I’d like to share one piece of inspiration to which I returned repeatedly while writing my novel, The Secrets of Dr. John Welles.
The Lark Ascending, by Ralph Vaughn Williams, is an exquisitely beautiful and haunting piece of music that perfectly captures the joy of returning from war and the pain of what had to be endured. I believe it was nothing short of Divine coincidence that this piece played while I attempted to write what my main character, John Welles, would have experienced as he returned from the European theater of World War II.
John’s participation in the war was brief due to a horrific tragedy that leaves him scarred both physically and emotionally. Nothing could have prepared him for the burden he must bear; he alone is responsible for the terrible secret. His one wish is to escape the pain he caused by seeking refuge with his family. Unfortunately, the memories at home plague him every bit as much, if not more, than his time in the war.
English poet George Meredith’s 122-line poem, also titled The Lark Ascending, was the inspiration for Williams’s musical work. The poem is a hymn to the skylark and his song. I admit that I’m no poet and certainly not qualified to decide what makes good poetry. However, I am pleased that Meredith’s poem led to the creation of music that led to the writing of one of my favorite scenes in my novel.
Please take a pause in your busy day to listen to The Lark Ascending above and read The Lark Ascending below. Enjoy!