The Forum Site - Join the conversation
Forums: Art & Literature:

A VERY long poem based on the novel, "Crime and Punishment"

Reply to Topic
freakeystyleydan On February 15, 2010

canterbury, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Aug 01, 2008 @ 15:39:21
Ok i did this for some English coursework a few months ago.
I had to write it in a few days so there is a lot to improve. I've included my statement of intent to explain a few things.

C&C welcome and appreciated.

Statement of intent
I have chosen to take a scene from crime and punishment and change the medium from prose to verse. I have used several techniques of note. The first section lacks rhyme to show the chaotic, disturbed state of Raskolnikov?s mind. It is then confined to a ABAB rhyme scheme to signify Raskolnikov?s moment of lucidity as he explains to Sonya.

At the line "she quivered" the perspective of narration becomes ambiguous. It could be Raskolnikov?s thoughts, Sonya?s, or a description from an omniscient narrator.
I?ve also used some religious references. there are overtones of this in the prose and religion is criticised in Dostoevsky?s most famous work ?The Brothers Karamazov?.

In the third and final section of the poem we go back in the shambolic narration of Raskolnikov?s mind. A third view is introduced, representing his internal strife and unrest and characterising his tendency in the book to seem to be two separate personalities trapped in the same body.

The end is simply a highlighting of the irony in the prose that Raskolnikov suffers the same fate as his hero, Napoleon.


A knight, a brave protector of the maiden.
Brave Raskolnikov, a Napoleon.
Yet he acted not with brave heart or chivalry,
But to vary the humdrum. The horror

Sonya, not lady, ?cept that of the night ,defender,
They hailed him in the streets, Hero.
Fathers, Children, Mothers, eying him with respect.

That was him, wasn?t it, bright eyed Raskolnikov,
Saviour of the poor and downtrodden.
The paragon of righteousness, of truth.
Yet truth was his hidden depths.

Murder , killer, scoundrel filth.
He could see their eyes, cold now.
So full of the truth they coveted.
To hell with them, he would bask a while longer.

Would her eyes still burn with that innocent passion.
If he told her, he would have to tell her, wouldn?t he.
But he?d seen the ease with which passion could be snatched.
How easily he?d snuffed out the meek flame in Lizavetas eyes.

The divine spark of humanity was nothing before wind of greed,
Narcissistic and cruel, it battered them all,
But was he such deadly wind,
Or a shield against it?

Her door loomed before him, and his eyes swam.
Was it the harsh steel of cell bars.
Or redemptions soft gate.
Did he care?

Did fate draw his hand to the wood,
Or his heart betray his cold mind?
Three sharp knocks, a judges gavel,
Crossing the point of no return.

He pulled the threads of his mind together,
Drawing in that rampant chaos, his reality.

Raskolnikov told her as best he could,
First of her family, she held so dear.
Trembling but stalwart, he must, he should.
How her mother had fled and her face of tears.

He talked of a parable, from yester night
She?d thought it just an anecdote, not a code.
Yet now she listened close?.. Something more?
In his haunted eyes she saw the mad blue of woad.

He wove his tale, strong and well.
His tortured mind revealed to her.
That it was not of sickness from which he fell.
But brutal murder, the ailment of the cure.


She quivered in the half light.
Stumbling for words she could not find.
Hear torn, no blood to fight.
Grimace killing face once kind.

Helpless, for all her work still a girl.
Asphyxiation his breath could not cure.
Raskolnikov, brave as knight, noble as Earl.
Beneath charm, insanity wept into his core.

She looked at him once last time.
Was he brooding crow, or ennobled dove.
Not a bard, nor poet in love with rhyme.
Was he not still her hero, her love?


Was he another, a thief.
Was he dark all the while.
Was he the truest son of Eve.
Was he a devil, all lies and guile.

She falls, on her knees now.
Why had he told her this,
Did he expect to bow,
Where was God, too caught up in his own sweet bliss.

She gripped him tight, desperate embrace.
As the sin could be squeezed out.
Buried in the crook of his neck, her broken face.
Her heart could not fight, an utter rout.

Raskolnikov described it all.
The hatchet blow to her head.
The sanguine splatter as she fell.
Not peaceful, not as if in bed.

Murdered, killed, executed.
All for a few scraps of gold, nothing.
She listened, horrors left her muted.
That such petty trinkets would cause such suffering.

Yet she had sold her innocence for just that,
Tiny sacrifice for her family so poor,
Whilst men of the town payed for her and got fat
Thinking nothing of her delicate frame so sore.

But would God see this, would He be kind?
Was it a suffering to endure,
Would her Heaven be too hard too find,
Too good for a common whore.

Society looked down on her, as they would abhor him,
But their opinion was not what mattered,
It was for Him to decide, not on mortal whim,
But on eternal grace, which could not be shattered.

He would forgive if only they had the courage to ask,
Raskolnikov must go, make confession,
Live not one more day behind that painted mask,
Tell the police and serve his session.

But now as she begged him,
The voices in his head began afresh.
Creaking bone cry, the scream of aching limb.
Melding with her voice in hideous mesh.


Murderer, they called him.
False idol, not saviour of the poor but scourge.
What had he done, such a crime.
He did not deserve compassion or mercy.
To the gallows with him!

?But she was a louse,
A parasite of society?
?Not a louse,? the voices mocked
?but harlequin horse of thy dream?

?, trying to bear the weight,
Worked to death, for a few measly copecks?

?then I shall end it?
Another cynical sigh from the dark.
?You have not the stomach ,
You cannot see it through.?

Confess, Rodya, Confess.
They will take you from sun and air,
From rain and rose, from you home,
Your family
from the soft moonlight in her blush.

To a dead place

But they will not spit you on their blades.
They will have mercy on thee, wretch.
After all, life of exile, you should kiss their feet in adoration
Its is your dream isn?t it


New Napeleon?
Reply to Topic<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>

1 browsing (0 members - 1 guest)

Quick Reply
Be Respectful of Others

Subscribe to topic prefs

Similar Topics
    Forum Topic Last Post Replies Views
New posts   Politics
Sun Oct 23, 2011 @ 04:41
112 8110
New posts   Poetry
Tue Apr 06, 2010 @ 07:39
3 860
New posts   Mental Health
Wed Mar 11, 2009 @ 03:25
16 2333
New posts   Movies
Sun Nov 16, 2008 @ 20:02
12 1112
New posts   Poetry
Thu Jun 21, 2007 @ 03:09
3 350