Friday, April 9, 2010
ABOUT TOPPLING AND VERSE NOVELS
Domino topplers get only a few minutes of glory as they watch several hours or days worth of their work falling down.
But you and I know, there are other kinds of toppling - especially as one gets older - and I have the grazes to prove it. For John, though toppling dominoes is his hobby it is not his whole life. And when, at school one day he finds out, Dominic, his ‘best mate and not just because his name sounds like domino’ is in danger of toppling, his own world begins to topple. He wants to know the truth about his friend.
I didn’t agree. Sensitive, yes! Sad, no!
Since the narrative does not rely on rhyme or a set pattern of rhythm what makes a verse novel a verse novel? As it seemed a fair question, I stopped stacking dominoes for a minute to reflect. (Now Caellum is going to finish his tower first!) I thought about the verse novels I'd read. What do they have in common? I started making a list -and this is what I came up with.
The poetry of a verse novel relies on
shorter lines and line drops to create a rhythm that approximates human speech without the use of complex punctuation;
fewer words to convey atmosphere and plot;
imagination. It asks the reader to experience the story in a way that does not tell all, and relies as much on the space between the lines as it does on the words themselves;
voice to get convey emotions, details, and nuances in a way that prose can’t always accomplish.
According to Emma Dryden of Dryden Books,
‘A verse novel is, and should be, first and foremost a novel, with a compelling storyline and plot, richly developed characters, and a distinctive narrative voice. … A good verse novel has a such a strong and mesmerizingly compelling story line, characters and voice that the reader does not even recognise they are reading poetry at all.‘
Having read both of Sally Murphy’s verse novels - ‘Pearl verses the World’ and ‘Toppling’, I would have to agree.
You may like to check Sally’s blog at http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com/
Look at this!
Poetry in mo... toppling