“Best of verse, worst of verse” haiku

Beatles land at JFK — Feb. 7, 1964
Charles Dickens, Feb. 7, 1812 — June 9, 1870


British invasion
Fixed bayonets? No, moptops
Armed with 45’s

A Friday landing
New York’s Kennedy Airport
Started their conquest

They’d topped U.S. charts
With “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
More where that came from

Thousands screamed non-stop
Lost voices, inhibitions
Beautiful release

Sunday on his show
Sullivan announced the charge
“Right here on our stage”

40% watched
That first TV appearance
Millions all tune in

Then D.C. triumph
Occupied Carnegie Hall
Sullivan again

Left us wanting more
Like Oliver with his bowl
Loved them, yeah yeah yeah

Here’s another twist
That first U.S. landing came
On Dickens’ birthday

Google Doodle says
Great British author was born
Two centuries past

Crusader with pen
Captured boarding school horrors
The courts’ injustice

Railed at his country’s
Poverty amid plenty
With fiction quite real

Brought London to life
Upper class privileged, stifled
Poor scrabbling to live

Serialized work
Gave his stories a rhythm
Cliff-hangers galore

And the characters!
Nicholas Nickleby, Pip
David Copperfield

The Artful Dodger
Uriah Heep, Wackford Squeers
Mr. Micawber

Samuel Pickwick
Abel Magwitch, Tiny Tim
Ebenezer Scrooge

Dickens visited
U.S. twice, reading his works
Exploring New York

For second visit
Departed England, where else
But from Liverpool

Wined and dined, he made
Dozens of appearances
Dickensmania

Dickens on death bed
Said “be natural,” fulfill
“All the rules of art”

Years later, Fab Four
Would do just that, bring U.S.
One more manic gift

“Big Man, little poems”

Clarence Clemons, Jan. 11, 1942 — June 18, 2011
Someday soon we’ll laugh
Till we cry, but today we
Just miss you, with tears

And from June 19:
E Street, Jungleland
10th Avenue all missing
The Big Man tonight

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence Clemons:
“Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.”

Eddie Vedder on Letterman, “Without You,” June 20, 2011: