Happy National Poetry Month!
(And thank you Janga, for the lovely reminder!)
In THE DESIRE OF A DUKE (you all convinced me not to mess with the title just yet), I’ve given my heroine a much-cherished family home on the banks of the River Wye, not far from Tintern Abbey. And I’ve been reading and re-reading Wordsworth’s famed description of the area for inspiration:
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
Of course, Tintern Abbey itself never appears in the poem, but this 1794 watercolor by Turner captures the ruins as they might have looked to my heroine, in her youthful rambles.
One thing I love about writing romance set in the Regency period is that the period overlaps with the beginnings of true Romanticism, as an artistic, literary, and musical era. I don’t know that it’s especially historically probable, but I love imagining my characters to be influenced, subtly or overtly, by the capital-R Romantics of the day, Wordsworth and Turner among them. In the case of this book, my two main characters (though different in so many respects) share Wordsworth’s affinity for Nature, and in particular this setting. Though sadly, since I’m the one writing their dialog, they won’t express that affinity in such beautiful language.
I shall do my best. Or when in doubt, just quote:
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer through the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
Are you a romantic? A Romantic? Both?