Author's notes: Just a little bit of fun based on my favorite author. A series of blank-verse poems in the style of the aphorisms found in Chinese fortune cookies. One for each of ten Dickens novels.

Dickens for the Wise

Great Expectations

Having expectations
too high
leads to regret.

David Copperfield

Marry the pretty wife
brings trouble.
Marry the useful woman
brings success.

A Christmas Carol

Living past, present, and future
all in one night brings repentance.
Good fortune.

Bleak House

Beware the lawsuit
that lasts years.
Fortune will be drained.

A Tale of Two Cities

The man who
does all for love
finds the better thing.

Nicholas Nickleby

Wise men say,
"Never trust an
uncle named Ralph."

Pickwick Papers

A servant named Sam
will bring wise counsel
to the clueless man in gaiters.

Little Dorrit

Life in a debtors' prison
is better than wealth
in the hands of the unwise.

The Old Curiosity Shop

The death
of the innocent
brings many tears.

Oliver Twist

Innocent boys make
bad pickpockets, but
the artful one dodges.