I’ve been reading the 19th century classics, and though one cannot really think of them as concise writers, some of them had the most beautiful prose when describing scenery. I’ll just give you a very brief example of such a description (from Charles Dickens’ “Life and Adventures of Marten Chuzzlewit” 1844)
Even those tokens of the season which emphatically whispered of the coming winter, graced the landscape, and, for the moment, tinged its livelier features with no oppressive air of sadness. The fallen leaves, with which the ground was strewn, gave forth a pleasant fragrance, and subduing all harsh sounds of distant feet and wheels created a repose in gentle unison with the light scattering of seed hither and thither by the distant husbandman, and with the noiseless passage of the plough as it turned up the rich brown earth, and wrought a graceful pattern in the stubbled fields. On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels; others stripped of all their garniture, stood, each the centre of its little heap of bright red leaves, watching their slow decay; others again, still wearing theirs, had them all crunched and crackled up, as though they had been burnt; about the stems of some were piled, in ruddy mounds, the apples they had borne that year; while others (hardy evergreens this class) showed somewhat stern and gloomy in their vigour, as charged by nature with the admonition that it is not to her more sensitive and joyous favourites she grants the longest term of life. Still athwart their darker boughs, the sunbeams struck out paths of deeper gold; and the red light, mantling in among their swarthy branches, used them as foils to set its brightness off, and aid the lustre of the dying day.
A moment, and its glory was no more. The sun went down beneath the long dark lines of hill and cloud which piled up in the west an airy city, wall heaped on wall, and battlement on battlement; the light was all withdrawn; the shining church turned cold and dark; the stream forgot to smile; the birds were silent; and the gloom of winter dwelt on everything.
This is truly a very small excerpt, the whole piece is about 3 pages long, which would try our modern readers beyond endurance! Anyway … here’s the photo:
So, I would like you to use THIS photograph to write a brief story about spring in exactly one hundred words. It needn’t be gushy romantic or a lovely weather report, nor do you need to even mention spring .. but one should be able to tell that you’re actually talking about spring. You may prefer poetry to prose – and of course you know the Shadorma is always open to you, though you might prefer some other form.
Once you’ve written your story or poem, tag your work Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie and Saturday Mix. You may also want to link/ping your work in the comments area but please do add your work to the Mr. Linky app (which is sometimes crotchety but will eventually work).
Have a great time! Ciao, Bastet.
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I thought this Dickens excerpt was stunning. Prose poetry. I am reading ‘Charles Dickens A Life’ by Claire Tomalin at the moment. I think you would enjoy it, At the age of 12 Charles as the man of the family had to work out ways of supporting the family. His father was in prison. Good read.
Sounds interesting and thanks – I know he had quite a difficult life!
I’m really glad you enjoyed it Rall! Martin Chuzzlewit was the book Dickens considered his best write … it is terribly long … over 800 pages. I got it down from the Gutenberg Project and there are quite a few gems like the bit I quoted. Of course at the time of writing it was serialized (I believe it came out weekly) – A bit like our TV series I guess ;-).
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