Dickens’ Call to Arms
An impudent attempt
By that impudent man
To acquire this house,
Brick by brick,
Placed in boxes –
His sacred birthplace
Transported to that country!
He is William Shakespeare,
British, do you hear?
You will not tout this house
Like Tom Thumb and others.
We are not suckers
But wise gentlemen
My creative journey
CV37 6QW: an enigma-like code locating the Stratford-upon-Avon birthplace of William Shakespeare. The Bard. Literary Genius.
Confession #1: I didn’t visit Shakespeare’s birthplace.
Confession #2: Actually, I couldn’t bear to wade through the throng of tourists.
Confession #3: Confession #2 triggered an idea.
Confession #4: I decided to put Shakespeare to one side.
Confession #5: I decided to write about an American tourist.
PT Barnum to be precise: 19th century entertainer and promoter of acts like Tom Thumb. In 1844 he came over to Europe, wowing everybody from Queen Victoria to the penny-paying general public.
Amidst the excitement, the self-coined Shakespeare of Advertising visited Stratford-upon-Avon, including Shakespeare’s then neglected birthplace on Henley Street. PT Barnum was so captivated by everything to do with the playwright that he had an agent make enquiries to acquire Shakespeare’s old home with the intention of transporting the place brick by brick to New York.
No! the public cried. Most certainly not! poo-pooed the literati, including Charles Dickens and his cohorts who ensured the house remained in Stratford-upon-Avon, acquiring it for the handsome sum of £3000.
I had my angle. All I needed to do was to write my 62 word sestude …