Thursday, October 23, 2008

Race, Poems, and Knitted Cuppycakes

How happy am I that Mitali Perkins has blogged about the question of whether authors should describe a character's race? And that Roger Sutton and The Longstockings are joining in? This is an issue I think about a lot, generally coming to no useful conclusions, so it's nice to see what other people think. Check it out -- join in -- ponder.

I've been taking a few days off, more or less. Recovering from Fire revisions and preparing myself to dive back into Book 3 -- waiting for it to call to me. Writing is partly about discipline, sure, but it's also about waiting, not forcing anything. Being patient; letting it come at its own pace.

I said this, or something like it, to my father once. Later that day, he came back to me and handed me this poem.

The Steps
By Paul Valéry
Translated by Donald Petersen

Your steps, children of my still hours,
Solemnly and slowly placed
Towards the bed of my wakefulness,
Proceed now, cool and chaste.

Person most pure, saintly shade,
How calm your measured tread, how sweet.
Gods! All the gifts which I divine
Come to me on those bare feet.

If, with your pursed lips, you would
Prepare the food of your affections
To feed the habitant who dwells
So hungrily in my reflections,

Then do not hasten this kind act,
Sweetness of being or being dead;
For I have lived to welcome you,
My heart being nothing but your tread.

******
I think that the "children of my still hours" are words. I wait for them to come to me, if they like, on their bare feet -- I live to welcome them. :o)

Do you have a favorite poem? Will you share it with me?

Also, my friend Rebecca has sent me a cupcake.

Do you have a favorite baked (or knitted) treat?

knitted cupcake photo used with the
kind permission of Brenda at Loom Lore

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of the poems I came up with off the top of my head also happen to be songs -- is that okay?

"Moonchild" by King Crimson
"Soldiers" by James Taylor
"Stars" by Alison Krauss
"Edge of Night" by Billy Boyd (of Lord of the Rings fame)
"A Shadow Lies Between Us" from the extended version of The Return of the King

"Why?", "Silver," "A Song of Enchantment,"The Song of Shadows,"The Spirit of Air,"Wanderers," and "Winter Dusk," all by Walter de la Mare

"The Forsaken Merman" by Matthew Arnold

Wow. I went a little overboard, didn't I? Whoops.

--Sycamore

Lgirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kristin cashore said...

lgirl, I hope you won't be offended that I removed your comment -- I figured you wouldn't, since it repeated an earlier comment. I just wanted to reduce the number of spoilers for new readers to stumble across. :o)

Sycamore, that's a a really wonderful list. I don't know most of those, and will have to look into Walter de la Mare in particular. I know the LotR things and agree that they're lovely... :o)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kristin! Yeah, LotR rocks my world. I love your knitted cupcake, by the way! :-D

--Sycamore

cindy said...

kristin, i love croissants, scones, cupcakes, muffins (stodgy ones, not fluffy ones), pumpkin pie, marzipan cookies, anything with an almond crust, fruit tarts...all accompanied by a nice cup of coffee. there are chinese desserts i love, too, but i don't think most will know them. =)

BeyondTheIcyWalls said...

Let me think, well my favorite baked food would have to be bread. For me it's even better then chocolate! I bet your knitted cupcake makes a nice house decoration ^_^

I don't really read a lot of poems but I do really like the ones that section of the different parts in the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon.

kristin cashore said...

Cindy, yay for stodgy muffins! Also, PLEASE tell us your favorite Chinese desserts sometime, so I know what to go for the next time I'm in Chinatown in Boston or New York! Who wouldn't want to hear about new desserts? :o)

Beyond-the-iw, oh, you make SUCH a good point. Actually, baking bread is one of my favorite activities. The smell, omg... Also, I have a confession: I haven't read the Pellinor books yet. I have a good excuse, though: I find it really hard to read fantasy while I'm writing fantasy, and I've been writing fantasy nonstop for, like, 4 years now. I have a HUGE fantasy backlog to catch up on, and hope to get to it when I'm done with a draft of Book 3. Alison Croggon is near the top of that list, and so is Megan Whalen Turner.

natalie said...

*Ever so slight spoiler warning :) *

Hello :) I've been making my way through Graceling and so far, I'm loving it. My imagination is very happy in that world :) It's also cool to see a smart, strong female in a piece of literature. I think love is the best part of every story - but it seems like "love" is the one aspect in so many books that make a girl a little one dimensional. As this love story progresses, I'm happy to see Katsa's character getting stronger too (just "strong" in different ways). I think I did a real bang up job just trying to compliment your writing, but I do! :)

My all time favorite poem is September 8th, by Pablo Neruda. There are two other poems currently on my board in my room - 'wind and window flower' by Robert Frost (it reminds me of my grandparents). And 'blurbs' by Julianna Baggot which I discovered here:http://www.juliannabaggott.com/samples/poems/blurbs.html

Thanks again for sharing your lovely work! :)

Anonymous said...

"Wonderwall" is my favorite poem, but it's really a song by oasis. But songs are really poems, just with music added to them. Also, the best kind of cupcakes are the kind you get to eat! ;-)
-Madforbooks

BeyondTheIcyWalls said...

Oh yes. The smell is very *make yourself melt, mouth watering*! And oh jeez! 4 years of reading to catch up on O_O that will take awhile! I have heard of authors not liking to read the same type of fiction that they are writing about (as they are writing that is) because they don’t want to be influenced by another story. Anyways the Pellinor books are very good. I have only read the first 2 so far, I haven’t gotten around to reading the 3rd yet. I have not read any of Megan Whalen Turner’s books and will have to look into it.

kristin cashore said...

Natalie, thanks, I hope it doesn't disappoint! And I also have to thank you for directing me to those poems. I particularly loved the one by Julianna Baggot (hmm, maybe because it's review season for my book? ^_^)! I loved the last line!

Madforbooks, I love that song, too. Some other singers/groups who I think are wonderful poets: Bruce Springsteen; U2; Ani DiFranco; Leonard Cohen (though Cohen's actual songs are really weird -- I tend to prefer the covers!).

Beyond, I've only heard good things about MW Turner -- hope you like it :o)

itdependsontheday said...

hi, madforbooks again, kristin, i am HUGE U2 fan, being a drummer and all. Have you ever heard of Valencia? Another poet/song group.