These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Kindle edition

there is
no railway to Cloisterham
the city 
of lost souls

Travellers Twopenny
is warped
like the morals
of the travellers

stonemason Durdles leads
a hazy gyspy life

is a huntress with
the presence of a gypsy
her brother is
a hunter

Mr Tartar is
a roving sailor

knows of 
no relation in the world

but Jasper
her thoughts

there is no railway to Cloisterham

and Mr Sapsea says
there never should be

Linking to;
The Tuesday Platform - Real Toads

The Mystery of Edwin DroodThe Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The ancient cathedral town of Cloisterham shivers on the brink of yesterday's darkness with little impulse to move out into the light of a future. Crypts and monuments seem to set this town's people in some Druidic ring of judgment. Edwin Drood's imminent arranged marriage to Rosebud dissolves into his strange disappearance and possible, but never confirmed, murder. Brother and sister Neville and Helen Landless seem to be burdened with some shady tragic pressures from past lives in Ceylon and John Jasper, the choirmaster seems to be burying pain - physical or mental? - in opium time. Even the small characters seem to carry seedy secrets. The Deputy is a wild young boy a drunken Jasper pays to stone him home. And then there are the caricatures - an immovable waiter and a flying waiter??? Dickens' mystery probes unsettling extracts of humanity. The narrative is incomplete, but then, do we ever know all there is to know about the crevasses of humanity? This must be an example of a dark and timeless drama.

View all my reviews

Mysteries Within Mysteries
The old cathedral town of Cloisterham stages many covert dramas. Edwin Drood's possible murder may be the drive of Dickens' last narrative, but there are other parallel mysteries. Mr Honeythunder is the guardian of brother and sister, Helena and Neville. They come from Ceylon, but are not Ceylonese? Neville claims that he knows little of his guardian? Mr John Jasper, guardian of Edwin Drood is "a dark man"? And why does Jasper, as choirmaster, need to depend so heavily on opium? Why is Mr Sapsea, the auctioneer, described as a jackass? At times, even the names and brief descriptions of the characters seem to suggest some extra, unexplained elements. Dickens' Drood mystery may not be resolved, but it seems that many other threads in this narrative have not been developed and resolved either. An intriguing piece of writing, cut short by Dickens' death. The incompleteness is all part of the dramatic charm.


Anonymous said...

I like this very much. Especially the part about Jasper, which reminds me of Twilight.

Gillena Cox said...

Gemma yours is an intriguing poem. So much so interest in reading the book follows. Have a nice Tuesday

Much love...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Excellent write :D

brudberg said...

What an interesting way to paint a book review with a poem. Sounds like a most forgotten town.

Anonymous said...

Very well done, Gemma, you located the poem of the book, found a way to sing it. Wispy and haunting like location, ambient like smoke. For some reason I thought of Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," each stanza a headstone, an epitaph.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have always enjoyed your redacted versions of novels. I think this is a unique writing exercise.

hedgewitch said...

Love the concept of writing a review in a poem. Read Drood back in HS, but sadly mostly forgotten now.

Susie Clevenger said...

A poetic original. Great write!

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