An epigraph is a quote that goes at the beginning of a book. I'm a big fan of epigraphs, and usually like to use them. In Varjak Paw, I quoted The Wizard Of Oz: "There's no place like home." In The Outlaw Varjak Paw, I quoted Anne Carson's translation of Sappho:
I had many ideas for Phoenix epigraphs. But in the end, I wanted the universe of Phoenix to be its own universe. From the moment you opened the book, I wanted you to be deep in space, among the stars. Any epigraph felt like would take away from that feeling, so I decided not to have one.
If there had been an epigraph, though, there were three possibilities I was seriously considering. The first was a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The poem is called That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection and you can read it in full here. The part I might have quoted for Phoenix was this:
"Man, how fast his firedint, his mark on mind, is gone!I'll make another blog about the other two possibilities soon!
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
Drowned. O pity and indig nation! Manshape, that shone
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, death blots black out; nor mark
Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; world's wildfire, leave but ash:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond."