I’m very old school about my fantasy. I once had a conversation with another writer about the poetry in Lord of the Rings, and she insisted that the poetry and songs should have just been taken out by a competent editor. All I could think was, “You have no soul!”
Any self-respecting fantasy book should have some poems and songs in it. After all, if you’re creating a whole fantasy universe, people in this universe must have some literature of their own, and what better way for a reader to get a feel for the fantasy world?
Besides, I like to have poetry along with my handsome heroes, ’cause that’s how I roll.
The trouble is, poetry is pretty darn hard to write, but I gave it a shot anyway.
Here’s one example of a song which I wrote in a medieval style. It is sung by the captain of the guards, who annoys the main character by always singing the same song every night:
Hand me my trusty bow,
If I should fall, my bow in hand
The archer’s soul will fly like an arrow
To the Blessed Lands.
Also, each book in the series is prefaced with stanzas taken from this poem:
Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port –
Done with the compass –
Done with the chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
As you could probably tell by those crazy dashes, that poem is by Emily Dickinson. “What?” you exclaim, “Emily Dickinson the famous reclusive poet has written such overtly sexual sounding verse?” Yes , I was surprised as you are. Maybe Emily did sneak out of her house once in a while for a secret rendezvous?
This poem has played an important part in inspiring the Stars at Zenith Trilogy, of which Ariella’s Escape is the first book. Each stanza corresponds to each book of the trilogy in its general plot and theme.
The second one, and this is just my own strange interpretation of the poem, is about shutting one’s heart away, not wanting to risk being hurt again. The mention of ‘a heart in port’ makes me think of not wanting to send the ship out onto the dangerous seas.
And the third one I’m not yet sure what that’s all about. Maybe a happy ending…
Last but not least, there is a very dirty song sung by Mara, who is a young beggar and thief with a very filthy mind. I’m not even going to put the lyrics here because it might motivate you to search for them in the pages of the novel 😉 Have fun!