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The Magic Dragon of Norwich

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Ann Carr's Challenge

In her article 'Choosing Vocabulary...' Ann issued the following challenge.

Your challenge is to come up with a brilliant description of one of the three photos at the beginning of this hub. Weave that description into a story or poem of some sort. Off you go!

I chose to use the following photo as the basis for a poem titled 'The Magic Dragon of Norwich.'

Dragon Statue: Norwich

Dragon Statue: Norwich

Magic Dragon of Norwich

Stately dragon standing proud

Watching over Norwich crowd.

Blue and red abstract design,

Aesthetically you are fine.


The tree of life adorns your neck

Your wings boast hearts in vivid check.

A peacock shares its tail with yours,

Your sculptured beauty makes one pause.


Who crafted you? the question begs,

More fine trees decorate your legs,

From which cocoons of diamonds hang.

Of you Peter, Paul and Mary sang.


Somehow, you seem out of place

Even though you sit with grace,

Appealing to the passers-by,

Your eyes stare blankly at the sky.


Little Jackie Paper's missing Puff,

The strings, and ceiling wax and stuff,

He's on his boat with billowed sails

Braving savage seas and gales.


So maybe you should soon return

To the place, I know you yearn,

Frolic through the Autumn mist by the sea

In that magic land called Honahlee.


The Norwich Dragons

Since the Medieval Ages, Norwich has had a close association with dragons.

Many carvings and statues depicting dragons have been created since that time and during the Industrial Revolution, a substantial number were incorporated into the architecture of the buildings.

The dragons mainly relate to St George, the great dragon-slayer, and the maiden, Margaret, he rescued.

Norwich has held regular Dragon Festivals to celebrate the town's vast culture and history.

the-magic-dragon-of-norwich

Questions & Answers

Question: Where do I find facts about Snap the Norwich Dragon?

Answer: Check out Ann Carr’s wonderful article: https://hubpages.com/creative-writing/Dragons-of-N...

© 2018 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 18, 2018:

Rodric, I love it when someone who normally doesn't care for poetry reads one of my poems and actually enjoys it. Thank you for your kind comment, and yes, you should try your hand at writing some poems. Just see it as a challenge.

Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on July 18, 2018:

Bravo! I do not care to read poetry, but this was satisfying. I love the rhythm of this poem and its vivid stories. Makes me want to start at writing some poems.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 17, 2018:

Thanks Shauna. I didn't at first until I thought I may choose it as the subject to write about...then looked more closely. Who doesn't love Puff?

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 16, 2018:

Excellent job, John! I didn't really "see" all the detail on the dragon statue until you pointed them out in your poem. I love that you tied this dragon to "Puff the Magic Dragon". Great song and great story.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2018:

Yes, Mark, dragons are fascinating. Thank you for reading this. I hope you continue to enjoy Game of Thrones.

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on July 15, 2018:

I, too, am fascinated by dragons. Can't wait till the next season of Game of Thrones. Great poetic tribute to those amazing mythological creatures.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 14, 2018:

Thank you, Larry. Much appreciated.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 14, 2018:

Great intertextual use of dragon lore in your poem.

Great read!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 10, 2018:

Thank you, Delilah. I am glad the "Puff" reference brought back childhood memories for you. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 10, 2018:

Thank you, Delilah. I am glad the "Puff" reference brought back childhood memories for you. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Delilah from Kentucky on July 10, 2018:

Loved your poem John, "Puff the Magic Dragon" was one of my favorite songs as a child. Reading that in your poetry made me smile, bringing back memories of singing that song in school.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2018:

Hello, John Ray. I had never heard of the Norwich Dragon's either before Ann's challenge. No, it is just a statue..it has nothing to do with the movie "How to Train Your Dragon" though I loved that too.

Ray from Philippines on July 09, 2018:

Nice poem, Sir John. Never heard of Norwich Dragons, but it looks awesome! Does it resemble the movie "How to Train Your Dragon"?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2018:

Rasma, when I see a dragon my thoughts immediately turn to Puff who I was enraptured by as a child. I thought I'd incorporate him here.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2018:

Chitrangada, thank you for reading, enjoying, and commenting. I always appreciate it.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 09, 2018:

This was a wonderful take on the classic folk song. Loved this with thoughts of magic dragons.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2018:

Thank you Flourish. Glad you enjoyed it.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 09, 2018:

Wonderful response to the challenge!

Beautifully expressed poem and well applied rhymes.

Thanks for sharing this!

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 08, 2018:

John, I enjoyed your response to Ann’s challenge. Your words flowed freely and beautifully fit the photo.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you, Linda. I had to try and put myself in the dragon's shoes so to speak :) Glad you enjoyed the read.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 08, 2018:

This is a creative poem, John, as well as a great response to Ann's challenge. I love the way in which you've described the dragon and its situation.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Chris, to be honest this was initially the last of the three photos I thought I would write about, but as I said in another comment, I could not have written anything better than you or Rinita on the others so decided on this one :) Besides, someone had to do it lol. Thanks for reading my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

I like the comparison of my dragon to your little doggie in church. He certainly would have felt out of place, but better than sweltering in a hot car. Thanks for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you, Sean. You are welcome, any time.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thanks, Bill. Yes, a bit of variety is the spice of life they say :)

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on July 08, 2018:

John, the last line of the fourth stanza reminds me of me when I saw this photo in Ann's challenge...a blank stare. I'm glad to see you had a much different reaction. Clever and entertaining.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 08, 2018:

Nice poem, John. Given your allusions to Puff the Magic Dragon, I had to chuckle at the line: "Your eyes stare blankly at the sky". But I do read more alienation in, than that little quip: how relevant is a dragon sitting amongst the tourists sipping their brews? I see it as very similar to my taking my small dog into the church where she was very uncomfortable (and annoyingly whiny, I might add),and even though I was saving her from a fate worse than Hades by not leaving her in the car, in the beating-down sun, she felt very much out of place, but without the grace of your Norwich dragon.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on July 08, 2018:

As a Dragon, I salute you and thank you for this lovely tribute!

Sean Dragon

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2018:

Very cool, John! Some history sprinkled in with poetry. That's a two-for-one sale I can live with.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you for reading this Rinita. Your comment is very encouraging. I too thought this photo was the most intimidating of the three, but You and Chris had both done wonderful jobs using the other two photos. i really didn't think I could write a poem about the dragon but as I sat and studied the detail I thought I could at least describe it' then as I started to write other ideas came to mind, and I was pleased with the result.

Rinita Sen on July 08, 2018:

I am glad you took up this picture, John. This looked to be the most intimidating of the three in the challenge. You are a keen observer, you went so minutely into the details with your word play, I had to recheck the picture to see those features were actually there! I can't believe I never really saw those details before. Great learning about Norwich, too. All in all, this poem was a real treat to the senses.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Eric, glad to hear you folks like dragons, and my writing if course :)

I hope Gabriel knows the song Puff the Magic Dragon too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Yes Li-Jen, I like to think the dragon is more than just a piece of artwork and can come to life and have feelings, at least in our imagination. I hope it returns to Honahlee.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 08, 2018:

I like it. Around here we love dragons and we love John's writing.

Li-Jen Hew on July 08, 2018:

Hey Jodah. Well done on your poem. I like how the dragon is art to observers yet it still has feelings like everyone else..it yearns to return to Honahlee. I enjoyed learning about the Norwich Dragons. :) Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you, Ann.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 08, 2018:

If you go to this link, you can see a little of what's going on this year:

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids...

or if you search for 'Bristol statues 2018' it will tell you more.

I've a feeling I'll be searching for them with my grandchildren in the next few weeks!

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you, Ann, glad you enjoyed this. Wow, Bristol had Wallace and Grommit and Shaun the Sheep statues...I am a true fan of them. I would love to see them. This was fun. I wanted to do the sea cliff one but I could not compete with Chris's amazing poem, and no one had done the dragon so I thought I would give it a go.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Thank you, Glen. Glad you enjoyed, and yes he was.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2018:

Yes, Mary, it is amazing how prevalent and popular the dragon was in many ancient cultures both Asian and European. Thanks for commenting.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 08, 2018:

Brilliant response, John! Thank you for taking part in my challenge.

Bristol started raising money for charity one August, with statues of Grommit (of Wallace & Grommit fame), having trails to find each one of about 50 and auctioning them off at the end of the month. Since then, they've done gorillas, Shaun the Sheep and are now back to a Wallace & Grommit theme.

Various cities have now adopted the idea and Norwich's was, of course, the dragon. There were many spectacular ones.

Great poem and apt information to go with it, John. I salute you!

Always loved 'Puff the Magic Dragon'!

Ann

Glen Rix from UK on July 08, 2018:

A charming and witty poem. I so agree that ‘Puff’ seems out of place

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 08, 2018:

In several Asian cultures, the dragon is an auspicious symbol, a symbol of power and strength. It has always fascinated me and made me wonder how this symbol dominated the ancients.