IHOSE header

"Cut out the poetry, Watson." [RETI]

October 3rd marks National Poetry Day in the UK. We couldn't think of a better way to honour the occasion than to share the pinnacle of Sherlockian poetry, "221B" by Vincent Starrett, BSI ("A Study in Scarlet").

This simple sonnet has captured the collective imagination of Sherlockians since the early 1940s and in 14 short lines seems to capture the essence of why we still enjoy the Sherlock Holmes stories.


By Vincent Starrett

Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die:
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.
But still the game’s afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:
England is England yet, for all our fears–
Only those things the heart believes are true.

A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.

Do you have any favorite Sherlockian poems? Let us know with a comment.