Sheep Need a Shepherd

February 7, 2010
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The sheep were content
They roamed freely by day and slept in warm beds at night. Farmer John established no rules and the sheep were grateful for his generosity and respect. They enjoyed Mary’s delicious cooking and were especially proud that they were included at the dinner table every night. Mountains of praise were thrust upon Mary’s culinary adroitness and she responded in kind by tucking them all into bed, every single night.

The sheep were content
There was an eight o’clock curfew and the sheep sometimes slept with their hunger unsatisfied, but their tremendous love for generous Farmer John trumped their insignificant inconveniences. They were given a large tract of land in which to live. It provided both warm sunlight and cool shade. They alternated between sun-bathing their exquisite coats and resting under the refreshing vegetation as they roamed the lush pasture.

The sheep were content
They had been stripped of their coats thus left completely nude, but the sheep were glad to be rid of the itchy nuisance; Farmer John told them they looked more distinguished now, anyway. They admired each other and thanked Farmer John profusely for bestowing them with such beauty.

The sheep were content
While it was true that they were now all packed in some sort of truck speeding off wildly to an unknown destination, they were nonetheless excited for the adventure. While initially skeptical, the sheep were now unanimously thankful for this completely free extended vacation. They decided to send Farmer John and his gorgeous wife Mary a postcard.

The sheep were content
The ominous mechanical rumble was indeed alarming, but fear was soon replaced by self congratulation and pride as the sheep strutted their distinguished, hairless bodies down the runway. Love for the selfless Farmer John overflowed from the sheep who promised to never forget his indiscriminate benevolence.

The sheep were content.





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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

T.C. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I think the poem demonstrates a meticulous thought process and illustrates the point very well. The poem seems to challenge the reader to live on a higher level and not succumb to the sweetness of the first stanza. 

As for the structure of the poem, I think its clever and appropriately organized. 

 
sn123 said...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 7:32 pm
Very interesting poem. I have a few questions/ comments if you’re interested in constructive criticism.
I’m sort of confused by the title “Sheep Need a Shepherd.” It seems like the entire point of the poem is that sheep do NOT need their shepherd – the shepherd’s sole intention to exploit (and eventually slaughter) the sheep for his personal profit. If anything, the sheep would be better off if not held in captivity. I like your repetition of “The... (more »)
 
SamBar replied...
Mar. 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm
Thank you very much sn123 for your well thought out comments. To begin, you are completely right that the title "Sheep Need a Shepherd" seems to completely contradict the content of the poem. This was actually a calculated decision for a variety of reasons: 1. It seems like modern society dictates that conformity is necessary to survival in the cruel world we inhabit. Whether it is at school where a student is urged to keep his or her head down in order to avoid conflict with a c... (more »)
 
stinger replied...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm
I believe that this poem is written more to critize the ignorance of the sheep, if you had read the note from the author, it states that he believes the sheep deserve their fate. Taking this view point, the title makes perfect sense, in that the ignorant deserve to be led by a man that will take advantage of them because they are ignorant. The sheep need a shepard because they need someone to follow so they can continue being ignorant. The poem was very well written in my opinion, the author see... (more »)
 
sn123 replied...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Sam, I think the main difference between the sheep and your examples of the conformist German and the “meek” United States (although I’m definitely going to disagree with your characterization of the “benign” superpower) are that both the German and the United States *recognize* the evils of Hitler and North Korea, respectively, whereas the sheep whole-heartedly adore their exploiter. The anti-Hitler German is probably a conformist; but he’s definitely not ... (more »)

 
sn12 replied...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Sam, I think the main difference between the sheep and your examples of the conformist German and the “meek” United States (although I’m definitely going to disagree with your characterization of the “benign” superpower) are that both the German and the United States *recognize* the evils of Hitler and North Korea, respectively, whereas the sheep whole-heartedly adore their exploiter. The anti-Hitler German is probably a conformist; but he’s definitely... (more »)

 
testing said...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm
cool poem!!
 
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