Poetry Prompt: The Rainbow

Bookshelf featuring books organized by color

The book in question was a mass of obscenity of thought, ideas, and action throughout, wrapped up in language which he supposed would be regarded in some quarters as an artistic and intellectual effort. — Mr. H. Muskett, for the Commissioner of Police

On September 30, 1915, Meuthen and Co. published D.H. Lawrence’s fourth novel, The Rainbow. The novel, with its depictions of sexual love, was met with controversy and negative reviews. In November, it was prosecuted at the Bow Street magistrates court and banned as obscene. 1,011 copies were confiscated and burnt.

This month, as we approach the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication,  we invite you to craft a poem sourced from the text of The Rainbow, available for free online at Project Gutenberg.

A few ideas:

  • Search through the text for colors, weaving together your own “rainbow” poem.
  • Choose a character and craft a poem only from sentences s/he speaks in the text.
  • Choose a particularly “sexy” passage and censor it by replacing each word in the sentence with its antonym.

Post your completed poem — or a link to the poem on your blog/website  — in the comments section below.

Featured image courtesy of Pietro Bellini

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