Words Wednesday is a column where I share whatever quote I’m most in love with this week in the hopes that it will make both of us better writers. Whether it be from a blog, a movie, or a book of darkly beautiful poetry, these words rocked me emotionally and I want them to inspire you too.
It’s been a while since I last read a book of poetry, but I dove in full force last week with Me (Moth), by Amber McBride. The YA novel is about two outcasts, Moth and Sani, who gave up dancing and singing respectively, along with their joint dream of going to Juilliard, because of hardships in their lives. The two open up to each other in a way that they didn’t know was possible, and together go on a journey of self re-discovery. This quote was one of my favorites from the book, both for the way it made me feel and the way it summarized the tone of the novel so well.
This quote came at a time when Moth and Sani were starting to fully open up to each other. They felt an implicit understanding of each other that they’d never experienced with anyone else. The bond was so powerful that Moth said this quote about the whites of Sani’s bones. It is one thing to call someone beautiful. It is another completely to find the beauty in someones bones which you cannot even see. It’s eerie, but it is also romantic simply because of the way it assumes to know everything there is to know about another person.
In writing, especially poetry, metaphors for love and understanding abound, so to come up with something truly personal to the characters and the tone of the story is difficult. Taking bone and carvin g(ghostly, spooky) and relating it to lovely and piano keys (music, the love which they both share and are suppressing) doesn’t seem to make sense until you look at it in the larger context of the story. Once you do that, it seems like the most romantic thing in the world.
In my writing, I want to work on making each line more personal to the characters. It’s easy to come up with a bland platitude, or even a sentence that sounds good out of context. But to create a sentence that so deeply encompasses the characters and goes so far to explaining them to the reader is something incredibly difficult. I have an immense amount of respect for McBride and the beauty of her writing.