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”
1984, just one year,
Though maybe 365 Days
Still only A Wrinkle in Time
In the small Hamlet
Where The House of Spirits stood,
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,
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.