This Poem was Submitted By: Ronda Michelle Nelson On Date: 2004-01-15 15:14:11 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

To Listen to Music While Reading this Poem, just Click Here!

Click Here To add this poem to your "Voting Possibilities" list!

Pickett's Charge

Lining the edge of the shadow wood, a ghostly gray their numbers cast the sun's fire burned across the field, daring them enter it's inferno blast. Tired eyes yearned for victory this day, in hope of honor, home and land the burden laid heavy upon the brow, for the fate of Dixie was at hand. Down the line the generals gathered, on restless mounts dashing about Old Pete steadied in the saddle, his courage intact but mind in doubt. Gnawing his cigar to feed the fear, as July's heat couldn't shake the chill  for the challenging task that laid ahead, to take the blue upon the hill.                                          A darkness fell upon his heart, for his reluctance to give the command he gave the nod to General Pickett, Pickett salutes with a steady hand. Then he drew his sword held on high, and dashed to his soldiers in wait "make the way son's of Dixie" echoed, my daring lads the hill you must take. The cannons now silenced for the advance, their fiery load to clear the way in rows they marched from behind, in hopes of victory on a dying day. Their chivalry shined across the field, as they stepped by  beat of the drum banners and chins held high in parade, marching deeper into summer's sun. The boys in blue laid on the hill, patiently holding their nerve and aim for the gray to move deeper into the killing field, before releasing their fiery rain. Sweat hung thick from their brow, for in wait of the attack at hand knowing the boys in gray were determined, for victory upon their northern land. The spear of the assault, Pickett's braves, entered the grasp of the cannon steel now well in sight of their deadly aim, the blue on the hill were ordered to kill. Shell and shot propelled from above,  exploding to the ground below The birth of the battle now summoned, against the gray parade in rows. CHARGE! Ripped down the front lines, their stride quickened with a Rebel yell under the flood of lead's bursting death, they enter the fury of war's hell. They struggled against the black powder smoke, eyes burning from the haze the deafening explosion of the cannon rounds, fell many to their knees in a daze. The earth shaken from underfoot, only the brave to keep the advance to turn and run the other way, would sacrifice a hero's last chance. Screams of agony, piercing, gruesome, the fortunate to be taken quick many praying for God to take them, for merciful angels to snuff life's wick. Under the stroke of an hour, victory for Dixie would be but a dream her assault would end in agony, her dead son's laying gray on the green.  Never would she recover, from the pageantry slaughter of that day her commanders would sit in solitude, in thought the battle would play. On to the field Pickett spurred his stud, in desperate search of his men taken by death's wakeless slumber, his division never to be seen again.   History would name it Pickett's charge, Pickett would claim it as Lee's mistake the boisterous general would never forgive, for his fallen on the battlefield wake. Now many years have come to pass, but the treacherous battle lives on in the little town of Gettysburg, where the sun greets the graves at dawn. Their bones wrapped in her peaceful ground, but southern spirits soar above the open field charged long ago, for a dashing general's, their undying love.

Copyright © January 2004 Ronda Michelle Nelson

This Poem was Critiqued By: Leo Wilder On Date: 2004-01-28 11:20:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.80000
Ronda, Very nice job. Historical poems, with accuracy are very hard to do. I tried one on Gettysburg, but it kind of fell apart trying to be too accurate. Nice job. Leo

This Poem was Critiqued By: Regis L Chapman On Date: 2004-01-20 18:49:17
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.81818
Wow. I can feel the impact of someone who either visited or lives near this town of Gettysburg. maybe even someone who participates in re-enactments. The detail and rather well-known "take this hill" and "charge" themes found in war. It's ironic in it's own way while it tries to be noble (I speak of war generally here, not the poem). In that, this poem is successful. Identity is always an interesting point in life to come to, and in that, this poem helps me understand the last surge of this kind of separate identity in a country determined to accept as many as possible. It has other modern analogues- like for Canada and Quebec, for example. Well done to bring that spirit out again and thanks for the reminder of a personal look at history. I really felt I was there with Pickett and his men- for a short time- and that's all they had REEG!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2004-01-18 20:17:20
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.30769
Bravo for a piece well done poet.....great structure and word flow, nice rhyme throughout....images appear as one reads down and though it is lengthy it might have continued on.......I would not change a word, your piece stands superb as it presently certainly have brought to life this time in our country's history. Thank you for posting and sharing with safe, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2004-01-16 15:44:44
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Dear Rhonda, I have not had the opportunity to comment on any of your other submissions, to are like that figure that emerges from gray mist, recounting very poetically the reality of Picketts charge, and inclusive in this wonderful narrative, is the human factor, the decisions weighted on political need, it is about the best recounting I've ever read concerning Gettsburg. As a history buff, having visited Hettsburg I can honestly say this poem includes, the emotion, the sensation, and the poets ability to recall so vividly these many years later, the essence of how that one battle determined the Southern faith, and these many years later, the pride of decendents who knew of their ancestors bravery. For me it is complete, it reads very smoothly, and has every portic nuance, it's a wonderfully written historical narrative incorporating all the skills of an excellently written poem. As I said I don't believe I've commented on any other possible submissions of yours, but with this ability you demonstrate I will surely search for any more submissions, for it was accurate, and contained, and held the interest of this reader, and I throughly enjoyed the encounter with your poem. Wonderful, a poem I won't be forgetting...Good luck and give us more, Joanne Morgan
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-01-16 10:42:18
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.43750
Hi Ronda, I believe this is the first time I have read your work and I am certainly glad I didn't miss this one. This is an excellent piece with an easy rhyme that sounds natural and not forced. It is very long and sometimes I have read poetry that was so long I gave up before I reached the end. However, I hung on every word of this one and found I was sorry that it had to end. There is so much written about the civil war but as far as a poetic story I have never read a better one than this. You should be very proud of your accomplishment here. I see nothing that I would like to change from a technical point of view. Let it is suffice to say this poem will go to the top of my voting list and kudos for a brilliant piece of work. Blessings....Marilyn
Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

Click HERE to return to Database Page!