Roll up, roll up! Welcome to the greatest show on earth!

Hello there – it’s Sarah here, and I’ll be the ringmaster tonight, welcoming you to the poetry circus that is dVerse – yes, tonight our theme is the circus!

Watching The Greatest Showman recently, I realised that I’d only been to one circus – a small, touring affair, with no animal acts – just people doing amazing things. And yet, I’ve read so many books featuring circuses, and I’ve seen so many images, and films, and acts on the TV, that I know what a circus should be, what it could be – what it is.

I know it features brave lion tamers, and jugglers, and clowns with broken hearts, and trapeze artists. I’ve solved mysteries with Enid Blyton’s brave children,

Mr Galliano's Circusand I’ve cocked a snook at convention with Fevvers, the winged trapeze artist created by Angela Carter,

Nights at the Circus

and I’ve wandered through the Night Circus, dazzled and amazed.The Night Circus

All images are taken from Goodreads.

Yes, there are lots of novels set in the circus, but little in the way of poetry, and certainly not poetry for adults, though I found this, by Anne Sexton, at http://famouspoetsandpoems.com.

The Bells by Anne Sexton

Today the circus poster

is scabbing off the concrete wall

and the children have forgotten

if they knew at all.

Father, do you remember?

Only the sound remains,

the distant thump of the good elephants,

the voice of the ancient lions

and how the bells

trembled for the flying man.

I, laughing,

lifted to your high shoulder

or small at the rough legs of strangers,

was not afraid.

You held my hand

and were instant to explain

the three rings of danger.

Oh see the naughty clown

and the wild parade

while love love

love grew rings around me.

this was the sound where it began;

our breath pounding up to see

the flying man breast out

across the boarded sky

and climb the air.

I remember the color of music

and how forever

all the trembling bells of you

were mine.

So, my friends, tonight we will redress the balance! I want poems about the circus – the sequins, the sawdust, the pain, the triumph, the flight of the trapeze artist, the antics of the clown. Write a poem, link it up, and then explore the dVerse circus – check out the poems, comment and enjoy! The show’s in town for two nights only, so make the most of it – pop-corn is being served at the bar!