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Poem: "Imalye Fotolyi" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Imalye Fotolyi"

This poem came out of the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion and sponsored by laffingkat.  It tells a piece of Torn World history from two perspectives, the Empire and Roluma.  Imalye is a famous figure, but not everyone views her quite the same way.  Ideally, the two halves of this poem would appear side-by-side.

Imalye Fotolyi

"Imalye the Savior"

When the world's walls fell
And at last we were free
To expand into wide new lands,
The Roluma met us with spears and spite.

From the south and the east
Their armies came, marching like ants,
Striking into the heart of the Empire
And trampling the thoroughfares of Faajaffug.

Then came Imalye the Savior,
A noblewoman who took up the sword,
Took over the army, and
Led her troops to a resounding victory.

If it weren't for her, all would have been lost;
There would be no Empire and no civilization.
In her honor, the Army reserves positions for women --
And the Savior's Seat for her alone, when she returns.

"Imalye the Invader"

When the bleak borders began
to bloom with life once more,
they left us open to the Empire
that sought to take our land for its own.

From the north and the west
they broached our sovereign territory,
so we fought them back, our boots
stern against the cobbles of their streets.

Then came Imalye the Invader,
a whore who became a soldier
and stripped the victory from our troops
just as we were about to win for all time.

If it weren't for her, we would have won
And there would be no Empire to oppress us.
Her name is written in the Rolls of Ignominy, hidden
Until it is time to read them when the world turns again.

* * *

Language Notes

The verb olyi  means "to vanquish" but can have either positive ("to prevail, to be victorious, to save") or negative ("to invade, to conquer") connotations.  The prefix f-  is the first person marker, and the prefix ot-  is the agent marker like -er in English.  So the title Imalye Fotolyi  means something like "Imalye the Invader" or "She (Who) Prevails."

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3 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: January 6th, 2012 09:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh goody, a culture with females in the military!

I have a culture with females in the military, too. Well, a couple. Lyria's army, obviously. Then the military of the Mindeodean Empire has females in their military, too. This is at least partly because males and females are damn well identical in physical stats among Mindeodeans. IE, females tend to be the same height as males, they're equally matched in the muscle department, and anyone who doubts a woman's intelligence is sent to a re-education camp. It also helps that Mindeodeans are longer lived than terran-type humans.
It's non-Mindeodean humans who get discriminated against, though the military does recruit them, too. Mindeodeans are basically genetically-engineered supermen: smarter, faster, stronger, with a host of other traits such as the ability to go for two hours without breathing.

Another thing to remember about Mindeodeans is that they tend to be one shade or another of brown, with brown or black hair. My female character Telrenni faces discrimination sometimes, but not because she's a woman. It's because, being blonde and white skinned, which is a rare coloration for Mindeodeans, some people verbally abuse her for looking like a terran-type human. (Who still run the gamut of colors, of course, but the particular racial appearance of the Mindeodeans is rather unique, and Telrenni doesn't fit the usual appearance.) But she's very capable and has proven herself so. She's a member of a special branch of the military called the Red Diamond Brigade. (Like the SEALs or green berets, except the Red Diamond Brigade's missions tend to make SEAL missions look like an episode of My Little Pony by comparison.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 9th, 2012 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)


If you want to see more of this, drop by a torn_world Muse Fusion and request "women in the military" or whatever. You can also sponsor stories, poems, art, etc. so everyone will be able to see it.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: January 9th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

3 comments or Leave a comment