19th Century Love

Avatar Author: AdorableBlanket ain't got much to say just passin the time in a way i enjoy Read Bio

“Let us go, my dear,” I said,
in whispers soft and sweet.
She giggled in reply and answered,
“It’s 15 pounds per man I meet.”

I agreed her price was due and fair,
and we continued on our walk.
She laughed again, took my arm and said,
“I do much more than talk.”

At this I laughed, and with my Roxanne,
walked away in pace quite haughty.
She chatted away, with no idea,
that I planned to be quite naughty.

She never noticed that I’d turned her,
down an alley black.
And never saw the knife’s bright flash,
as I plunged it in her back.

Her honeyed curls illuminated,
the darkness of the street.
And I drift to another corner,
and whisper soft and sweet.

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Comments (23 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Quetzi

    So is this supposed to be about Jack the Ripper? I kinda assumed so at first, but the killer doesn’t seem to have his MO

    I do like it though. Good contrast between alley black and knife’s bright flash

  2. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    yeah pretty much spot on

    i’m a self-serving douche, so i’m gonna rate this five because i worked a shitload on this in class today instead of paying any attention

  3. Avatar Oy

    So… A serial killer murders a whore…

  4. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    isnt history amazing

  5. Avatar A Dabble of Thelonious

    I really like this one, man. I’m not really a poetry person so I don’t have any insightful crits or whatnot.

  6. Avatar Centipede Damascus

    This is probably the best poem I’ve seen on here so far. The “haughty” and “naughty” lines seem a little off to my ear, but for the rest, the meter stays really consistent and the rhymes don’t try too hard.

  7. Avatar Zoel

    I like it. Third line of second stanza seems awkward and could probably flow better if you modified it.

    Also the Roxanne reference. ahaha.

  8. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    yeah the second stanza is ever-evolving.

  9. Avatar Muse among Myths

    It is quite good, though the fourth line of the first stanza seems to have too many syllables to keep the flow smooth, and I feel that your use of commas and periods is a bit inconsistent.

  10. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    yeah i need to edit in all the punctuation

  11. Avatar lostsalient

    The Roxanne reference is hilarious! It is obviously Jack the Ripper derivative, but maybe that is your goal sir?

    Poetry is hard, and this is a decent attempt. I will not even be attempting, myself. It may be a personal preference, but I think it could potentially use a little more punctuation. You only use a period at the end – throw some commas and periods in the rest of the mix, and I think it will read a little easier, maybe.

  12. Avatar AdorableBlanket


    (yes this is jack the ripper inspired)

  13. Avatar J.M.V.

    I agree with Cent that the third stanza needs work, in both meter and diction.

    Fifteen pounds was a lot of money in the late nineteenth century, a few months’ to over a years’ wages for an average working man, over a weeks’ for the marginally wealthy. It’s stupid, I know. Feel free to disregard it.

  14. Avatar J.M.V.

    The new third stanza is much better

  15. Avatar LeRoy Feinberg

    Clever, subtle nods to both The Police AND Courage the Cowardly Dog, in the context of a poem about Jack the Ripper? Some said it couldn’t be done, but you proved ‘em wrong. It’s hard to straddle the line between funny and suspenseful, but you managed to pull it off. There are a couple of little things, like using “laughed” twice, or relying on the trope of a knife’s flash even though the alley is dark, but those are just nitpicks. I dug it a lot.

  16. Avatar Olivaw

    This is a good poem.

    I don’t say that very often because I’m not a fan of poetry.

    But it’s true.

  17. Avatar Spiderj

    I have to disagree slightly with lostsalient’s comment regarding the punctuation. To me, this is a poem that cries out to be vocalised because it has an almost sing-song quality (the italics on naughty suggest a voice as well) but I think some of the punctuation gets in the way of that.

    The breaking up of each stanza with a period suggests there should be a heftier pause than is necessary – I don’t think they are necessarily such distinct units.

    I find the uneven meter a little distracting at times (“down an alley black” seems to drop too many feet and I don’t buy the change in pace) but that may be my own tastes in poetry showing through as much as valid objective criticism.

    I’m not hugely keen on the pop culture reference(s?) either but that’s only because I think there’s the germ of a really effective Ripper poem in here and I find the other allusion distracting.

    All that said, here’s the positive: I like it and even more I like the commitment to refining it.


  18. Avatar Spiderj

    I should add that I only read the poem for the first time about fifteen minutes ago so my comments about the changes to the punctuation are based entirely on ignorance and hubris.

  19. Avatar lostsalient


    I am so highly amused by this in light of J.M.V’s information about how expensive this whore is, I do not know what to do with myself. Also, ignorance and hubris in a delicate mix are the best cocktail for critiques!

  20. Avatar Spiderj

    He killed the most expensive whore in London-town.

    According to this


    and using 1888 as the year, she charged around £1,500 per man she meets.

    That’s 2,440 of your yankee dollars at today’s exchange rates.

    I hear she was more limber than any other whore in the realm. Alfred Tennyson described her as ‘spry’.

  21. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    Lord Byron was devastated at the loss of his most valued sexual partner

  22. Avatar J.M.V.

    I didn’t really catch the pop-culture references. I had thought “Roxanne” might be a reference to the song, but I thought it might also have been simple inspiration.

  23. Avatar AdorableBlanket

    and to think she could have avoided dying if she just would have listened to me when i told her not to put on the red light

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