This is a fun list and a daffodil field full of cross pollination. Now, although THE ELEPHANT TALKS TO GOD sounds like the most prosaic of titles, I'm sure - given enough time - I can write the poem to go around it.
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12 Famous Book Titles That Come From Poetry
by Gabe Habash
Sometimes a book title is a no-brainer. Herzog. Mating. Cujo. But sometimes writers get directly inspired by other works, and that seed of a title worms its way in from a fleeting line the writer had once glanced on a page. Take, for example, John O’Hara becoming dead set on titling his masterworkAppointment in Samarra by that name because of an Arabian tale he read about in Sheepey by W. Somerset Maugham. Within that huge group of books whose titles reference other works, there are a number that borrow a line of poetry for their title. Here are some of our favorites.
1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold comes from “I Knew a Woman” by Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
2. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh comes from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
…I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
3. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe comes from “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck comes from “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” by Robert Burns
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!