Don’t you just love beginnings? Beginnings of stories, poems, plays or even letters! Or you could like the beginning of a love story. Everything has a beginning. In this blog post I am going to touch upon some memorable and not so well-known beginnings in novels, stories, poems and love letters.
When I was a child, I was always encouraged to write letters especially if I had to say thank-you for a birthday or a Christmas present. What should I write and how should I start? This was always my question. Well, why not try “I hope you are well, as I am!” This then is how I started most of my letters as a child. Not today though. I would like to think that I start them more interestingly! As anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook will know, I love words; and I love how they knit together to cause the fabric of our lives to grow and expand and to make an interesting item. One of my favourite tweets is “A glance through my tweet collection will surely inspire.” See @SoOccasionNow on Twitter.
The following descriptive first few sentences came from the pen of Alan Bennett that wonderful and enigmatic story teller. “I ran into a snake this afternoon,” Miss Shepherd said. “It was coming up Parkway. It was a long grey snake – a boa constrictor possibly. It looked poisonous. It was keeping close to the wall and seemed to know its way. I’ve a feeling it may have been heading for the van.”
From Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour Lost” we listen to the beginning from the King “Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, / Live register’d upon our brazen tombs, / And then grace us in the disgrace of death.” Such drama that is typical of this writer from centuries past.
A more gentle beginning and full of sunshine is this from William Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils:- “I wander’d lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o’er vales and hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd, / A host of golden daffodils.” What a bright light heralding the dream of Spring and the buds of new life.
If you want love, then this letter written in 1912 should suffice. “To: My widow. Dearest darling – we are in a very tight corner and I have doubts of pulling through – In our short lunch hours I take advantage of a very small measure of warmth to write letter preparatory to a possible end …..” Written by Robert Scott to Kathleen Scott.
A woman writer from 1949 wrote “I am obliged to begin this story with a brief account of the Hampton family, because it is necessary to emphasise the fact once and for all that the Hamptons were very grand as well as very rich.” This snippet from Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford is rather long and one would have to read further into the book to gather the richness that it hints upon.
I shall conclude with a bible quotation “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This came from the beginning of John’s gospel 1:1. As perhaps is widely known, the bible is all about communication.
Space does not allow me here to elaborate any further. But if you have a favourite #beginning, please comment as you wish.