A depiction of the French Revolution's Tennis Court Oath, by David‘The Best and Worst of Times’ by Cheryl Corey’ The Society July 9, 2021 Culture, Humor, Poetry 10 Comments . The Best and Worst of Times “It was the best of times, it was …” but how Can anyone forget those words once pearled By Dickens so very long ago; and now, Do we ourselves not live in such a world? Don’t we have the best of everything: Appliances, computers, other tech And manufactured goods to which we cling; And yet, too often feel that life’s a wreck? You’ll find a myriad of ways to cope Online, where help is always just one link Or app away to give you greater hope. In light of all this technic wiz, you’d think That this would be a golden age of wisdom; Instead, it feels more like this age is dumb. . . Cheryl Corey’s recent credits include the current issue of Iconoclast and www.grand-little-things.com. Other publications include Iambs & Trochees, Deronda, The NeoVictorian/Cochlea, The Comstock Review, Mobius, and Time of Singing. In 2007 she received 1st Place for the Dylan Thomas Award and Honorable Mention for the June Kraeft Memorial Award in The World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poets contest. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 10 Responses Paul Freeman July 9, 2021 You have a point. And well poetically put! Thanks for the read, Cheryl. Reply BRIAN YAPKO July 9, 2021 Cheryl, I agree with Paul. A good read. And an important subject! Our society’s misery increases daily even as it becomes more and more dedicated to material things and instant gratification. Thank you for shining a spotlight on that! Reply Cheryl Corey July 9, 2021 That opening paragraph by Dickens, in my opinion, is the greatest of all time. I read it again this morning and thought – wow. I wonder how historians will some day look back upon this era. I wouldn’t call it an age of reason, wisdom, or enlightenment. If anything, it strikes me as an age of chaos. Reply Brian Yapko July 9, 2021 I agree with you. A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorites. Sydney Carton’s story and sacrifice moves me deeply. As for the times we live in…? Chaos is good. But I myself would call it the age of narcissism. Norma Okun July 9, 2021 I think the characters depicted in Dicken’s works are as alive today as they were then. Our systems of communication are still not good enough. Man’s inhumanity to man still survives. It is his care for life and good that made him great. Reply Margaret Coats July 9, 2021 Good title from Dickens, Cheryl, but the best lines are your own last three. “Technic wiz” is a fine colloquialism for what we have, suggesting both “whiz” and “wizardry.” The couplet gives us a marvel of unexpected play with both meter and rhyme. “Wisdom” is a clever rhyme with “is dumb,” but the rhyme is imperfect because of the accent placement. That works in an unsettling way, as it should. When the reader gets to the emphatic stress on “dumb,” that’s your point! It means both stupid and incapable of speech, as are so many who spend hours and days and nights focused on the screen, and come out of it more confused than when they started. Reply Cheryl Corey July 9, 2021 Margaret, I appreciate your critical eye. I find it fascinating to learn what other people objectively think, how they interpret the poem, and their analysis of its technical merits and/or faults. Reply Margaret Coats July 9, 2021 In case I wasn’t entirely clear, the imperfect rhyme, and the variation in meter between the two couplet lines, are merits! They contribute to meaning in a highly original way. Susan Jarvis Bryant July 10, 2021 Cheryl, I love Dickens’ inspiration and the conversational feel of a poem that gets its message across clearly, concisely, and with huge impact in the closing couplet. Yours are wise words of warning that all should hear. Thank you! Reply David Watt July 11, 2021 Cheryl, Dickens was an excellent starting point for your poem, as he was a master of social observation. Your poetic observation is right on the mark. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.