Fri
Jun 1 2012 10:00am
Titles from Poetry: Blake vs Marvell

During the recent Nebula weekend, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and I started to consider whether there are more science fiction and fantasy titles taken from Blake’s “The Tyger” or from Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.” I don’t think there are any other poems that could even compete, except possibly Yeats’s “The Second Coming.” I decided to do an actual count and find out.

 

 

 

 

Blake wrote “The Tyger”in 1794, and here it is:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Tiger! Tiger! is of course the UK title for Alfred Bester’s classic The Stars My Destination (1956). Tyger Tyger, with that spelling, is the first volume of Kersten Hamilton’s YA fantasy Goblin Wars Series (2011). It’s also the title of a short story by Neal Asher.

Tiger Burning Bright is a fantasy novel by Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey and Marion Zimmer Bradley (1995). It’s also the title of short stories by Ray Bradbury and Christopher Morgan.

Just plain Burning Bright is an excellent space opera by Melissa Scott (1993). It’s also the title of novels by Janine Ashbless, Tom Dowd, and Jay Russell and short stories by Fergus Bannon, John S. Browning, K.D. Wentworth, Tanya Huff, Robert Moore Williams, Lucy A. Snyder, Kylie Seluka, Liz Holliday and Elaine Cunningham.

(I think Isaac Asimov’s Quasar, Quasar, Burning Bright also deserves a mention here.)

In the Forests of the Night is a YA vampire novel by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (2000). Kersten Hamilton’s second Goblin Wars book is also In the Forests of the Night (2012). It has been used for short stories by Robert Weinberg and Jay Lake. S. Andrew Swann’s first novel is just Forests of the Night, about a tiger-human hybrid PI in future Cleveland (1993). Tanith Lee has a collection of the same title. It has also been used for short stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Michael Pendragon, Abigail Hilton,

One of Swann’s sequels is Fearful Symmetries (1999). Audrey Niffenegar’s 2012 ghost fantasy Her Fearful Symmetry. Olivia Woods has a Deep Space Nine novel called Fearful Symmetry, and James Luceno has a Philip K. Dick Award nominated near future thriller called A Fearful Symmetry. Algis Budrys wrote a short story called That Fearful Symmetry, and just “Fearful Symmetry” has been used as a short story title by Tyler Kevil, David Sandner and Jacob Weissman, and Minsoo Kang.

David Drake has a MilSF novel about a galactic struggle called What Distant Deeps! I think he deserves extra praise for picking a phrase nobody else has used and for one that’s so very appropriate to his book.

Michael A. Martin wrote a Star Trek novel called Seize the Fire, and it’s also the title of a short story by Mary Hoffmann.

“The Sinews of His Heart” is a short story by Melissa Yuan-Innes.

“When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears” is a short story by John Morrisey.

I make that forty four titles from this short poem, which is amazing.

Andrew Marvell wrote To His Coy Mistress probably in the 1650s, and it’s one of my favourite poems and I know it all by heart without ever having sat down to learn it. Here it is:

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

        But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

        Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

World Enough and Time is a science fiction adventure novel by James Kahn. Dan Simmons has a collection with the title Worlds Enough and Time. Sarah Hoyt has a short story called “But World Enough”, and there are stories called “World Enough and Time” by Gillian Hovarth, Sean O’Brien, Donna Lettow, and John B. Rosenman.

Bruce Gillespie has a short story called “Vegetable Love”. Ursula Le Guin has terrific SF short story called “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow”. In addition, Alison Lonsdale and Donna Knez both have stories called “Vaster Than Empires.”

Ben Jeapes has a fantasy novel called Winged Chariot and another called Time’s Chariot.

Peter S. Beagle has a ghost fantasy called A Fine and Private Place and Thomas F. Monteleone has a short story of the same title.

That’s all I can find. I make that fifteen, from a much longer poem, which puts Blake unquestionably ahead.

Thanks to ISFDB and Fantastic Fiction Co UK. If anyone can think of any more genre titles from these poems, please post them in comments!

 


Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently the Hugo nominated and Nebula Award winning Among Others. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

50 comments
Dylan Thurston
1. dthurston
"Forest of the night" is also the title of a YA novel by Somtow Sucharitkul.
dougg
2. dougg
"Watchmen" has a chapter called "Fearful Symmetry"
dougg
3. Florilegium
You definitely should do "The Second Coming." Damon Knight's "What Rough Beast," for starters.
Sylvia Sotomayor
4. terjemar
Tanith Lee also had a short story called "Bright Burning Tiger" which came from the Blake poem, too.
Michal Jakuszewski
5. Lfex
There is also Worlds Enough and Time, science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman
David Levinson
6. DemetriosX
I'd say if Marvell beats Yeats in the number of titles, it's only because "The Second Coming" is shorter. Not too many widening gyres, but plenty of slouching this way and that, rough beasts, and a couple of centers not holding. It probably wins hands down if you could include chapter titles and section/part titles.

Thomas Disch has a poem "The Desert of Vast Eternity". And Paul McCauley has a story titled "Before the Flood", but that's not necessarily a reference to Marvell.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
7. pnh
In the room the women come and go,
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
Time for you and time for me,
Deserts of vast eternity.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
8. pnh
Altogether elsewhere, vast
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
Silently and very fast.

Did he smile his work to see?
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK.
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
To His Coy Mistress should receive bonus points for having the subject matter least likely to generate 15 SFF titles.

I'm now intrigued. What other poems are in the running for multiple SFF titles? I'm having trouble. Jabberwocky? Kubla Khan? Keats (Hyperion)? Wordsworth? John Donne? Sara Teasdale ("there shall come soft rains?")
dougg
11. a1ay
A bit of idle googling for Hamlet's Soliloquy, which seems like another possibility, finds no SF titles but a PG Wodehouse short story called "Sea of Troubles" with the rather strikingly un-Wodehouse first line "Mr Meggs's mind was made up. He was going to commit suicide."

Blimey, Plum.
Beth Friedman
12. carbonel
This reminds me of a long-lost website.

Once upon a time, when the World Wide Web was new, one of the things I stumbled over was a page where various blocks of famous text were spelled out with the covers of the books that made up the text. I think the one that was done best was the "To be or not to be" speech from Hamlet. There was a bit of cheating in the interim words, but mostly it was complete. I sent it to TNH, who was duly impressed, but I apparently failed to bookmark it.

If anyone knows of it (if it's still up, of course), I hope you'll send me the link.
lake sidey
13. lakesidey
The Walrus and the Carpenter did give us two excellent titles - O Henry's "Cabbages and Kings" and PGW's "Pigs have Wings". Neither science fiction alas. However, I am sure Jabberwocky must have given rise to more than just "Mimsy were the Borogoves" (which is all I can remember off the top of my head :()

~lakesidey
dougg
14. John C. Bunnell
I make at least seven for Yeats' "The Stolen Child" -- a few more if one counts self- or micro-published titles, and excluding the Charles de Lint collection Woods and Waters Wild (which paraphrases the Yeats line rather than quoting it exactly). I had rather expected to find more, but seven-plus for a fairly short poem strikes me as not insignificant.

Short of the Shakespeare plays, that count of 44 looks difficult to beat. OTOH, I wonder about certain parts of Tennyson given the quantity of Arthurian material out there.
Jo Walton
15. bluejo
I think the Ariel speech with "Suffered a sea change into something rich and strange" would score very well.

As for the English lit remix:

The lone and level sands stretch far away,
Before my pen hath gleaned my teeming brain
Now let us sport us while we may
For spacious skies, for amber waves of grain.

Malt does more than Milton can --
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
A boy brings milk in bowls, there is a plan,
And is there honey still for tea?
Del C
16. del
Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" gives us "Sea of Faith", "Ignorant Armies", "Clash by Night" and "As On A Darkling Plain".

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam ought to be good for a few titles. And if Tennyson's "Locksley Hall" isn't, it could be the opposite of the Marvell: the poem most likely to inspire science fiction titles, that doesn't.
dougg
17. JoeNotCharles
On a title per word basis, may I suggest this quite short poem from the Tempest:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

"Full Fathom Five" is a Doctor Who audio play and novels by Kate Forsyth and Ahmad Kamal
"Fathom Five" is a YA novel by James Bow
"Bones of Coral" is a novel by James Hall
"The Pearls That Were His Eyes" is an episode of Andromeda
"Sea Change" is the title of novels by Aimee Friedman, Richard Armstrong, Robert Parker, and Jeremy Page
"Rich and Strange" is a Hitchcock movie
"Something Rich and Strange" is the title of short stories by Avram Davidson and Charles Lambert, and a novel by Patricia McKillip
There's also a collection called "Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories"
"Ding Dong Bell" seems to be used as a title for some novels, too, but it's hard to separate out the google hits from all the nursery rhymes
dougg
18. JoeNotCharles
As for the remix - well, it's no English Lit, but there's this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pDem1UIBHA
Del C
19. del
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea
Now more than ever seems it rich to die
It never was America to me
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
20. pnh
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
21. tnh
Oh, good -- Ozymandias and Ginsberg have now been dragged in by the scruff of the neck, so we have a quorum and can play.
This is just to say
that I have eaten the lamb
you were keeping as a pet.
Forgive me.
I know it was probably
an aspect of your god,
but the chops were
delicious.

Stay for dinner?
Googling around earlier, I found that Blake is used more often in our genre, but Marvell gets more of a workout from travel writers.

The line from "To His Coy Mistress" that really racks up the hits is "A fine and private place." I count at least fifteen books that use it as their title, by Anne Atkins, Peter S. Beagle, Morley Callaghan, Freda Davies, John Drummond, Mary Fitt, Erik Haagensen & Richard Isen, Ann Hebson, Christobel Kent, Brian Matthews, James E. Martin, Alan Morgan, Ellery Queen, John Simpson, and Joanna Trevor. I'm sure that's not a complete list.

I was pleased to see that the Sunday Times used "Desserts of Vast Eternity" -- cake and death! -- but my favorite find was "Steeped in Misery As I Am," a song by Atrox, which is an avant-garde metal band from Trondheim. (They originally called themselves Suffocation, but changed because so many other bands were using that name.) They get extra credit for referencing both Blake and Marvell:
Steeped In Misery As I Am

Deserts of vast eternity
from which I cannot escape
Oh, woe be upon me
The pain of solitude
Choirs of damnation
Chanting in my dreams
'Life shall be no more
Life - thou shalt die'
Nor shall the knife
Sleep in my hand
I lament and bewail
As my soul withers
Alone I wander
This be the fate I choose
An inner, desolate void
I shall fear no more
My only fear is that that may not be a translation.
Jo Walton
22. bluejo
The awful thing is how well this works.

I have seen the best minds of our generation
roll
all our strength and all our sweetness up into one ball
and tear at our passions
with rough strife
through the iron gates of life, archy,
and it won't be long now,
because I would not stop for death
I do not think that they will sing to me
and how do you like your blue eyed boy,
Ozymandias?

It now seems obvious, and I mean obvious as in "of course, why did I never think of this before" that e.e. cummings's young lady whose name is Afterwards was actually Emily Dickinson all the time.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
We would sit down and think which way
A lost battalion of platonic conversationalists
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool;
On what wings dare he aspire?
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
I met a traveller from an antique land
Why not -since through life's little day
We would sit down and think which way
To see a world in a grain of sand
dougg
25. Bernadette Bosky
I'm too lazy to do the computer searching, but I'd bet one hour's pay on over two dozen horror titles being found in "Macbeth."
alastair chadwin
26. a-j
del@16:
I think Agatha Christie raided the Rubaiyat fairly extensively, along with Shakespeare. Off the top of my head I can think of The Moving Finger for the former and By the Pricking of my Thumbs and Taken at the Flood for the latter (Macbeth and Julius Caesar respectively)
Del C
27. del
Shakespeare is a natural source for murder mystery titles, what with all the murder.

I met Murder on the way;
He kindly stopped for me.
He had a mask like Castlereagh,
And Immortality.

O Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
And gyre and gimble in the wabe?
Christ, that my love were in my arms,
And the mome raths outgrabe!
dougg
28. DBratman
"A Shropshire Lad" by A.E. Housman is not as short as the poems here discussed, but it's generated a few titles. I once entered a take-home test trivia contest in which one of the questions was, Name an SF story whose title came from that poem. I had to decide, should I look through my SF shelves and try to find a line from Housman, or should I look through Housman and see if an SF title jumped out at me? I chose the latter course, and indeed one did: "For A Breath I Tarry." Roger Zelazny.
Alexander Austin
29. AlecAustin
@ tnh - those lyrics very likely aren't translated. Most international metal bands sing some or all of their song lyrics in English.
Clark Myers
30. ClarkEMyers
More of a YASID but I think there was long ago a gimmick mood short, genre only by courtesy of the market forces, titled after But at My Back....... with the protagonist fleeing over a pass until he hears the snatching claws ahead of him. My memory is too vague to go looking and I may be completely off on the title.

Bare ruined choirs ..... gives enough titles from that line alone to compete generally if not always genre but I don't see any more titles in the rest of the 14 lines.
Jo Walton
31. bluejo
Clark: That's Arthur C. Clarke and it's in Reach for Tomorrow, but it's called "A Walk in the Dark", and ISFDB doesn't list variant titles. But it totally ought to be called "But at my back..."
dougg
32. lampwick
@26 -- I always liked the double feature:

By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Agatha Christie)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)
Rich Horton
33. ecbatan
I have a now slightly outdated list of stories with titles derived from "Kubla Khan" on my webpage: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton/kubkhan.htm

At the same time I was putting that list together I looked at "The Tyger" because I knew a lot of stories came from it, but I don't have the list I came up with -- offhand, I don't think you've missed anything I found.

As for "To His Coy Mistress", that is a poem I love -- and my username, ecbatan, is indirectly derived from that poem, in that it comes from Archibald MacLeish's wonderful response to it, "You, Andrew Marvell". I can only think of the one SF title from the Marvell poem (Bishop's AND STRANGE AT ECBATAN THE TREES), though there is a vampire movie, THE SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT, that may also refer to it.

There aren't all that many SF stories from Wallace Stevens poems (examples: "The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things", by Karen Joy Fowler; and the title of Kim Stanley Robinson's collection THE PLANET ON THE TABLE), but one SF story has TWO variant titles from the same poem, "Sunday Morning". This is John Crowley's "Where Spirits Gat Them Home", later revised as "Her Bounty to the Dead".

--
Rich Horton
dougg
34. ejp
Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill have a whole series (8 or so books, I think) whose titles are taken from lines in "Tom o' Bedlam," which also provides the title to Poul Anderson's Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, the Ballard story "A Host of Furious Fancies," "The Wide World's End" by Susan Schwartz. Perhaps "Horse of Air" by Gardner Dozois (though that could easily have come about otherwise), and probably more that I haven't found yet.
Del C
35. del
The early Nevil Shute novel So Disdained is a reference to Tom O'Bedlam:

I now repent that ever
Poor Tom was so disdainéd.
My wits are lost since him I crossed,
Which makes me thus go chainéd.
David Levinson
36. DemetriosX
Another candidate for a poem that seems like it ought to have inspired a lot of titles, but didn't is "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". After a very cursory check, I can't find any unless you include a couple of stories simply titled "The Albatross".
dougg
37. (still) Steve Morrison
@36: Can’t think of any fiction, but Asimov did write an essay for F&SF called “We Were the First That Ever Burst”.
Rich Horton
38. ecbatan
Possibly from "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" there is Debra Doyle and James MacDonald's LAND OF MIST AND SNOW.

But, yes, there's not much there. (Possibly a couple of references to Ancient Mariners in titles count also.)
dougg
39. SqueakerToAminals
Has anyone ever used GK Chesterton?

CONFESSIONAL

Now that I kneel at the throne, O Queen,
Pity and pardon me.
Much have I striven to sing the same,
Brother of beast and tree;
Yet when the stars catch me alone
Never a linnet sings—
And the blood of a man is a bitter voice
And cries for foolish things.

Not for me be the vaunt of woe;
Was not I from a boy
Vowed with the helmet and spear and spur
To the blood-red banner of joy?
A man may sing his psalms to a stone,
Pour his blood for a weed,
But the tears of a man are a sudden thing,
And come not of his creed.

Nay, but the earth is kind to me,
Though I cry for a Star,
Leaves and grasses, feather and flower,
Cover the foolish scar,
Prophets and saints and seraphim
Lighten the load with song,
And the heart of a man is a heavy load
For a man to bear along.

Or better yet,

THE ONENESS
OF THE PHILOSOPHER
WITH NATURE.

I love to see the little stars
All dancing to one tune;
I think quite highly of the Sun,
And kindly of the Moon.

[...]

I am the tiger's confidant,
And never mention names:
The lion drops the formal "Sir,"
And lets me call him James.

[...]

My niece, the Barnacle, has got
My piercing eyes of black;
The Elephant has got my nose,
I do not want it back.

[...]

Come fog! exultant mystery—
Where, in strange darkness rolled,
The end of my own nose becomes
A lovely legend old.

Come snow, and hail, and thunderbolts,
Sleet, fire, and general fuss;
Come to my arms, come all at once—
Oh photograph me thus!
brightening glance
40. brightglance
I thought I'd find more Dylan Thomas than Dying of the Light, but apart from a post-apocalyptic play (The First Death), there seems mainly to be some classical music and a ton of fanfic.

I caught this morning morning's minion
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky
Full and fierce and sharp and sly; 
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
Elise Matthesen
41. LionessElise
To read all these mashups is to get tipsy on poetry. Bravo, all!
Pamela Adams
42. Pam Adams
One of the many reasons that I love this site is that the people who hang out here enjoy and appreciate playing with words.
Del C
43. del
LionessElise, I found that once I started it was like cheesy biscuits. It's very easy to keep on eating, and hard to stop.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.
O Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay
To flutter—and the Bird is on the Wing!

The lone and level sands stretch far away,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
I think I will not hang myself today;
Sweet Thames run softly, till I end my song.

Because heroic or elegiac stanza is the Four Chords of English poetry, you can go on like this all day. You can do it with tetrameter too:

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
Down from the door where it began,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
She walks in beauty, like the night.
And more by more they dream their sleep,
But westward, look! the land is bright.

And did those feet in ancient time
That brave Vibration each way free?
Come live with me and be my love
And love it, and be lost like me.
Jo Walton
44. bluejo
Oh, del, that tetrameter one is excellent!
Rich Horton
45. ecbatan
Thought of one more loosely derived (perhaps) from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner": Denise Lee's magnificent "Sailing the Painted Ocean".

Of course, you can't always be sure that even a fairly obvious reference is meant to be a reference. Jeffrey Ford was surprised to hear that people thought the title of his story "The Empire of Ice Cream" was referring to Wallace Stevens' great poem "The Emperor of Ice Cream".
Christopher Hatton
46. Xopher
I consider myself facile with words, but I cannot play this game. I simply don't know enough poems, or maybe my brain just won't shuffle them up right. I'm in awe of the efforts on display here.

John Adams wrote a piece called Fearful Symmetries, but of course that's not SFF. (Hmm...is it really possible to have speculative music (as such, not talking about lyrics here)?)

JoeNotCharles 17, "Full Fathom Five My Father Lies" is also a 1980 story by Rand B. Lee. It appeared in the collection Worlds Apart.

DemetriosX 36, my high school literary magazine was called The Albatross, and every issue's back cover was a reproduction of one of the engravings from a book of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Steven Halter
47. stevenhalter
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Saw great Artevelde victorious scale the Golden Dragon's nest.

Some with lives that came to nothing, some with deeds as well undone,
Thick with towns and hamlets studded, and with streams and vapors gray,
When they made up fresh adventures for the morrow, do you say?

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
I was never out of England--it's as if I saw it all.

Beams of noon, like burning lances, through the tree-tops flash and glisten,
Better thou wert dead before me, tho' I slew thee with my hand
As they mark upon the blasted heaven the measure of the land.
dougg
48. Diane_D
I just tried ISFDB.org, and got 11 results for Fiction Title (novels, short fiction, and poems) "Forests of the Night" plus 6 more for "Forest of the Night"!
dougg
49. Diane_D
Mercedes Lackey also has a Valdemar title "Brightly Burning", and given her known tendency to literary allusion, I'm certain it's intentional. Her "A Cast of Corbies" theater-themed Bardic Choices fantasy had an author's note inviting readers to spot all the Shakespearian references in the text.

Bravo to all for the clever mashups, though I failed to recognize the sources for more than I ought. I think perhaps del's tetrameter (@43b) is the best poem in itself.
Ian Johnson
50. IanPJohnson
I want to play too!

Where Alph, the sacred river ran, the time has come, the walrus said. The road goes ever on and on, and where is the horse and the rider? My name is Ozymandias, my angry lesbian breasts, and whiffling through the tulgey wood the rabbits quite forgot themselves and frozen there, like saplings stood. I ate the plums in the icebox, so shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? I’m a man of wealth and taste, I’m a Monday-morning lunatic, and I’m out there on the road always doing what I’m told. Can you help me? Midway through our life’s journey, I took the road less traveled in the forests of the night. Say what you mean, bear witness to the sunshine that I got in a bag. Summoned quite late to the tiniest court, my little horse must think it queer that my mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun. He was a good king! When that April with its sweet showers hath pierced the drought of March, we are not unreasonable– we will not eat your eyes. They say that you could hear her wailing clear to Botany Bay. From Hell’s dark heart I stab at the horror, the horror. There is no pain, you are receding to the music that we choose. On the day the saucers came, I will not say the day is done, nor bid the stars farewell. That is not dead which can eternal lie, and after strange aeons who mourns for Adonais in the tilted alley where I cried my mother’s name? It came upon a midnight clear, from its house at great R’lyeh. Bye, baby bunting, I’ve got to go– got to leave it all behind and face the conscience of the king. Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, abandon hope, ye who enter here. We’ll meet again, some sunny day, where late the sweet bird sings. For that is the road to fair Elf-land, where angels fear to dine at the Ritz. You have been eaten by a grue, you hide your beauty from the sun. The revolution will not be televised. Television dreams of tomorrow never knows. The cake is a lie. Good times never seemed so good.

I have heard the mermaids singing.

No one flies around the sun.

Exit, pursued by a bear.

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