I've read a few of Anne Rice's novels and she has included some of her husband's poetry at the beginning of her chapters. I admit to skimming those since I never felt they added anything to the story.
In her novel THE VAMPIRE LESTAT she included some songs from the vampiric rocker. I remember reading those lines since they were part of the chapters and seemed to have relevant clues regarding the plot or were part of the protagonist's characterization.
I think a few lines of poetry or song as part of world building can be a good idea and can definitely enhance a story; but bringing the pace to a jarring halt in order to showcase a random poem would definitely turn me off as a reader.
Regarding your specific example, a few lines of songs interspersed within the description, dialogue, etc. can definitely be a very good idea since you can easily make it part of the characterization. I say go for it
Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010
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I love poetry and song and dance and all other art forms in stories. One of the reasons I love Tolkien is his use of these elements, not just to express an emotion or as a plot device but as character development, as storytelling elements within the story and in the case of the Elves, pure pleasure in the telling and retelling, which is part of their character development. I have also read stories and played games where words of power, songs, verses, ect were used in healing, in magics, all kinds of ways. I get excited when I see them used well.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Jan 2012
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