A Carton of Memories

An Extreme Tale

β€œIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” β€” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?


I was only fourteen and
Was suffering in grade nine
A lonely frightened freshman
Seeking then to redefine

Myself into a man or maybe
A grown boy, at least;
In spite of my best efforts
I was much less man than beast

And it was in my English class
That Ms. Hornbuckle taught
That we began to read a book
I grew to like a lot

And by about, oh, halfway through
A lifelong love was set:
For I was reading Dickens
And I haven’t finished yet

The bloody revolution off in France
Where it took place;
It took my from my worries
Back through time, and at a pace

Breathtaking in its drama. And
When we approached the end
The pattern had emerged, and I
Began to read again

This wondrous book, so full of hate
And love, and so much more:
It was a far, far better book
Than I had read before

So I had found in Dickens
Much to reread and to savor –
And though no Sydney Carton
Might have been
Just a touch

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5 Thoughts to “A Carton of Memories

  1. Fourteen is a wonderful age to start reading Dickens, but you sure did start with one of his more difficult novels. It’s a lifelong pleasure for me now, at 67. I still like to go back and reread whatever the library has to offer.

    1. Tale of Two Cities is at least fairly brief – for Dickens. I didn’t get a lot of it, but what I did get was pure gold.

      Reading is great: the only problem is, by the time you have leisure to do it, the eyes have started to go…

      1. I’m glad to say that’s not true for me. I’m 67, and I do have the trifocal thing going on, but I have no trouble reading.

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