A piece for the Huffington Post by Anne Brown Walker about smart women reading (and writing) romance has been getting some play on the interwebs. I’ve been reading romance for 18 months and writing it for half that time. I’m also a “smart” woman: a PhD student, a former professional, etc., so I thought I’d add my thoughts.
In the poem “Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent’s Narrow Room,” William Wordsworth describes how nuns find happiness, freedom even, within the confines of the convent. Yes, their lives are routine but within the rules and regulations, the nuns are able to be creative and find their bliss.
Now, a former poetry professor of mine used to say that at some level every poem is about the act of its own creation. In other words, if you aren’t sure what a poem is about, pretend that it’s about the process of the poet writing it. You’d be amazed at what smart stuff you come up with.
I don’t even know that you need that sort of interpretive jijitsu with “Nuns Fret Not,” because Wordsworth gets a little meta in the middle:
In truth the prison, into which we doomOurselves, no prison is: and hence for me,In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be boundWithin the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,Should find brief solace there, as I have found.