Banned Book Titles, A Poetry Challenge

Last year we held a Banned Books Title Poetry Contest, and our finalists inspired me to write my own Banned Books Title poem.  Then, I was challenged by the lovely Kristen D. to use as many titles as I could in one poem.  I have answered that challenge, and here it is.  I call it:

“That was Then, This is Now”

It was

1984, just one year,

Though maybe 365 Days

Still only A Wrinkle in Time

In the small Hamlet

Where The House of Spirits stood,

My House,

My Sanctuary,


With A Light in the Attic

Burning across A Thousand Acres

In the Night.

Kitchen full of Strange Fruit

Where One Fat Summer

The Grapes of Wrath

Dried up like a Raisin in the Sun,

I sat with my Beloved James

And the Giant Peach he ate

While I finished The Last of the Wine.

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” he said.

But The Art of Love is confusing,

To know Where the Heart Is,

Or worse, Where the Sidewalk Ends,

To Have and Have Not,

A Paradise Lost.

So I exercised The Right to Lie

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down,

Like Fallen Angels,

And Their Eyes Were Watching God

And No Birds Sang.

But That was Then, This is Now,

A Brave New World

Where I’ve found A Separate Peace

Full of Public Smiles, Private Tears

And The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Now As I Lay Dying I say,

It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me.

Love is One of the Choices,

And The Facts Speak for Themselves.

We are all Outsiders,

And We All Fall Down.

But The Headless Cupid

Offers no Deliverance

In Love and Trouble.

I also wrote a much smaller one titled “The Chocolate War”

One Fat Summer

In Civil Disobedience

Johnny Got His Gun

And started The Chocolate War.

From The Upstairs Room

I heard the question, “Where’s Waldo?

Go ask Alice!” I screamed to Charlie.

And the Chocolate Factory gurgled away,

Like Water for Chocolate,

Always Running,

Blood and Chocolate,

The Red and the Black

Causing The Color of Earth

To turn black like Oil!

So we make The Stand

On The Fighting Ground,

The Last Mission before

A Farewell to Arms

Sees Charlie following Alice in Wonderland,

For there are no Hard Feelings

When Legends Die.

And I Still Rise

Knowing A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich

And The Long Secret of it all

Was that he was just trying To Kill a Mockingbird.

So, now I challenge you!  Can you write a poem using the titles of Banned Books?  They don’t have to be as long as mine.  Share them in the comments below. 

And Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a banned or challenged book.  You can find them at your local HPB. — Julie

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

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