In the current version of the “Cranes and Sheep” draft, I must choose between pairing “in the sun” (at the end of the first stanza) with either “with their young” or “in the run” (at the end of the second stanza). Whilst “in the run” allows for visual alliteration between the last lines of the first two stanzas, its meaning—“in the pasture and sheep tracks”—may be unclear (I could use “on the run”, but it would be inapt1); “with their young” solves this problem, but it eliminates the symmetry (and is an imperfect rhyme, which here I wish to avoid).
Further complicating matters is the fact that my decision will determine which variations I may use for the stanzas that follow. My choice, then, is between the clarity, asymmetry and imperfect rhyme of “with their young” and the ambiguity, symmetry and perfect rhyme of “in the run”. I suspect I shall choose clarity, but symmetry is hard to resist. Shall I choose the former and risk being criticised by a future reader baffled as to why I did not choose the latter—and does this not perfectly answer my recent question on the subject of artistic choice?
- “On the run” may be a possibility, if I could strip it of its idiomatic meaning (“attempting to avoid capture”), but thus far, I have been unsuccessful in that regard.