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.

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 and 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.

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 version one the poem becomes choppy and contrasts the poem in rhythm. When you think of pulling over to view cows it seems like a peaceful subtle experience but chopping up the lines brings emphases to certain lines. For example unlike themselves and we are there become the most impactful lines and where the meaning is most drawn from.

In version 2 the flow of the poem matches the content. It makes the imagery of the cows more of the focus. Instead of emphasizing any words it emphasizes the entirety of the moment when viewing the cows. This best captures the mood of the poem.

In version 3 the actions are highlighted rather than particular words. This gives the poem a feeling of momentum since each action marks its own line.