B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond: William E. Stafford – November 5, 2016




Greetings, friends of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie!

For this week we will reinterpret another existing poem as a shadorma.  This poem has haunted me for years and I’ve debated sharing it here for several months.

A shadorma is, of course, written with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5. It can be one stanza or several – so long as each stanza follows 3/5/3/3/7/5.


Today’s poem is “Traveling Through the Dark” by William E. Stafford:


Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly..
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.


You may choose to write about this poem … the painting … or perhaps a time when you were faced with an ugly choice to make.

After you’ve written your Shadorma post it on your own blog. Tag it B&Ps Shadorma and Beyond and MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie, then link it here so we can all read and enjoy your work. Don’t forget to visit and comment on other blogs!

See you again in two weeks!


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