“Monsters, I believe, are the patron saints of our blissful imperfection.”
Guillermo del Toro

No crutch for this bent-back love
blurred vision
     and – bells – always bells
tolling with relentless tongues

the peals unpeeling meaning
from grey skies
     the knell – the knell – of death
and loss to tear the heart from root

No mirror for this gargoyled dread
limping gait
     and pain – always pain – to rip
a halfman awake in his sleep

    and bells – bells – always bells

For Scribble It!, from the viewpoint of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

If you missed Guillermo del Toro's acceptance speech on receiving the Grammy for Best Director, click Here.


  1. He speaks eloquently in your poem

  2. LOL. I love that you chose Quasimodo! And I love the bells...always bells.......

  3. I can really understand how those bells might be worse than any pain... the perspective is great, not one I would have thought of.

  4. The bells...the bells...heartbreak peeling for Quasimodo.

  5. Not to pun, but you know this one resonates deeply within my soul and flesh and bones. The repetition is perfect, like the twitch-twitch-jolt of pain that doesn't let go... those damn bells.

  6. He had to hobble among those darn bells.. Pain and that constant ringing...tough stuff.

  7. i must be a halfman, seeing how much i wake in the night

  8. One just can't understand how he could withstand all the constant ringing to still do the job!
    Perhaps his looks made him shun society!


  9. I think Hugo's book is one of the giants of all time. Yes, I know, so does every critic on the planet, but i don't necessarily agree with the critics very often. Despite a desert of irrelevant nonsense about arches and stuff right after the first chapter, it rights itself and when Quasimodo does what he does at the end, it's unforgettable. But when I was little, long before i read the book, the old Charles Laughton movie version caught my imagination.

    1. Charles Laughton somehow showed Quasimodo as both monster and hero. It also impacted me as a child, though I admit I haven't read the full novel.

  10. Poor fellow, have empathy for him. "bells – always bells
    tolling with relentless tongues
    ," too bad he feels they toll for him. For years I've had a shoulder pain that used to wake me after two hours of sleep. That helps me some to feel for him though. We spent a long but pleasant three-night stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia. There were bells all over that town, ancient and most weren't ringing. They probably did ring in the day of your "halfman".

  11. This is sad and very touching. The repetition speaks of weariness of the soul as well as body.

  12. What is more symbolic of the pathos which is being human than this timeless story of misery, hope, sacrifice and unrequited love? You evoke all the core components which draw us to it and make it live, no easy thing to do in a brief poem. Fine writing, Kerry.

  13. Evocative and haunting! and I haven't even read the Hunchback of Notre Dame!


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