Writing about Writing about Writing (Part III)

Ah, my one-week-a-versary. Back to working on my song. First, a reminder of what we have so far:

Is there even a truth in the stone, she thinks;
And is there a truth in the word?
For she is a knight of anonymous sort,
Who waits out the darkness in solitude caught;
And she and her ghosts are invariably taught,
What may not have even occurred.

Is there even an end to the tunnel, she thinks;
And is there an end to this flight?
For her bloodied talons are pinned where she lies,
Wrong-sided, entangled, between the Knot’s skies;
While shadows and substance will scratch at her eyes,
Clamp down on her wing-bones and bite.

(Changed unwillingly to ‘in solitude’) And now for the chorus. I think I want something a bit simpler for the chorus, four lines, fewer syllables than the verses, tying back to the theme of the song, which in this song-writer’s mind is serendipity.

Actually, that’s a fair enough first line for the chorus.

Serendipity.

Serendipity is a happy and fortuitous coincidence, in our writer’s mind that of a Rook losing her faith in Scripture stumbling across proof that it really wasn’t just an outburst from a crazy woman—or, to make an image out of it:

Two bright stars in black.

Now to expand on that thought.

A wandering one finds what was lost
And will use it to find the way back.

Right image, wrong rhythm, don’t want the word ‘find’ in both lines. Let’s use first person to tidy it up.

When I meet one as lost as I,
I can find the way back

A clean-up and a coda line gives us the chorus of—

Serendipity;
Two bright stars in black.
If I meet one as lost as I,
Perchance I could come back?
Come back.
Someday I will come back.

And I can change the coda line after every separate chorus if I want. Now for verse three, and I want to drop the “Is there even… she thinks” framing at this point, so we start with what I want the theme for this part of the song to be: the serendipitous encounter the title refers to.

Sometimes you’re not lost in the forest, lemman;
And you’re never as trapped as you think.

‘Lemman’ is a medieval endearment, kind of like ‘darling’, which has come back into use in Camelot via Scripture. Only problem here is that ‘think’ isn’t a good word for rhyming—there are a lot of words that rhyme with it, but not many that I could fit in the song. Link, sink, brink, blink, shrink. I could replace it with ‘feel’, which could lead to heal, steal, leal, congeal, seal, steel, Neil (ha ha), peel. And the first line that comes into my head is…

The three middle rhymes! Let’s take a look:

For not every binding is tied with a knot
And fate’s not a chain to fix you to a lot
Nor is a private pearl without a spot…

The pearl line comes from the poem ‘Pearl’, written in the 14th century by a poet known only as…

The Pearl Poet! And sometimes the Gawain Poet, as he also almost certainly wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both of which are part of the scripture in ‘Rooks’. There is also a character in the novel called Pearl, whose death is one of the many catalysts for the action, so the line is referred to several times throughout the entire work.

And that gives me the last line, phew. You wouldn’t know reading this, but this verse has had me stuck for hours.

Sometimes you’re not lost in the forest, lemman;
And you’re never as trapped as you feel.
For not every binding is tied with a knot;
And fate’s not a chain to fix you to a lot;
Nor is a private pearl without a spot,
A loss that will bring you to heel.

Might possibly change ‘loss’ to ‘need’, am currently undecided. On to verse four. I think while verse three dealt with the build up to the finding, this should be about the actual finding itself, so, we’ll start with some description.

The cold winds are rising away from the shield;
The bird must fly into the wind

Immediately I think the last rhyme is going to have to be ‘sinned’, and can’t really think of a way to make it work. Neither would pinned, nor skinned. But if I replaced ‘into the wind’ with ‘out of the wood’, I can use should, or good, which have a lot of possibilities. Now the three line rhyme I want to go something like this: first line, her reluctance; second line, her duty; third line, her prize.

For though she is … by being alone
She … the covenant and bends to the throne
And out in the wilds will reap what is sown;
A book from a city long stood.

The …s represent words I can’t think of at the moment, the first ‘inconvenienced’ only better, the second ‘obeys’, only better. Ah–second word ‘knows’, that was what I was looking for. First word… harass? No, trialled, that’s what I wanted! (The city, incidentally, is Manchester, which currently contains (if I remember correctly) one of only two extant copies of the first printed edition of Malory’s Works)

The cold winds are rising away from the shield;
The bird must fly out of her wood
For though she is trialled by being alone
She knows the covenant and bends to the throne
And out in the wilds will reap what is sown;
A book from a city long stood.

Then a chorus, this time ending in:

The word will bring her back.

As I’ve been struggling on verses three and four, I’ve come up with an idea for verse five. Five is a lucky number to the people of Camelot, so I may leave it there, or I may choose to make reference to a further two verses Sophie won’t be able to remember. Anyway, verse five!

This planet spins round its ellipse unplanned;
The far-away ocean will push through the land.
Near one in an infinite chance are we, and;
The writing in stone can be read in the sand.
Oh,
Now she has found her lost star.

Ahh…

Finally, we are done! Subject to alteration, these are the words that will appear in the Sophie prequel. Not in their entirety probably, but tomorrow I’ll write up the section that uses ‘Serendipity’ so you can see how it will fit into the story. Nighty-night!

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