Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle

For today's post, I thought I'd try something new. The standard review format I've been relying on for the past couple years (certainly more sporadically this past year) has felt a little stale lately... whether from lack of readership or just from lack of my own inspiration, I'm not sure. Either way, I thought I might take a little more creative angle on the review thing. Instead of writing a review, I'll write a poem inspired by a few key passages that jumped out at me, or perhaps a particularly poignant scene or character... whatever most inspires me about what I just read. For today's book - The Return of Sherlock Holmes - that was the peculiar (as in both singular/unique and a little bit odd) dynamics of the friendship between Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Without further ado:

That oh-so-human warm flush
colours your cheeks with pleasure
you cannot/choose not/want not
to conceal; betrays your stoic
self-contained self-generated self-sufficient
pride; proves you to be not immune
(as we - some of us - never I - suspected)
to the spontaneous wonder which springs
from the awed, affectionate regard of a friend.
No, not quite the unfeeling machine
they believe you to be.
I know better. Of course.
I know you better; I have known
the softening of your features
that moves you to hide
your face your self from overexposure
(too raw is it, too unaccustomed
to exposure of any kind).
I have known the impulsive bow,
the irresistible (for you, for us) grin, and that
warm flush of colour oh-so-human
which accompany not the win alone, but
the intimate recognition.


  1. Wow! Excellent approach - interesting and it certainly pushes you as a writer to really be creative! Very nice.

  2. As an eight-year old, I could not put down Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Read all of them at leat once; most, several times. Did that afternoons on end, when perhaps I would have done better to go outside and play with whatever ball was in season. I might have waited until your age or even later, for you have mined from these stories much, much more than I did at the time.

    Or maybe it was fine: after all, one has to start somewhere. And there still was time for football, basketball and baseball--which allow one to learn important things, too, but less nuanced lessons than the ideas that come from books. Plus, I can read Sherlock Holmes again now, if I choose.

    In any event, I learn from your blog every time I look at it. I learn about you; I learn about books I should read; and (most strikingly) I learn about books I have read. Thanks for the chance.

    1. Dean, thank you so much for your comment! It means a lot to me to know that you read this blog and that you take something from it.

      I agree; Sherlock Holmes is one of those series that you can read at almost any age and glean something meaningful from. Have you encountered the BBC miniseries called Sherlock? It's a modernized take on it but arguably, in my opinion, may actually be an improvement on the originals! Supremely well written and acted.

    2. I have not run into the BBC miniseries, Molly. Thanks for the tip. Maybe it will be in the local video store, which is pretty good. Incidentally, I was a bit embarrassed by the typographical mistake in my earlier post. It was kind of you to overlook it.