A Poke of Gold to the Lady that's Known as Lou
A transforming poem

gold miner's poke
Gold miner's poke - nineteenth century.
I saw the sigh in your pretty eye
    When you dreamed that I’d be yours,
But those who steal me fast reveal
    My shine is the start of wars.

First I passed through the purse of a miner who nursed
    A chill. He seemed to be
Just a helping of hurt in a flannelette shirt
    From Plumtree, Tennessee.

It’s the goal of gold to be bought and sold
    And melted and poured in a mould.
From the day they scratched me out of that patch
    Of dirt, I’ve been near as cold.

Now again I change hands, and again the sands
    Run out, and men lie dead.
Good chances, I’d rate, that the heftier weight
    Is a couple of rounds of lead.

I’ve been sought by those men—half a dozen or ten—
    Who flash gold in pokes and pounds,
Who begged you for dances and killed for your glances—
    It’s not as nice as it sounds.

Daniel Galef

This poem is in the style of Robert Service’s poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Although Service’s style employs a very loose meter [with a rather tighter rhyme scheme], by arranging five to a line the poem transforms into a Petrarchan sonnet with new lines and new end-rhymes.

To see the sonnet

Click Here

If you have any thoughts on this transforming poem, Daniel Galef would be pleased to hear them.