Poetry Challenge ‘What the Dickens?’
Bookstains was set up to put book reviews and poetry on. The poetry challenges have proved quite popular. They are open indefinitely for anyone to join in. So far the challenges have been about famous paintings. But I thought that a challenge which was about the written word might also be interesting:-D
The reason I have chosen Charles Dickens, is that most people have either read his books or have seen films based upon his books.
The challenge is to write a poem or Haiku about any Dickens character in any situation…or even a poem about Charles Dickens himself!
The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains (as well as having creative fun) so therefore it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge.
In return the poem is copied to the challenges particular page and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website.
If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it. This is a genuine challenge – so please play fair:-)
I shall be giving this challenge some thought – I’ve already got a few ideas, – but so many books and so many characters…..which to go for? 🙂
Original Charles Dickens image from here
- V&A museum pleads for cash to save Charles Dickens’s manuscripts (guardian.co.uk)
Our first contribution is from 47whitebuffalo who has a blog full of poetry, art and social commentry please check it out! With this short poem, she assures me is just revving up – so expect more from her:-)
color me ‘pink’
because at the moment
suggestive wink winks are all I can think
–I will attempt to get past these indiscreet suggestions…..o my….
The second contribution is a Haiku by Abigal Parker who writes a Haiku a day on her wonderful blog here
Dear Miss Havisham:
The wedding and you – both off.
Well, heres my contribution – and an explanation of how it came about…
I Dwell in Miss Havisham’s House
No light shall enter here
Nor candlelight find the dark recesses
I watch, as she obsesses upon her past.
No future, and no hopes,
Just deaths decay awaits
Her nearing fate among the festering icing.
The clocks like sentinals, stand
With stiffened hands that staunch the years
Of dried up tears and pain
Loves lost refrain
Lies broken – creaking,
Whilst I remain in shadows, watchful, sneaking.
Coins for childrens laughter
Chink in vain against her frozen heart
That beats apart from this life and the next.
But cruelty has its grip
On youthful yearnings,
Snuffing out the candles of hopes celebrations.
Her icy heart shall spend it last
As fiery blast consumes her bygone lace
And shadows chase across that mouldering room
And join deaths gloomy choir
As flaming tongues conspire
With ancient lace to form the tinder
To her pyre
©Lynda M Roberts 2010
image from here with thanks!
- Our 4th poem is from Adam Dustus whose great blog is full of poetry, graphic and poetry challenges! If you are a poet this blog is a must!
What the Dickens?
You’ve made me dream of London
Industrial age, revolution
Insider’s eye to factory life
Catherine and 10 children
Iconic characters, Twist and Scrooge
Pickwick, Drood, a tale of two
Bleak house, Hard Times, Our Mutual Friend
Great Expectations the masters reread
Mary died held in your arms
Blaming self for sisters’ charms
Breaking hearts, too much your own
No price is worth a bitter throne
To students of novels you wrote our book
Your body of work, which screen and stage took
Each night before Christmas your genius I see
Tiny Tim’s blessing broadcast on TV
©Adam Dustus 2010
How do you know
the plight to those
so very low?
man and his fate
you aptly plot
the gangliest trait
“These are but shadows
of things that have been”
mastery in words
though of the dead
Fraught in his day
had such pity
shows the delights
of many a city
Charlie was a writer
Charlie was a writer, of great serials and prose.
Going back to a time in history, few would have chose.
A class ridden society of common folk and lords.
Lives of adversity, back then careers were more like chores.
Smoke billowed from chimney stacks as the fires burned within.
Workers shovelling the coal, bare back with burning skin.
As small boys hurried around doing jobs meant for grown men.
The owner sat in his armchair, benefiting from them.
A far cry from the romantic picture we see in that era’s novels.
Only the lucky, privileged few could hold pen instead of shovel.
Making history as they scratch pen to paper.
Writers in those times, no one could be safer.
©Richard North 2010
The 7th poem is by writer and poetess Jenneandrews who has a great and very interesting blog here – please check it out:-)
“(S)he will make a lovely corpse.”
Bearing a heavy-hearted grudge
Against the entire season
I apply my will
To this dust,
These autumnal remnants
Filling the corners–
Tess the Golden’s dandelion fuzz
from her perennial shedding
Leaf-chaff, thin needles
From the alpine fir
Even a few fugitive
A wren could build a nest
with this chaff
Or some Dickensian mop-hatted
Comb through it for the pennies
If ten cents even got a glance
From the Salvation Army worker
On Thanksgiving Eve
dragging my bad leg
I vacuum cursing:
I would walk the streets singing
If I could which takes me
to the plight
Of the Twist in this life
(“A cripple for life!” he cried
From a masterpiece)
I curse my lot
And falter, sitting down
Sipping a cup of shame
Laced with marked down hazelnut
that I have a house
To fill with leaves and light
And nests of dust.
copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2010
Our 8th poem comes from Ruth of Turtle Memoirs,whose memoir based pieces (blogs, poetry, literary nonfiction) simply must be read here
colour me no black-and-white of Scrooge’s
maker – a more colourful man not found
this side of heathendom
if giving’s not from the heart, I’d rather
my Xmas haul be empty
at least Scrooge had the grace
to withhold his empty heart-purse
but when he gave, reformed man he,
it was with utmost joy and thankfulness
Our 9th contribution comes from Jessica’s Japes whose blog will make you smile 🙂 She adds this kind note (thanks Jessica!)
(Having just discovered ‘Bookstains’, a great WordPress site, I thought I would send this to their Charles Dickens Challenge. It’s quickly written and very simple! Follow this link to Bookstains –
(NB if you are not from the UK…Coronation Street is a long running soap opera set in the north of England, Eastenders is another soap set in London, and The Sun is a tabloid newspaper more interested in celebrity gossip and topless women than real news!)
I wonder, if Charlie D. lived here and now,
where would he and his writings be?
A regular Eastenders scriptwriter,
no doubt about it;
murder, mayhem, misunderstandings, misogyny, melancholy, misery.
The devil of all bloggers,
rivers of ‘comments’
‘And remember, please, link back to Charlie D., hugs!’
A Facebook devotee
checking crops, joining groups, sending roses,
and look, an update!
chapter ten of ‘A Christmas Rap’!
A guest actor on the Street,
a racing certainty;
loquaciously beguiling beer-swilling strident northern characters,
A Twitter fanatic,
every hour, on the hour,
a name, a plotline, a quote, a plug.
A TV advertiser’s delight;
‘Buy one, get one turkey free,
Your chance to play a Scrooge to a Cratchit!’
(Smile, Charlie, smile! And cut…)
A front page tabloid delight,
‘Partying with Lady Gaga!’
See it all inside – only in The Sun!
Oh, Charlie D.
if you were here now
what great expectations we would have of you!
© Jessica D’Angelo 2010
A lovely festive and delightful contribution from Bendedspoon whose blog is wonderously uplifting and a must to visit!
“I don’t know what to write!”
Dickens you know I am a chicken
but for Lynda I will be a wolverine!
Oliver Twist I am glad that you’re not twisted
despite that you were amidst a wicked environment.
What is your secret for remaining pure-hearted?
Tell us all Oliver that we may learn.
Ebenezer Scrooge why so sour, greedy and stingy
when your stay on earth is only temporary?
Thanks to Jacob Marley and the 3 Ghosts of Christmases
you were transformed to a generous and compassionate fella!
Isn’t it great to wake up with joy and love in the heart?
Wait do I hear A Christmas Carol?
What are we waiting for — let’s sing now!