Saturday, 26 March 2011

Through Her Eyes Guest Post

 Today we have Jennifer Archer, author of the upcoming Through Her Eyes, here to talk about poetry, especially her favorites and the ones chosen for the book.

It seems to me that many people don’t like poetry. I’m not one of them. Poems intrigue me because there’s much more to most of them than what’s on the surface. Deeper meaning, and all of that. Which is what makes so many people dislike them, I suppose! But I’ve always loved symbolism, metaphor, and analogy. I’ve always enjoyed trying to uncover the meaning of a poem. And what’s really cool, is that a poem can have completely different significance for one person that it does for another – it can speak to each person in a wholly unique way. That’s one of the reasons why in Through Her Eyes I chose poetry as the ghost, Henry’s, vehicle for getting a message through to the living world. His poems spoke to each reader in a different way – a way that would have specific meaning for that individual that might entice him or her to try to unravel Henry’s mystery and receive his message. 

When I was in elementary school, I wrote poems, limericks, and song lyrics in a book much like Henry’s poetry journal in Through Her Eyes. My talents were (and are) less than stellar in that regard, but I enjoyed writing them, and I still do. These days, I mostly stick to song lyrics. I have a friend who is a singer/songwriter/musician and I’ve written lyrics for three of her songs. It’s a nice change of pace from novel writing, at times. The same was true of the poems in Through Her Eyes. Writing them challenged me to draw on different skills, and I had fun with it. I chose the words and tone of each poem to suit what was taking place with the characters – particularly Tansy, Henry, and Tate. 

I’m really drawn to the classic poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and though I didn’t use any of his poems in the novel, I did quote him. The quote fit so perfectly with the storyline of my book, that I couldn’t resist using it. It also gave me an eerie idea that I carried forward into the book. If you’ve read Through Her Eyes, you’ll recognize that it has to do with a nightingale. (The rest of you will have to read the book to find out!) Shelley, in his quote, speaks about poets, saying: “A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.”  What beautiful comparisons! A poet and a nightingale. A poem and a melody. And I love the idea of readers being “entranced” and moved by the poem, but not knowing why. This is often true for me when reading a poem. I’m touched in some way by the words, without knowing exactly why they move me so much. That’s when I’m enticed to unravel the meaning of the poem – at least its meaning for me. 

Other poets whose work I enjoy are Edgar Allan Poe, because of his dark, brooding, eerie tone, and a current poet named Billy Collins, an American who from 2001 to 2003 was the appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. I like Collins’ poems because they’re so accessible to everyone. Even people who don’t typically care for poetry will “get” most of his. I also like that, although some of his poems are sad, many of them are very humorous. Here’s a link to a very funny poem written by Billy Collins called The Revenant that is told from the point of view of a dog:

I wish that people who claim not to like poetry and who probably haven’t read any poems that weren’t assigned to them in school, would give it another chance and read some poets they haven’t tried before. There are so many different kinds of poets, and some are much more clear-cut than the norm in their approach to writing. Not every poem is a puzzle that doesn’t form a complete picture until the pieces are taken apart and put back in place.

Thanks Jennifer!

See the brand new Through Her Eyes book trailer

Visit Jennifer’s website where you’ll also find links to her Facebook and Twitter pages

Jennifer’s blog

Want to have even MORE fun? Check out Jennifer's epic contest. Prizes include kindles, iPods, leather-bound journals, and signed copies of her book! Just make sure you enter by APRIL 4!



  1. I'm a huge fan of poetry as well! (Especially Poe. Love his dark tones!)

    I used to think I hated poetry, but you're totally right--once I actually read some, I found that I loved it! Most people who "hate" poetry have only read it in a compulsory environment, I think--if you read it for pleasure, it's much more enjoyable. :)

  2. I agree, Lauren! People become turned off by poetry in school then it is difficult to convince them to read it for enjoyment. Nice to "meet" a fellow poetry lover here!


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