Outtakes from “White Rose”

We are beyond thrilled to announce our own Kip Wilson’s debut YA historical novel in verse “White Rose.” Kip has generously offered to share some fabulous outtakes from the novel. As you’ll see below, the story is about bravery and struggle, as well as fear and hope. 

 

These outtakes from “White Rose” were written from Sophie Scholl’s brother Hans’s point of view. The majority of the published book is from Sophie’s point of view, but I originally drafted the story from three points of view: Sophie, Hans, and their friend, Christoph Probst. Hans still has some voice in the published book through the letters he sends home from the university and the front, but these two outtakes depict important moments in Hans’s life that Sophie wouldn’t have known.

“Nightmare” is about Hans’s time at the eastern front and includes references to anxiety and drug use under those conditions. “Shooting Stars” is about the relationship Hans had with another boy during his time in the Hitler Youth, which was a criminal offense at that time (and a good reason for Hans to keep it a secret). As with the poems from Sophie’s point of view in the published book, I used Hans’s letters and diaries to get a good understanding of his fears, hopes, and emotions, so I hope they come through here in his voice.

Nightmare

Another Alptraum wakes me,
and I wipe the sweat from my brow,
wonder which is worse
     the nightmare in my dreams
          or my waking hours.

All hours of the day and night
filled with terror:
     bombardments
     armaments
     death.

Nothing’s easy here.
Someone pocketed
a handful of morphine
from the hospital,
we’re all under suspicion now.

Russian fever,
they call this melancholy,
making me waver
during the day, delirious

between my awe
     at this landscape’s enchanting spell

and the hammer of war pounding
     all around us.

Pop a pill
drag a cigarette
stop to take in each detail,

hints of creation
some buds growing strong,
others trampled
under soldiers’ boots.

Wandering the plains
     with Alex
     with Werner
     on horseback
     on foot
all I wish is to
     zoom back home
     retreat to my books
     share the knowledge
          I discover inside them
          with the world.

Shooting Stars

With everyone gathered at the campfire,
     singing songs
     telling stories
I tug his sleeve,
we sneak away, footfalls light,
along the dark, wooded path,
guided by moonlight
to the clearing by a small stream.

We halt,
electrified by our own rapid breaths
rising over the peaceful sounds of nature,
and when our mouths get closer,
exchanging air, it only takes
one
     more
          step
until our lips entwine,
hands fumbling at waistbands,
hardness pressing into each other
by the light of the moon.

Afterward, we lay side by side
on a large, flat rock fine as any bed,
gazing up at the stars in the sky,

finding

     constellations

in each other.

Kip Wilson is the author of “White Rose,” a YA novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl. Kip holds a Ph.D. in German Literature, is the poetry editor right here at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), and wrote her doctoral dissertation about the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She’s lived in Germany, Austria, and Spain, and currently calls Boston home.

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