Hey, guys! We have a guest today! The lovely Emily Rachelle , author of the novella Sixteen and the poetry book Rain in December , is h...

Guest Post: Behind the Poem by Emily Rachelle

Hey, guys! We have a guest today! The lovely Emily Rachelle, author of the novella Sixteen and the poetry book Rain in December, is here to give us a little inside peek at one of the poems in her new collection. Take it away, Emily!

***
My dear,
You say you can't write.

Perhaps it's because
The words, the rhythm, the inspiration
And fire
Of your great genius
Has passed through our correspondence
To me.

So,
My muse,
I thank you
For teaching me to write.

Above is a portion from "My Dear," one of the love poems featured in Rain In December. While many of my poems have incredibly personal backgrounds and others have rather mundane or even comical beginnings, this is one of the few pieces that combines the two.

"My Dear"s less interesting story begins with a contest on a writing website. I don't remember anything about the contest; obviously I didn't win. Regardless, the contest required a newly-written poem in the form of a letter. I'd never been good at following prompts in writing, particularly with poetry, but whatever the prize was, I wanted it badly enough to give this a go.

The letter's recipient was no question; this is where the poem becomes personal. At the time, many of my works–nearly all of my poetry–were inspired by one person. He and I are long out of contact, and he never read any of the pieces he inspired–for which current-day me and my hindsight are grateful. But his place in my life remains very present in these poems, which I consider some of my best. Most of these poems are seeing the light of day–
and readers' eyes–for the very first time with the release of this book. It's nerve-wracking, to say the least.

Still, "My Dear," which started out as a simple letter set to meter, became something quite different. Very few personal references are made. The poem can be broken into several pieces, and each piece is modelled after a specific writer's iconic style. Starting with Emily Dickenson's stilted lines, the poem steps through Edgar Allen Poe's creepy undertones and e.e.cumming's uniquely romantic style before completing the comparisons with an Elizabeth Barret Browning-modelled stanza. However, the poem doesn't end there. Imitation is the finest of flatteries, but I needed to make this poem my own. So I ended with a conclusion quite clearly written in my own personal, distinct voice. That's the piece you can read above.

While I didn't win the contest and "my muse" never read his letter, fellow contestants on the website enjoyed the poem enough to write rather detailed and very sweet reviews. It was also a favorite of several beta readers for Rain In December. I hope my lovely readers enjoy it as much as the early audiences did, and perhaps can better appreciate the references with this knowledge of its story in mind.
***

I think we definitely will; it’s always cool to hear the behind-the-scenes stories, see how the brilliance became brilliant. I especially love what you said about imitating a different poet for each part of the poem. That is genius.

I did a cover reveal for Rain in December back in February, but here it is again because it is gorgeous:


Back Cover Poem:
star-crossed lovers

I'll reach to the stars

I'll reach to the moon

I'll reach through the galaxy far

To find you, my dearest,

My darling, my love,

And be in the place where you are.

Sounds awesome, yeah? If you’d like to get a copy, you can head over to her rafflecopter and try your luck. If your lucks not so great, Rain in December is also available on Amazon.

Do any of you write poetry? If so, which poets influenced you the most? Comment me!

And thanks for coming by, Emily!

About Emily: 
Born in Panama, Emily Rachelle has traveled throughout the country and the world with her Air Force family. Currently, she attends Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, pursuing a degree in English Literature. When she's not curled up with a book or her computer, Emily loves to ride around campus on her hideously hot pink bike. Of course, if it's raining (as it often is in Indiana), Netflix-binging and amateur art are always options. Rain In December is her first published collection of poetry, and you can buy her Christian novella Sixteen on Amazon.



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7 comments:

  1. I'm not a big poetry reader, but these two are lovely! Congrats, Emily, on having accomplished so much. :)

    Ooh, I see Christy Miller in your picture. Love those books!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ally! And aren't they great? I have my own set that I've read at least three times.

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    2. I love Christy Miller too! I have the first 3 books, but none of the others. My favorites are the last few, though, like 10-12. They're seriously amazing. :D

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    3. The College Years are my favorite. And now there's a Married Years series! I love that she's continuing their story.

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    4. I haven't read The College Years yet, but I really want to!

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    5. Alright. Drop everything you're doing or reading right now and GO. GET. THE BOOKS. You'll thank me later. :)

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