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Author Topic: Poets' Corner  (Read 12166 times)
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Leif Terskun
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« on: April 14, 2012, 08:46:08 PM »

Welcome to the Poetsí Corner. The purpose of this thread is to get some poetry going among Santharians and see if we can have some enjoyable and constructive conversation on it. I feel that verse is a sadly neglected part of the writerís art on the role-playing board, with the focus on prose narrative, and while I greatly enjoy reading prose Iíd absolutely love to see some of your poetry. I know that I can learn a lot from reading the poems of others and from having others read my poems, and I hope that everyone who contributes can benefit from the exchange of creativity.

Poems do not have to be Santharian in nature, though they can be. There is no need to use a set rhythm or rhyme pattern, but again, you may if you wish. I have a very simple definition of poetry that I want to apply, and it consists entirely of delineation - if what youíve written is divided into lines, itís poem enough for me. Any other definition, Iíve found, is too subjective or too difficult to apply. Consider this:

Your body - still warm - lies among the sheets. You knew it was going to end this way, asleep in bed, and for that, if nothing else, I am happy.

and this:

Your body
- Still warm -
Lies among the sheets.
You knew it was going to end this way:
In bed
You knew it was going to end this way
And for that, I am happy.

One a snippet of prose, the other a (not great, I confess) poem.

There is no obligation to post poems or comments, but I hope that people will feel free to post anything they write. Just post below here; I think that first and foremost we want to have a living exchange of creativity, and an active OOC thread.

I think thatís all, so Iíll kick it off with something I wrote last night, or rather early this morning. I confess that Iíve always resonated with the titular refrain of ďPity Me NotĒ, so any familiarity is probably that. It was just what I put down.

Mourn Me Not

Mourn me not, my sweet lamenting friend,
That at the dayís cold dawning I no longer watch the sky.
Mourn me not, O women of my home,
That I run no more beneath the sun.
Mourn me not, my mother and my sisters,
That I shall never again stand within your doors.
Mourn me not, my father and my brothers,
That our companionship has been cut short; stay strong.
Mourn me not, thou, my lover and my friend,
That beneath the trees we may no more walk hand in hand,
Nor embrace by starlight nor stare at the cloudless sky.
My death is not to be mourned.

Mourn instead the child in the roaring flood.
Mourn the crippled mother and the starving son.
Mourn the unknown dragged from the freezing river.
But mourn me not. Let me die missed
But unmourned.
Let there be rejoicing over my life
Rather than lamentation over my death.
Celebrate the service I did to my home
Rather than weeping for the life I lost to it.
If you love me, mourn me not.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 05:58:08 AM by Leif Terskun » Logged

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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 11:00:46 PM »

There once was a man from Nantucket;

What?  I can't post this?  But, that's poetry.  Oh, fine.   buck

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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 12:16:37 AM »

Oh I like poems!

Here's one...

your golden grace has died away
failing at the end of day
clouds crimson with demise
spears of orange and pink
impale the darkening sky
whilst nebulae and galaxy retreat

and lo the moon steadfast and strong
residing at its peak
wanes to dawn and sunrise sky
forever to repeat
Leif Terskun
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 05:57:33 AM »

Very nice! I particularly like the falling away of the graceful iambic rhythm and strong rhyme of the opening couplet - the demise of the form echoes the demise of the subject matter. I thought that that was very nicely done.

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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 12:15:59 PM »

And poetry?  :D This site gets better each time I come on! I'm no avid poet but I do enjoy reading poems and occasionally get the urge to write one, though mostly I do found poetry.

Just a small example:

Underneath a whisper
And alongside a sigh
Comes a little murmur,
Hidden behind a lie.

Just around a hush
And up above a cry
Walks a dark secret,
Waiting there to die.

Down bellow a hiccup
And out in front, a weep
Tip-toes a quiet shout
Lingering on to sleep

Swimming through a gurgle
And there on top, a roar
Stops the vital heart beat,
Until there is no more.

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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 12:21:36 AM »

Very nice you two! 

90% of my poetry uses the white space on the page to bring about one effect or another...I remember I REALLY disliked "left aligned poetry"  heh.

Lets see if I can get the formatting right...

rain, rain go away come again some other
night, when the moon is full, and bright and i
canít see what is stepping on me when your
mist drenches everything just because you
can doesnít mean you should the women and children
billy the worms all victims to your fun
rain rain go away canít you see we donít
want to play with you and your water full of tears,
tears shed by every child and sick worm, your clear,
wet shoes leaving me and billy red on the pavement
slick with worm tears.

i   scream     as       my            worm-like         friends
     run                                           through                   the
                    rain.     they                                laugh
and    play                            and       scream
while     the         rain


"Thereís Nothing Worth Doing That Isnít Worth Overdoing" - Tak "The Magnificent"
Leif Terskun
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 12:51:27 AM »

That's quite a haunting poem Aseia; I loved it! The conceit of being underneath a whisper and so on forces you to look at these ideas in a new light, and it's great to read. I did note that bellow -> below in the third stanza might be a change that you want to make to this typescript.

Tak, I really liked your use of the blank spaces on the page there. It's a trick I'm usually wary of using beyond line and stanza breaks, because you see it abused and put in where it doesn't belong, and it's easy to overdo, but I think you pulled it off perfectly there, as the poem visually falls apart. The formatting looks fine to me, but I don't know what it was meant to be like. I hope you didn't lose anything in transcription. I think the lack of capitalisation also makes it seem impressionistic and dreamlike - in fact, like an impressionist picture, with flashes of sense but breaking all the rules of the familiar while remaining art.

And am I starting to see a little pattern here? Only half our poets so far have capitalised lines. Tak and Trya, is that a common feature of your poetry? Aseia, do you ever do that? Personally, I've never done it. I've never written a poem where I felt the effect needed that.

I'm going cheat a little and post something I wrote a long time ago with my creative writing group based very firmly around a poem called The Homes of England. I think that my one makes a lot more sense in the context of having read that one, and it's written by a proper poet, so you should enjoy it :P.

Here's mine:

The stately homes of England
Are crumbling as they stand
Amidst their tall ancestral trees
And briar-throttled land.
The deer across their greensward bound
Through cans and glassy gleam
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some lamenting stream.

The merry homes of England
Might barely last the night;
What gladsome looks of household loves
Are forced in evening light?
There woman's voice flows forth in song
As grievances are told
Or lips move tunefully along
A dirge for days of old.

The blessed homes of England!
How deathly on their bowers
Is laid the holy quietness
That comes from empty hours!
Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime
No longer haunts the morn;
All other sounds, in that still time,
Are nascent, yet unborn.

The cottage homes of England
Stand empty on her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks;
A lie in hamlets' fanes.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
The houses no-one leaves,
And fearless there the lowly sleep;
The birds beneath their eaves.

The free, fair homes of England
Have desolate great halls;
May hearts of native proof be reared
To die before each wall.
And green forever be the groves
And damp the lumpen sod
Where first the child's glad spirit loves
To curse an absent God!

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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 01:15:17 AM »

Hehe, that's a little something left over from college poetry classes.  "Don't let microsoft word capitalize words for you, take CONTROL of your poetry". 

My teacher was a nutcase.  A genius nutcase, but a nutcase none the less.  It WAS fun to get him ranting about his candle horde that he had just in case "Xcel Energy cuts me off!"


"Thereís Nothing Worth Doing That Isnít Worth Overdoing" - Tak "The Magnificent"
Leif Terskun
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 01:45:41 AM »

I write the majority of my poetry by hand, so that doesn't really apply to me. I think it may be a little flawed to refuse to capitalise words based on that in general, but I take your point about not just leaving words capitalised where they'd be better not. I think you should certainly think about it, but for me the default is capitalised.

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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 02:18:55 AM »

With regards to capitalization, I generally side with Tak's view to take control of one's work. There's a lot of convention out there with regards to poetry--sonnets are iambic pentameter, ballads are iambic tetrameter (or repeated tetrameter/trimeter), villanelles must repeat lines appropriately, etc. But I feel like, unlike the conventions that dictate form, the notion of capitalizing has been carried down through the age without really ever questioning why. Iambic pentameter (and really, all meter) creates musicality, the repeated lines give a spiraling feel to a poem (or a constant revisiting). What does capitalization really contribute?

There is an answer: capitalization lends a feeling of power. Upper case letters are strong, loud symbols. (Don't believe me? HOW ABOUT NOW?!). Lower case letters can give the feeling of passivity and quietness, which is why (in recent years, when writing for myself), I only capitalize the beginning of sentences, and not the beginning of every line.

Like meter, diction, rhyme, etc. grammar is a tool all poets have in their back pocket. It can be invaluable to contributing to the tone and voice you're trying to convey.

That's my two sans, from an avid lover of poetry and occasional poet. And as I'm already here, I suppose I might as well post a poem as well.

The cities shift in seasons changing
with scenes and settings re-arranging;
Iím always coming, always leaving--
another place, but same soft evening.

And all the while that Iíve been roaming
Iíve longed but for the peace of gloaming
when dusty day is dim and dying
and from the east the star come flying.

The fall, with brilliance quickly fading,
came suddenly, the seasons trading
estival warmth for gelid grieving
in wailing winter windís white weaving

through barren boughs, once green and growing
(now perches for the frost flakes snowing),
across the sky, where white clouds playing
have aged, turned haggard, hoary, graying.

The freezing lent to winterís keeping
has woken, risen, biting, teaming--
those rivers where the rocks were weeping
are chilled and stilled in icy gleaming.

But every night my mind is sleeping,
My heart is lit in lovely dreaming.

Leif Terskun
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 04:33:37 AM »

My feeling is that the line is the natural unit of poetry just like the sentence is of prose. By capitalising each line you are recognising and emphasising the fact that where you choose to start a new line is important and can change the feel or even meaning of a poem. That's why, as well as the fact there are no sentence breaks in it, Tak's uncapitalised poem felt chaotic and unceasing - the line breaks are rendered far less important and we are hardly given pause. Likewise, in the example you posted, Rayne, the lines are far closer together aurally.

I'm all for well-controlled poetry, or crazy poetry if you feel like it, but I don't think that rejecting capitalisation is needed. It does not only contribute power, but also definition. If you want to reject that, well and good; if it's a stylistic decision, rather than laziness or what have you, then it's legitimate.

And just because:

A little scrap of
Sprang eternal from the
Fountain of
Youth and


Glorious, standing there
Alone there
Against the
And the rainbow and
The marble and
The sky and

In that
Moment I

Loved you.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 06:50:30 AM by Leif Terskun » Logged

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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 07:45:54 AM »

Yes, the line is a definite marker of poetry--like the stanza. However, when you take into consideration the visual aspects of the poem--including things like spelling, capitalization, and just the look of the poem on the page--the line itself is already a fairly strong statement, I think. Visually, the break of a line is already somewhat dramatic, and I think that the capital letter is usually superfluous in making this bolder.

I agree that Tak's poem has an element of chaos to it, but I think the lack of capital letters actually plays a very, very small part in the conveyance of that feeling as compared to the use of enjambment and the lack of any end-stops. Read it with the first line capitalized; is the feeling of chaos much diminished? (Forgive me, Tak, for altering your poem!)

Rain, rain go away come again some other
Night, when the moon is full, and bright and i
Canít see what is stepping on me when your
Mist drenches everything just because you
Can doesnít mean you should the women and children
Billy the worms all victims to your fun
Rain rain go away canít you see we donít
Want to play with you and your water full of tears,
Tears shed by every child and sick worm, your clear,
Wet shoes leaving me and billy red on the pavement
Slick with worm tears.

I   scream     as       my            worm-like         friends
     Run                                           through                   the
                    Rain.     they                                laugh
And    play                            and       scream
While     the         rain


Perhaps it's just me, but I feel as though it is still a chaotic poem. To me, the capitalization introduces the feeling that there is a strong character hidden somewhere in the chaos, but it is still unceasing chaos.

In my poem, I also use enjambment to hide my lines a little, though the rhyme still adds an element of musicality (in many of my poems, the aural dimension is an important one for me. I was taught that poems should be read aloud, and in my quest for beauty, the music of language naturally played a part). The poem's content is about moving, being stretched a bit by constantly being on the move, so the tetrameter lines are extended ('stretched') by one unaccented syllable--creating a feminine rhyme (it does feel a bit feminine, doesn't it?). The rhyme itself unites the couplets; the consistency of that 'ing' end unites the entire poem, convey the consistency found in an itinerant life in which the speaker feels somewhat passive and thoughtful (conveyed through the tone of the words as well as the lack of capitals).

I think your poem would come across a bit different if you chose differently which lines or elements to capitalize:

A little scrap of
sprang eternal from the
fountain of
youth and


glorious, standing there
alone there
against the
and the rainbow and
the marble and
the sky and

In that
moment i

loved you.

Only "Hope" and "You" are capitalized; suddenly those words become very important, and the poem focuses in on those to elements as the themes of this poem. Also notice what happens when you make "I" lower case; the strength vanishes from the speaker. Suddenly the speaker is defenseless, vulnerable, helpless in the face of their own love for the "you" in the poem. For me, with your capitalization, the speaker seems stronger, and I get the feeling that the "moment" is of more importance--as though to say "I loved you, but only in that moment. I'm strong, and I've gotten over you since that moment has passed." Perhaps that's a little stronger, but it's definitely a different feeling for me. Is it for you?

I feel as though I am under obligation to post a poem, this being the poet's corner and all.  buck

What if this is all we are?
--these shadows on the wall;
shaking, shuddering, shifting,
moving with the sunlight
streaming through a back window,
the echoes of a far off call
arising beyond the yellow mountains
of our ancient, broken culture,
the hollow whispers of a voice
once deep and rumbling.

I see the darkness when I close my eyes;
is this all we are?

As long as your shadow presses mine
against the wall of our reflection-life,
as long as you have a name for me
when my name is forgotten,
I am.

Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 10:35:45 AM »

This was part of a poem I wrote some time ago bemoaning the changes inflicted upon the Star Trek franchise by changing standards of society and more specifically political correctness. I guess I must have been an adolescent at the time or in my early 20's ... which puts it in the time frame of the very late 80's to the early - mid 90's.

The Good Old Days of James T Kirk
When Bones and Spock crossed blades
Of humans against alien empires
As Kirk bedded a bevy of babes *
The Enterprise was manned mainly by humans
The one alien was considered odd
And political correctness was not held correct
As jokes were made of Spock

* This line was originally "And intergalactic warfare was waged". In an earlier revision, I changed intergalactic to intragalactic as all the foes were part of the milky way galaxy. but that was unwieldy ... and the bit about Kirk's behaviour is more in keeping with the changes between TOS and the later Star Trek series.

At around the same time The Next Generation was ending, and Star Trek: Generations was being released ... I was bemoaning that fact as I wrote this next one ...

Space ... The Final Frontier, the words immortalised by Kirk,
Leading and directing the original enterprise crew,
Their time has passed, but the Federation still lasts,
And there are places where no one has goen still.

I can't recall the rest of it ... however I do think I had verses to each of the main characters of TNG in it.

Finally ... I used to play Warhammer Quest with some friends ... and we called ourselves the Gay Troupadours ... naturally, I wrote a poem about our exploits :)

We Are the Gay Troupadours, and we're going on a quest!
We'll hack and slash and slay monsters, cause that's what we do best!
Our reputation is growing, we're known right across the land!
We'll traverse many dungeons, with staff and sword, and axe and mace, and bow and spell, and spear and club and lantern close at hand!

That was the chorus for it ... then there was a verse on each of the characters ... primarily focusing on our dumb luck in cases, and/or our bad luck. Shame I can't find the rest of that poem :)

Edit: My English teachers from school taught us you always have to capitalise lines in poetry ... whether they were right or wrong ... it kind of stuck for me :)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:33:30 AM by Deklitch Hardin » Logged

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Ryvic Darkveil
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 01:01:49 PM »

Very nerdy, very nice. :P

To join the "capitalization debate", I think Leif's A little scrap poem was better with less capital letters. I disagree with not capitalizing 'I', though. I thought it was a typo when I read it.

Must I? Oh, very well.
Here's one of mine:

Since exactly "what" may fade over time,
and precisely "how" will dim in passing,
are we doomed to tradition with no purpose,
will we do as we did because "it is so"?

To kill the beast is to kill the man, and to make peace with the beast is to smother the man.
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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2012, 07:24:50 PM »

I disagree, like Ryvic, with decapitalising "I" as a general rule, even more than decapitalising lines. I think that line breaks are how I mark emphasis, as with "You", more than anything.

In my little scrap, the intended emphasis is in fact on the moment - that one brief moment of love. No message of "I'm strong" is intended, but it is nostalgic, reminiscent. I didn't love you before; perhaps I don't now; but I did then. I'm surprised you chose to capitalised "Hope" of all the lines, however. Perhaps you read the poem differently to how I read it/

I think you've actually put a fair bit more emphasis on Tak's first words with that, but of course it's an effect with many factors. However, try this (again, forgive me Tak for I have sinned, I have edited the script of another poet without obtaining his prior permission):
Rain, rain, go away; come again some other
Night, when the moon is full, and bright, and I
Can’t see what is stepping on me, when your
Mist drenches everything. Just because you
Can doesn’t mean you should - the women and children,
Billy, the worms, all victims to your fun.
Rain, rain, go away. Can’t you see we don’t
Want to play with you and your water full of tears,
Tears shed by every child and sick worm? Your clear,
Wet shoes leaving me and Billy red on the pavement,
Slick with worm tears.

I   scream     as       my            worm-like         friends
     Run                                           through                   the
                    Rain.     They                                laugh
And    play                            and       scream
While     the         rain

I'm aware that there are many other ways of capitalising and punctuating this poem, but this already is less nonsensical.

Can I just say that I'm hugely enjoying this discussion and that I'm glad this thread has seen such activity?

Now, this is already a long post, but Rayne, I loved both the poems you posted - this being the poets' corner, for a communal effort of poetry - although when you said feminine rhymes I was transported into a memory of one of my English teachers looking on with steely gaze as another discussed the feminine line endings of a certain poem. The couplets binding together quite different ideas and the change - and change back - of the rhyme at the end brought a wonderful musical quality to the first and the empty space at the end of the second poem allows that final thought to expand in the unexpected silence. Speaking of the music of poetry, I wrote an essay on it recently, for some competion. I looked at Shakespeare, Donne, Eliot and Wendy Cope.

Dek, I agree with Ryvic, very nice and nerdy poems. I'm afraid that I don't get many of the references, but I found them very amusing little pieces, and I liked the alliteration in the first one and the rhyme in the last particularly, and I'd be delighted to read any remaining verses that you happen to find anywhere - or indeed anything else you've written or will write.

Ryvic, you must not if you do not wish but we'd love you to - and a very appropriate poem too, it seems, to Rayne's earlier argument. I like the simple nature of the challenge to blind tradition, and the blunt honesty of its assessment - it seems to be making more of a point about contemporary clinging to tradition than that of the future, which is what it ostensibly deals with, and the observant "it is so" is powerful in its summary of hidebound tradition.

Keep posting poems and criticism, everyone!

The cold
Like hands, like a caress,
Like a gentle, insistent touch
Reaching through jackets
Down collars
Through the gaps between pockets and sleeves
Creeping under hats
And through the weave of gloves
For a paralysing hug
Shaken off each time
More weakly than before.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 07:25:39 PM by Leif Terskun » Logged

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