Words of love, saccharine no longer,
But faintly sweet with the perfume of petals crushed.
Storms ahead that sweeten the moment,
Omniscient heart fluttering in dread.
Long mocked, mistrusted, challenged,
Beauty, now seen by a changed eye.
Foolish Romeo turned brave knight,
Juliet no longer a child.
The dream unchanged, but not the dreamer
A soul reborn, a mind altered.
A tale of star-crossed love
Not paradigm, but still beauteous so.
Witness! And weep. Till morrow.
A chameleon, cloaked in the colours that surround
Changeful, unconstant, too easily swayed
Taking from others, what it then offers back to the eye.
What hues are its own?
From 8th standard right up to M.A., regardless of what was or wasn’t on my syllabus, the night before an English literature exam, time would be devoted to a very special ritual – the reading of an Austen novel. It wasn’t a good luck charm, but it did help me do better on my exam.
It’s very simple really. I find that my words and my writing style (dare I be pretentious enough to say that?) are very easily influenced by the words of others. I don’t know how it is for other writers (again! The vanity!), but I do write in borrowed tones. And for a literature exam, I felt I could do no better than to borrow from Austen. Once, before I had fully realized the power of influence, I went into the exam hall with Robin Cook on my mind. Never again did I fail to follow my ritual and give the proper guidance to my words.
Just as Austen shaped my prose for so long, so is Shakespeare tempting me to break into verse today. While even the spirit of Shakespeare can’t teach me iambic pentameter or how to rhyme in fourteen lines, modern verse is not beyond me. Shall I give in to this persuasion and attempt it?
I do have to say though, that the idea of writing in borrowed tones brings up an important question for me. Like the chameleon mentioned earlier, if all I am doing is a reflection of others, where then, is my voice? If all I do is echo the masters, then where are my words?