Something I really appreciated while reading Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay was how he conveyed the importance of poetry in politics and discourse. All students preparing to take the civics exams studied poetry. Educated men were expected to be able to come up with verses on command and use them to communicate their agendas in subtle ways.
I’m revising The Dragon and the Pearl (please, oh please don’t change the name…oh Harlequin marketing gods!). The first pass is concentrating on the hero. My Little Sis sent me a Tang Dynasty poem she came across after critiquing the rough draft. She said it struck her as being “Li Tao-ish” — her words.
I pulled it up to get some inspiration. It’s quite lovely, don’t you think?
Poem of Farewell
A great passion
In front of the mute cup
no smile comes to one’s lips.
It’s the candle that burns
with the pangs of farewell:
Right up to dawn, on our behalf,
it sheds tears.
-Du Mu, Tang Dynasty poet 803-852
In addition to rediscovering the library during my short bout of unemployment, I also signed onto the All About Romance forum to search for a pirate/highwayman book from my youth that I wanted to read again. Between the two, it seems the reading bug has bitten me. I’m catching up on a favorite series from fantasy reading days, discovering classic Mary Jo Putney (who gave Butterfly Swords an awesome quote! *little hearts and stars*), and getting back into big epic books that hurt if you accidentally drop them on your toe.
So here’s my current bookfix list:
Guy Gavriel Kay‘s Under Heaven: MWAHAHAHAHAHA….I’ve been waiting for this one for months. I bet I can get it in before I start revisions. Maybe it will put me in a sweeping epic sort of mood.
Guy Gavriel Kay‘s Ysobel: I’m so behind. Am I the last fantasy reader on Earth to read this book?
Mary Jo Putney‘s Bartered Bride: I just finished China Bride and can’t wait to see what happens with Gavin in this one.
Jennifer Roberson‘s Sword-Born & Sword Sworn: The readers at AAR brought this up in a thread and I was tickled pink. I read book 1-4 before I became a romance reader and even recalled swapping Sword Dancer with my BFF for Gift of Gold by Jayne Ann Krentz when we decided we’d see what the other liked to read. I stopped reading the series after book 4 probably due to heading off to college or discovering boys or something like that….
The Sword Dancer series and Tiger and Del are a HUGE influence on my stories. I’m getting warm fuzzies at the thought of revisiting them and finishing the series.
Hmmm…It must have been a fantasy bug that bit me. What’s on your list?