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Poem: "Heroes Still Living" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Heroes Still Living"
This poem came out of the March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by an anonymous donor. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"Heroes Still Living"


Hail heroes still living,
Heroes in each lineage!
Roundly we remember
Rare tales told of valor.
Wound-wands and words rally,
Wielded with all honor.
Might beyond men granted,
Makes some feed the ravens.

Hail too, fine foes, fiercest
Fighters gifted greatly!
Without you, no worthy
Warrior knows purpose.
Bring your wood-bane fingers;
Breathe airs of tree-breaking.
Power that passed mortals
Pours forth at your saying.

God-given gifts linger,
Growing great in story!
Be as in old battles,
Bid good against evil.
Spear-din speaks our summons:
Speed onward in answer.
Tell a tale of talents
Taut against each other.

* * *

Notes:

The requested form was a drottkvaett, a type of alliterative verse.  This isn't quite perfect, but it comes close.

Lineage is a form of family reckoning.  Some superpowers run in families.

Kennings are metaphors used in Celtic and Norse tradition.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thnidu From: thnidu Date: April 15th, 2014 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Fascinating. Thank you!

I don't understand their examples of "weak assonance", and Cunnan doesn't help with it:
Weak assonance occurs in the odd numbered lines. "Guided" and "Odin", "worldly" and "knowledge", "bits" and "bettered" and "on" and "rune" are the words in which this occurs. Note that in this case the assonance occurs in the first syllable of the word each time.
HUH? Long I in guided and long O in Odin ate both falling diphthongs, and that's their only similarity. It doesn't get much weaker than that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 15th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome!

>> Fascinating. Thank you! <<

I'm glad you enjoyed this.

>> I don't understand their examples of "weak assonance", and Cunnan doesn't help with it: <<

I didn't have much luck with that part either. My best guess is that there's some kind of list what matches and what doesn't. Which I did not have.
siege From: siege Date: April 16th, 2014 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty sure that weak assonance relies on Old English or dialectal pronunciation.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 16th, 2014 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Hmm...

That may be true. A lot of pronunciation has shifted over time.
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: July 20th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
How the heck did I miss this one?

Very unusual (to me, anyway) form, but it works, especially in Polychrome Heroics. I missed the assonance, but the alliteration really works. Neat!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 22nd, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> How the heck did I miss this one? <<

It's easy for things to slip through the cracks.

>> Very unusual (to me, anyway) form, but it works, especially in Polychrome Heroics. I missed the assonance, but the alliteration really works. Neat! <<

Yay! I like using some of the unusual and archaic forms.
cflute From: cflute Date: October 11th, 2016 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I figured out this was a Norse form within the first stanza. I'm picturing it being recited as the opening piece leading into an evening of sagas, related by firelight after a wintertime feast, with beats from a hand-held drum punctuating the stressed syllables. :-)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 11th, 2016 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

>> I figured out this was a Norse form within the first stanza. <<

:D

>> I'm picturing it being recited as the opening piece leading into an evening of sagas, related by firelight after a wintertime feast, with beats from a hand-held drum punctuating the stressed syllables. :-) <<

That would be so awesome.
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