Where do novelists find a title for a work of fiction? Anywhere, and everywhere.
For Maren Jensen’s story, I drew inspiration for my book title from a favorite poem, Castes of Yellow by Viola Jacobson Berg.
Mrs. Berg’s two books on poetic forms–Pathways for the Poet and Poet’s Treasury: Second Book of All New Patterns have served as resources I used to teach myself how to write various poetry forms. When I first started teaching poetry at writers’ conferences, I had the joy of corresponding with Viola Jacobson Berg. She didn’t expect to teach anymore and sent me some of her teaching materials, along with permission to share her poems.
Here is the poem that inspired the title for Dandelions on the Wind, the first of The Quilted Heart novellas.
Castes of Yellow
by Viola Jacobson Berg
I’m just a humble dandelion
Blooming in the grass,
Beaming cheer to one and all,
Smiling as they pass.
But something happened yesterday
Which made my gold heart bleed;
A buttercup informed me that
I’m really just a weed.
I cried at first, but then I knew
That I was not to blame;
So I’ll enjoy the sun and rain
And blossom, just the same.
When I considered my main character for the first of the three Quilted Heart novellas, the image of a dandelion viewed as a mere weed came to mind. The life Maren knew before she immigrated to America and the life any of her friends in the Saint Charles Quilting Circle knew before the Civil War ended, leaving them all feeling like Dandelions on the Wind.
Do you have a favorite poem that might inspire a book title?