5 Fictional Characters Who Would Make Great Poets
by a contributor
from Jose Angel Araguz, author of The Devil on His Wedding Night:
- Albus Dumbledore: The most intriguing character in the Harry Potter stories (the man behind Snape, mind you) his poetic potential comes not only from his own story but in his possession of the Pensieve – a device that lets you extract and objectively view memories at a distance, thus enabling to see what you may have missed. I view the Pensieve as a metaphor for the blank page.
- Anne of Green Gables: Say what you will – when this orphan girl describes spending the night up in a tree as akin to being inside a great cathedral she had me. She drops little gems like this throughout the first book.
- Oskar Schell: From Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, this little boy, with his “heavy boots” and father issues, is a very compelling Frank O’Hara in the making. Poets, do yourselves a favor: read the first page of the novel. That second paragraph about devices to hear people’s heartbeats on the street left me smiling with jealousy.
- Mattie Ross: From the Charles Portis novel True Grit, this young lady out to avenge the wrongful death of her father won me over with her tough and straightforward way with narrative. She comes alive on the page, telling her story with a great sense of place. People cite Huckleberry Finn as a counterpart. I believe Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird is more a kindred spirit. A sense of fairness in choosing words that I imagine Elizabeth Bishop possessed. Bishop in the Wild Wild West, yo.
- Paloma/Renee: The two main characters from Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. They tell their stories through haiku and flights of intellectual fancy that leave your head spinning. You feel like you need to go read more to better your soul after reading these two: kinda like how I felt after reading Czeslaw Milosz and Anne Carson.