Hi everyone! We are pleased to welcome our pub host today, Sarah Connor!
I am thrilled and honoured to be asked to host an evening at dVerse. Welcome!
This prompt has arisen out of something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Bear with me, and I’ll explain.
In 1739, Captain Thomas Coram opened the London Foundling Hospital. He’d been inspired by the number of destitute children he had seen on the streets of London, and spent 19 years raising funds to open the institution. Mothers brought their babies there, hoping that one day they would be able to return for them. Babies were baptised, given new names and new clothes, but their original clothes were recorded. Mothers also left a token, as proof of identity in case they did manage to return.
Thomas Coram sounds like a remarkable man, compassionate and years ahead of his time in his social attitudes. You can read more about him here: http://www.coram.org.uk/thomas-coram
The London Foundling Hospital museum exhibited some of the tokens back in 2010/11, in an exhibition called: Threads of Feeling: The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens 1740-1770.
The hospital has inspired many great artists, including Handel, Hogarth, Dickens, Grayson Perry, and children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson. Now I want it to inspire you!
Here are some more tokens:
Here is a definition of a love token:
Love token: noun
a gift that is symbolic of a love relationship
Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers
I want you to think about these tokens. Maybe one of these images catches your imagination. Maybe you want to think about a token you would leave, or have been left. Maybe there’s something you carry around to remind you of someone you love. That’s what I want you to write about.
Here’s how to link up your work:
• Write a poem based on the prompt.
• Click on Mr. Linky. Enter your name and the direct URL to your poem.
• Provide a link to dVerse on your blog so that your readers can find us and participate.
• Leave a comment here, if you like.
• Read and comment on other poets’ work. Be sure to check back later for more poems to comment on.
About our guest pub host:
Sarah Connor lives in Devon, England in the middle of nowhere, with her husband and two teenage children. She works with young people who have mental health difficulties. She started writing again a couple of years ago, after a long break, and finds writing poetry is better than meditation.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Good evening… I felt stumped at this first, but took a look around me… and found something to write about.
That bearskin is quite unforgettable, I say.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
When you see it every day, you tend to forget it almost.
I’m really intrigued now. I’ll have to go over and have a look!
Happy Tuesday everyone! And thanks to Sarah for hosting today and tomorrow! Looking forward to reading your token inspired poems!
Thank you so much for the invitation. I’m looking forward to reading some dVerse classics.
Frank Hubeny said:
Thanks for hosting, Sarah! I added one about a ring. Those pieces of cloth as love tokens are amazing.
I find them very moving.
Thank you for hosting Sarah. It is a real treat to see you here. 🙂
It is always a pleasure to be seen as treasure. And speaking of token, the fool is outspoken.
Those love tokens are filled with love and pathos because I imagine that the ones that are left are the ones from the mothers that could not return. Several reasons easily pop into mind: death, illness, shame (unfortunately job opportunities were very few for women and most were extremely low paying so some turned to crime or prostitution which also didn’t pay that well for most women and if you were arrested sometimes you were shipped abroad to the colonies). It’s so sad but at least the children knew their mothers wanted to come back and something must have happened to stop them. Thank you for this prompt. I had never heard of the tokens.
There’s something very moving about them. I think it’s because they are filled with love, and hope that was unfulfilled. You are right, each of them is a tragedy.
Thank you for this prompt Sarah…an invitation to consider relationships and symbols…a worthwhile stretch 🙂
This is a beautiful prompt. I look forward to writing about it and reading other poets’ work.
I’m so sorry I missed this brilliant prompt, Sarah, but I’m down in Guildford being a nanna! My grandson was delivered by caesarean section yesterday afternoon following a long labour. Ellen was already in hospital with pre eclampsia when I arrived on Saturday, so I spent the days cleaning their house ready for them to come home, which won’t be for a few days yet. He was exactly the same weight as Ellen when she was born, is a Tuesday’s child and I had my first cuddle with him yesterday evening. 😊
Full of grace! I think that’s a good enough excuse. Many, many congratulations 😌😌😌
Thank you, Sarah! It’s a long wait until visiting time so, now the rain has stopped, I’m thinking of going for a walk. I haven’t had much fresh air since Saturday 😊
I hope it’s OK to break into this conversation to say Congratulations, Kim! I hope Ellen is OK. Wishing all of you much joy and happiness!
Thank you, Merrill! They are home already and he is absolutely gorgeous. I’m staying until Saturday, so I still have a couple of days to enjoy him. I wish we didn’t live so far away from them.
Enjoy that visit then! ❤
Mine went slightly off-centre, and I ended up writing about how I’ll be remembered when I’m done and dust.
Wherever the muse leads you…!
Thanks for sharing these. Beautiful and heartbreaking. (K)
They are moving, aren’t they?
Ian Muollo said:
Here is my poem. It doesn’t necessarily deal with the topic, just what my imagination went towards when I observed the pictures.
Those photos are so poignant. I’ve done some work on related topics. I wonder how many of those women had to leave their children to wet nurse other women’s children?
I’ve been dealing with too much darkness lately though, so I went off in a different direction with mine. 🙂
Frank J. Tassone said:
Afternoon, Poets! Thanks, Sarah, for hosting!
Symbol, said Jung, is the lost language of the soul. Tokens are symbols.
Margaret Elizabeth Bednar said:
This tore my heart out … thank you for the prompt and education of this much needed place!