Illustration by Guinevere von Sneeden

First, the knapsack itself will be sturdy and large, made of worn leather or canvas. Perhaps it is a tapestry bag with a design of trees and leaves on the side. It will be dusty and dirty from time spent out in the moors and forests.

Quill, fountain pen, or dip pen and small pot of ink.

Raggedy journal, or tattered bits of paper tucked here and there like feathers among the other items in the bag. Some will have fragments of poetry on them; some might have sketches of a river, a tree, or a lovely girl’s smile.

CDs by David Bowie, Nick Cave, or Hozier.

Half-rotten apple the Romantic has forgotten was in the bottom. (They are often too distracted to eat anyway.)

Scattered leaves. Some were green and lovely when placed into the bag and grew brown and paper-delicate, while others show shifting colors of red and gold.

A pair of binoculars. Romantics love to look at things more closely, both literally and metaphorically.

Several acorns and dried petals.

Slim volume of Keats or Tennyson, Shakespeare or Dante, well thumbed-through.

To-do list with nothing checked off.

Old theater ticket or playbill covered in notes and curled up at the edges by an intensely emotional viewer.

Map covered in pencil marks indicated places been or yet to travel.

Small bottle of elderflower wine.

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Grace Nuth is a writer, artist, and model living in central Ohio with her husband, black cat, and a garden full of fairies. She also co-wrote The Faerie Handbook, out in November 2017 from Harper Design. To follow her projects, please visit