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Researching Poetry and Channeling 16-year olds

November 19, 2010

I am currently swathed in cashmere [vintage, it tried to snow in Vancouver last night – crazy!!], sipping chocolate mint tea [from my own garden] and researching “dark” poetry for a young adult novel I am working on called ‘TIL DEATH [working title].

I wrote a short film with the same premise last summer when my [formerly a] English teacher sister, Heather, was briefly living with me and I put her to the task of combing through hundreds of years of poetry and selecting some that would suit the two characters I was creating, Luci and Colby. Heather selected passages from the writing of Tennyson [In Memoriam, of course], Browning, Barrett Browning, Arthur Hugh Clough [who I had never heard of] and Christina Rossetti. I added a Shakespearean sonnet [116], Bronte, Dickinson, Arnold and more Tennyson to that list.

I decided, about a month ago, to convert the short film in to what I was hoping would be a novel length story, but only really got started working on it late last week. Problem was, I couldn’t find this great [handwritten] list my sister had put together for me, and I tell you I really wasn’t looking forward to rereading In Memoriam [etc, etc].

However, I am happy to report I just found it filed under General Film in my filing cabinet, and am currently transcribing it into my writing program under the research tab so the pieces of paper don’t go missing on me again [Parker, the golden Persian, has a habit of dragging handwritten notes all around the house when I “forget” him in the office].

Favourite Heather selection:

I sometime hold it half a sin

To put in words the grief I feel;

For words, like Nature, half reveal

And half conceal the Soul within.

–       In Memoriam (5. 1 – 4), Tennyson

My favourite selection:

Unable are the Loved to die

For Love is Immortality,

–       Emily Dickinson

Poetry will be peppered through out the novel, just a verse or line here or there, as it is how to the two lead characters attempt to communicate. Yeah, that is sure to end well [insert sarcastic tone].

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