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Thread: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

  1. #1
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    Default Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    I'm not sure if this has ever been covered before, but I recently came across a poem by Robert Browning.
    It's called "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"; it was written in the 1800s.
    I'm wondering if it was merely inspiration for Stephen King, or if it was just the name that he took from it.
    I can't really understand the poem, so I'm not sure how closely it is to the Stephen King character of Roland or to the story of the Dark Tower series.
    The only thing I can gather from it is that Roland is a very cynical character.

    If anyone knows if this question has been answered at some point, I'd appreciate it; I don't, and have never, closely followed the community aspects of the Stephen King books before.
    I also checked the FAQ beforehand and it wasn't there, and there weren't any threads on it that I could see, also searched the forums for previous threads on it and couldn't find anything.
    Anyway, just wanted to ask in case anyone knew offhand.
    Here's a link to the poem if anyone wants to look into it as well: http://www.bartleby.com/246/654.html

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    Quote Originally Posted by Siobhan Noyb View Post
    I'm not sure if this has ever been covered before, but I recently came across a poem by Robert Browning.
    It's called "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"; it was written in the 1800s.
    I'm wondering if it was merely inspiration for Stephen King, or if it was just the name that he took from it.
    I can't really understand the poem, so I'm not sure how closely it is to the Stephen King character of Roland or to the story of the Dark Tower series.
    The only thing I can gather from it is that Roland is a very cynical character.

    If anyone knows if this question has been answered at some point, I'd appreciate it; I don't, and have never, closely followed the community aspects of the Stephen King books before.
    I also checked the FAQ beforehand and it wasn't there, and there weren't any threads on it that I could see, also searched the forums for previous threads on it and couldn't find anything.
    Anyway, just wanted to ask in case anyone knew offhand.
    Here's a link to the poem if anyone wants to look into it as well: http://www.bartleby.com/246/654.html
    Hi there,

    Yes Stephen has previously mentioned that he took inspiration from the poem.
    Many of the threads have been 'pruned' in a recent board upgrade, so that will be why you weren't able to find any discussion on this subject. We're happy to now have a new one, however... thank you and welcome!

    ~ Flake.
    ~ There'll be Chocolate, if God wills it. ~

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    Information, for what it's worth...Alexander Theroux has a short called Childe Roland in his Three Wogs...and this Roland is a wiper of buses, is a cynic, a racist, and this story includes a preface from Horace, Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus...The mountains will be in labor. ...once upon a time, in the heroic days when Harold Harefoot ruled the island... Roland McGuffey finally arrived...he looked an odd child in all that space...[London]...blew a blast of hot hair through his stacked fists.

    I've read the poem...but don't recall much about it...and a quick glance now tells me that perhaps a reading of Theroux's story would be a plus...as it seems to echo the poem.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    ...from Wiki:

    The series was chiefly inspired by the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" by Robert Browning, whose full text was included in the final volume's appendix. In the preface to the revised 2003 edition of The Gunslinger, King also identifies The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian Legend, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as inspirations. He identifies Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" character as one of the major inspirations for the protagonist, Roland Deschain. King's style of location names in the series, such as Mid-World, and his development of a unique language abstract to our own (High Speech), are also influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien's work.

    ...hope that helps some...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    Quote Originally Posted by GNTLGNT View Post
    ...from Wiki:
    ...and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as inspirations. He identifies Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" character as one of the major inspirations for the protagonist, Roland Deschain.
    From the very start, back when I first read The Gunslinger upon its original publication, I have always pictured Roland as Clint Eastwood from the "Dollars Trilogy."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    It's also posted on the Stephen King site here:
    http://www.stephenking.com/darktower...ower_came.html

    Every once in a while I read this poem, it is perhaps as enigmatic as the Dark Tower itself!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    Quote Originally Posted by carrie's younger brother View Post
    From the very start, back when I first read The Gunslinger upon its original publication, I have always pictured Roland as Clint Eastwood from the "Dollars Trilogy."
    ...as have I...can't imagine anyone else as Roland...I'm just that old school...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question About Series In Relation to Poem

    The poem plays an increasingly important role in the series and it's front and center in the final book.

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