...."m here,attempting 2 grasp this....
...expound, please.

Neopoet is "newtriffic" !
...from the heart, or a reasonable faxcimile;
david a. goodwin #{:>{)} @==

author comment

Let me try a much simpler way.
Sometimes I can read a series of verses that read iambic (or trochaic... whatever) when read separately, but when I read them one line after another the transition from the end of one to the beginning of another forces the second line into a different meter. This generally only happens when I use enjambment.
I occasionally fix this little problem with an inversion. I switch the first few words of the second verse (of course it must work grammatically) and my meter is maintained, but in the process I create a verse that others (not me) complain sounds "archaic".
I think that is a viable solution. Many disagree with me.
Is that better?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

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