On Popular Demand – Lets gather around for some ghost stories – [8]

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“In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints and gods.”  — Steven Pinker

“Now it is the time of night that the graves, all gaping wide, every one lets forth his sprite in the church-way paths to glide.” — William Shakespeare

“Apparitions are often confused with hauntings. The difference is that apparitions are “live” (intelligent consciousness) and hauntings are “recordings.”  — Loyd Auerbach

“Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

“For who can wonder that man should feel a vague belief in tales of disembodied spirits wandering through those places which they once dearly affected, when he himself, scarcely less separated from his old world than they, is for ever lingering upon past emotions and bygone times, and hovering, the ghost of his former self, about the places and people that warmed his heart of old?”  — Charles Dickens

“Psychoanalysis has taught that the dead – a dead parent, for example – can be more alive for us, more powerful, more scary, than the living. It is the question of ghosts.” — Jacques Derrida

Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting round of the segment On Popular Demand. Due to receiving the highest number of votes our topic for this week is ‘Ghost Stories.’ I have always harbored great interest in the paranormal and in the afterlife. Everything from ghosts to ghouls, even from spirits to angels. I believe everyone gets curious about the unknown. However, the question that comes to mind is whether we believe in ghosts or not. Tonight, let us gather around for some ghost stories. Feel free to pen down either a poem or a fiction piece. Previously written work is more than welcome. For further inspiration please refer to the three wonderful poems below:

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

by John Keats

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Mad Girl’s Love Song

by Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

The Stolen Child

by William Butler Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats.
There we’ve hid our fairy vats
Full of berries,
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by farthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands, and mingling glances,
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap,
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes,
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout,
And whispering in their ears;
We give them evil dreams,
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Of dew on the young streams.
Come! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping then
you can understand.

Away with us, he’s going,
The solemn-eyed;
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hill-side.
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast;
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
he can understand.

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ?

9 thoughts on “On Popular Demand – Lets gather around for some ghost stories – [8]

  1. Magaly Guerrero says:

    I’ve always been enchanted by ghost stories–the cute, the reassuring, the scary ones… I wonder what the departed would tell us if they could… Probably the same things they say when they were alive: Stop being an idiot, and live…

    Great prompt, Sanaa! ❤️

    • Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Magaly ❤️ I too am fascinated with ghost stories, legeneds and myth. Loved your fiction piece 😀

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