Lillian here, hosting a bizarre Poetics today, asking you to go a little “out there” on a creative limb with me.

History is full of unusual characters. Many of us probably have some “characters” in our own family tree…..like my Uncle Bob who used to run away to the circus every time he and my Aunt Helvie had a new baby….or so the story goes.

I happened upon an interesting website the other day – a collection of vintage mug shots from the 1920s taken by the New South Wales Police Department. They are all in public domain. Some have just one person; others have two or more in one photo. They are definitely not what I typically think of when I hear the words “mug shot.” I sat there staring at this odd assortment of characters and got to thinking about how writers create characters for books, movies, poems, and even cartoons. How writers weave characters into a narrative; give them personalities and foibles; clothe them; create twangs or lingo or a way of speaking for them.

So here we go. Below are some of the mug shots from the website I mentioned. Pick one of these or go to the website yourself and peruse them. Choose one of these mug shots from the 20s that “speaks to you.” Let your imagination go a bit wild for this prompt. You can be the person, talking to us; or put the person into a poetic “Wanted” poster. Or tell us a tale in verse that “spins” around the mug shot you select. You are limited only by the far reaches of your creativity! The one requirement is that you post the mug shot you choose, in addition to your “mug shot poem.” Surprise me! I’m looking forward to meeting some real characters!!!

As always, please do observe the “rules of conduct” for dVerse – and for those of you new to dVerse, here’s what we hope everyone does 

  • Write a poem as the prompt suggests, and post it to your blog.
  • Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name and enter the direct URL to your poem
  • On your blog, please provide a link back to dVerse. This enables others to enjoy our prompts, multiples our readers and thus the responses to everyone’s poems.
  • If you promote your poem on social media, use the tag #dverse poets
  • And most importantly, please do read some of the other responses to the prompt and add a short comment or reaction. Everyone likes to be appreciated! The prompt is “live” for several days – as you’ll notice by the comments you’ll receive – so do stop by another day and read a few of the latecomers too!