Indictment Still Found in ‘A Christmas Carol’

ignorance - Copy

Ignorance and Want by John Leech for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

It is 175 years today since the first publication of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, his moral tale exposing Victorian England’s poverty and child poverty in particular, so much a feature of Tory and austerity Britain now, an indictment of political and personal attitudes/behaviour Dickens could not have imagined continuing like this.

Here is a poetic finding from the book’s opening chapter.

Once Upon a Time in Now

In any year of
Christmas and sleet,
paths of life are
not always lit where

snow is more the
intent of rain
and sleet and
pouring of its purpose

to nip
and pelt and
grind to a
bitterer crowding in the

counting-houses
counting the cold
and bleak palpable
brown air and

foggy withal of
mere phantoms
once upon and
in this time.

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