How Dare You!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

About 18 months ago I read a book by Alan Gibbons called 'Hate'. It was inspired by the true story of the fatal attack lanched on Sophie Lancaster in 2007. This poem is inspired by that book.
Warning: Due to subject matter there is violence in this poem.

How Dare You!

 

What right did you have

to pick on the couple

because they looked different?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have

tp condemn them for daring

to express their identities?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have

to look at their makeup,

their clothes, and say 'gothic'?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have

to taunt and to kick

to punch with your fists?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have

to stamp on her head

and take her whole life?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have

to claim to be carried

away by the moment?

 

How dare you!

 

What right did you have?

She was removed in a body bag

he on a stretcher.

You all walked away

to hide behind stories

to protect each other.

 

You knew it was wrong.

How dare you!

 


Submitted: April 10, 2016

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

LongDeadHerald

I really like how this gradually builds and builds in intensity as it goes on and the message is clear and effective. I also think the simple repetition of "How dare you!" is actually quite powerful because I can almost imagine it being said in the voice of some parental figure disciplining a child, which makes those individuals that you're calling out via this piece seem truly childish in their ways.
Slightest slip, around line six or seven you hit p instead of o in "to". I've done the same thing countless times and it doesn't subtract from a powerful piece, good work.

Sun, April 10th, 2016 8:45pm

Author
Reply

Thank you again for the review. It's really helpful and encouraging to get feedback. Thanks too for pointing out the typo, will have to try and fix it tomorrow.

Sun, April 10th, 2016 2:11pm

Solitaire

Sometimes a similar story will appear on the news, and it makes me want to rant at the TV like this, to tell the perpetrator exactly what I think of them. Powerfully expressed!

Mon, April 11th, 2016 1:42pm

James William Cooper

A really emotive, evocative and powerful piece Hullabaloo22. I find it really interesting, the fact that you've written about the murder of this poor girl... A girl who was savagely beaten all because she was different from what people consider the 'norm.' Such a tragic loss of life, so brutally taken away unnecessarily. :'(

I really like how effective the title of the piece is Hulla. The fact that you call it 'How Dare You,' conveys a real sense of anger and shock at the actions of these killers. I agree with 'LongDeadHerald,' because he makes a really good point. The repetition of 'How dare you' is extremely powerful, due to the fact that it puts the image in our mind of these exact words being said to a child by an adult/parental figure who is disciplining a child. Because of this, it really portrays this sense of childishness that these teens have committed, conveying just how silly their actions really were. What I also really like with your piece Hulla, is the constant asking of what right they had to take the life of Sophie. In the first stanza you ask 'What right did you have, to pick on the couple because they looked different?' Such a powerful question and one which I'm sure those cowards would simply laugh at and shrug off as nothing. So what if someone dresses differently to others? Does that give people the right to harm them, to abuse them, to murder them? No! It wouldn't bother me if there were people who wanted to start wearing bunny outfits every single day of their lives. I'm not going to suddenly decide to kill them, just because they're wearing a bunny outfit and don't dress the same as I or anyone else in society.

I like your second stanza, asking the question of 'What right did you have, to condemn them for daring to express their identities?' Again, there's this hard-hitting and 'no beating about the bush' questioning of their actions. It's almost like you are talking to them, asking them these questions, in an attempt to ascertain why they did what they did.

The 5th stanza was, in my opinion, so powerful and conveyed such imagery 'What right did you have, to stamp on her head and take her whole life?' The thought of these monsters stamping on Sophie's head and beating her to death until she was drained of life is indescribable. The way you wrote this stanza is extremely powerful and hard-hitting Hulla. You're absolutely right, they did take her whole life, a life that had many happy and hopeful years ahead... Gone in a matter of minutes. :(

The final big stanza was yet another that really caught my eye and again, contained a lot of imagery and powerful words 'She was removed in a body bag, you walked away.' These vile excuses for life took away somebody that a mother and father will never be able to hold and hug ever again. The fact that she was taken away in a body bag and they simply walked away... Disgusting! :'( I've got this image in my head of poor Sophie being carried away, bruises, cuts and covered in violence and for what? All because some idiots decided that they didn't like what Sophie was wearing. A pathetic excuse indeed! They were all too busy laughing up their horrendous act and as you rightfully said 'To hide behind stories, to protect each other.'

Your last two lines were so hard hitting Hulla and very very powerful, leaving an echo that forever rings in the ears of many 'You knew it was wrong, how dare you!'

Such a moving, emotive and powerful piece about such a terrible and horrific crime... So brutal and senseless. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all Hulla... Good work! Take great care and hope you have a nice day.

Mon, June 13th, 2016 4:27pm

Author
Reply

Well, thank you very much. I read the book 'Hate' by Alan Gibbon which was based on the murder of Sophie. In this story the main character was the sister of the murder victim who finds herself in the same school class as a boy who, although not an active participant, was one of the group that carried out the attack. I really found this to be a really powerful work even though it didn't seem to get much attention.
I have had a lot of experience with mental health problems, bullying etc and this does tend to be reflected in my writing. 'So Sad' is a short story I based on a real suicide of someone I know less than two years ago.
'Taking The Plunge' was based on a song written by someone who was a friend a long time ago who was a misfit like me. It basically concerns the fact that you can't drop out of society if you've never felt a part of it to begin with.
I'm glad you liked (?) ' How Dare You', Hully.

Mon, June 13th, 2016 10:00am

Sluggy

Well, I can relate... and have seen the BBC documentry programme a few years after the event. Very sad... being in the US, we have had so many get singled out on race, religion, amung other traits. There are haters, and will find reason to act out, without reason.

Good work. Do I know you? Really! Shakes head, wonders if I am reading my own story's character done as a sequel... you can't be Amy. No fecking, way! Amy is the quiet one, but has a big voice when on her soap box. Too many coincidences with you in odd wee ways, it's scaring me... well slightly, to be honest.

Sat, February 1st, 2020 6:34pm

Author
Reply

No, my name is definitely not Amy!
Thanks, U.P.

Sat, February 1st, 2020 10:44am

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