Journal 4

Version 1
The cows stand
under the trees in
the wet grass,
lifting their necks
to pull leaves down.

We slow the truck,
pull over to the side of the road
to watch them.
How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves.

We get out and
lean on the fence.
The cows don’t seem to notice
we are there.

In this version traditional stanzas make each section feel like its about something important. The first is the cows, the second how the speakers view them, the third about the existence of both entities.  The rhythm is slower then the prose but faster then version 3.  I think it captures the serenity of the situation better then the other versions as well.

Version 2
The cows stand under the trees in the wet grass,
lifting their necks to pull leaves down.
We slow the truck,
pull over to the side of the road to watch them.
How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves.
We get out and lean on the fence.
The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

This version of the poem uses only end stop lines for each line.  It gives the poem a feeling of finality, every line ends with a thought and pause.  It also makes the rhythm much more straightforward, almost how a cow is a much more straightforward creature.

Version 3
The cows

stand under the trees in the wet grass, lifting their necks to pull
leaves down.

We slow the truck, pull over to the side of the road to watch them.

How graceful they look, how unlike themselves.

We get out and lean on the fence.

The cows

don’t seem to notice we are there.

In this version the line breaks and single stanza’s emphasize the cows as something much more unique then they are in the other poems.  The disjointed nature makes the rhythm much clunkier and makes pauses frequent.  It also gives more weight to the more mundane lines of the truck stopping.