Poetry appreciation (was Re: Howl film)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 28 19:02:24 EDT 2005

Jon wrote:

>I've just picked up a copy of Neil Gaiman's Stardust
>and notice that the Donne poem is quoted at the start
>of the book. Anyone know of a connection (like between
>American Gods and 8 Days of Luke)?

spoiler space in case you haven't read it yet

Could the connection possibly be that each book involves a personified
falling star?

(Since that's very strongly hinted at in the back cover blurb it isn't
really a spoiler, but I wouldn't want to give any grief to anyone who
doesn't read blurbs.)

I vaguely remember Neil saying that HMC is one of his favourite DWJ books,
so he might have had a back-of-mind stars-as-people connection when he
wrote *Stardust*.  When he said that, he had been reading HMC aloud to his
daughter, and said that the best way to read it was aloud to someone,
because that way you didn't ever miss anything out, whereas when reading to
oneself one may skip by accident.

Proofing has the same effect, I find, and I'd suppose that translating does
too but rather more so if possible.


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