Thanks Julie, Don, James and Ashley for your thoughts.
Julie - I wasn't going for comedy per se, more English deflation. But in either case you're right that it didn't work - thank you. I'm fairly attached to the profanity and so have retained it in one of the new revisions. I think you (and everyone else) were right that the typographic trick and thought/word/deed didn't need to be in the same poem as the second stanza, where the thought was.
Don - thanks, always glad to learn a new term, and after struggling against attachment to the first four lines I've decided you're right.
James - I'm not sure about pressure. Do you mean it needs to have more meaningful words per line in it? If so I've tried to alter the ratio a bit in Rev. 3b. I think you're right a new title may be better. It's hard to conceive of a single quatrain as a Recessional. I have considered "Pecker fortiter" but it's a bit too lighthearted perhaps.
Ashley - thanks for the Hudgins. I'd not read it but I'm glad I now have. I'm flattered to know this reminded you of that and hope a ghost of it might still linger around 3a or 3b. I agree with you about the penultimate line, to the extent that I don't really like either the adverbial adjectives or predicative delayed adjectives, depending on what you want to do with them; it's a bit of a mess, and is gone in 3b. I see what you mean about "true sins." I think it's reasonable for that to be construed as a sin reflecting a true intention. But I don't expect the idea would stand up theologically, so it's probably not worth wasting good syllables on. I've disposed of it in 3b. I don't agree with you about a last line needing to bring clarity, if I understand you correctly - muddying the waters is a reasonable way to end, isn't it?
Last edited by Nicholas Stone; 06-03-2019 at 09:01 PM.