Last week, Eli started the Classics-Based Writing course through SchoolhouseTeachers.com, our “go-to” for ALL our homeschool curriculum. He studied the poem, “Opportunity,” by Edward R. Sill (!841-1887). Today, I used one of the suggestions in the lesson and asked him to rewrite the poem as a short story. It could be set in any time or place. He chose to rewrite the poem. I’ll post Sill’s poem below Eli’s.
I was captivated. I almost felt bad at how surprised I was with what he came up with. He said coming from a farming family, playing Farming Simulator, and inherited writing skills helped. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
By Eli D. Harlow – 1/27,2020
In the style of Edward R. Sill – 1841-1887
This I dreamed, or saw on TV
There spread a cloud of dust along a field
And underneath the cloud, or in it raged
A motor, and wheat clanging to metal, and
Big semis roaring. The spout of a Claas
Rose up, then slowly went back down
A fretting farmer got out of the Claas and said
Had I a combine of keener power – that Fendt my neighbor has, but
This blunt thing-! He left the field and walked away
Then came the neighbor wanting to help someone
He saw the Claas just sitting in a half-finished field
He climbed in and completed the farmer’s task
And doing a neighborly thing, he saved the crop
Here’s the original poem.
EDWARD R. SILL (1841-1887)
This I behold, or dreamed it in a dream:-
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Socked upon swords and Shields. A princes banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battles edge,
And thought, Had I a sword of keener steel-
That blue blade that the king’s son bears,-but this
Blunt thing-!” He snapped an flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and the trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with a battle shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.