May 17, 2019 by phicks2012
My hobby is Historical Reenactment, and I’ve been participating in this with the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) for 30 years. Yikes!
Within the SCA I dwell in the Kingdom of Meridies, and in the Shire of Sol Haven. So, there was this poetry challenge at the Meridian Spring Coronation of Sebastianos and Morgan on April 6th, and one of my proteges thoughtfully brought it to my attention, suggesting that I ought to enter.
I had about a week to come up with something, assuming of course that I could muster up sufficient inspiration and still fulfill the requirements, and for several days I sort of drifted along trying to make up my mind whether or not to take the plunge.
This was what I had by way of information:
How the poems will be judged:
Creativity: How creative is your poem?
Do you follow the structure used by ancient Grecian poets?
Invoke a Muse, God, or Goddess (Religious origin unimportant)
Talk about a subject in a creative way using a unifying theme.
How does this subject either reflect or impact humanity or the human condition?
* As this will be performed for the populace please ensure any explicit content is subtle.
In ancient times, some poets would set their works to music. If you are musically inclined, extra points will be added if you either turn your poem into a song, or there are rules to turn your poem into what I believe you modern humans call a rap.
Finally, on Thursday the 4th I decided that I might as well give it a try, so I sat down and wrote the following verse:
Hear me Calliope! I call aloud
Thy name, divinely to inspire my craft.
From high Olympus, neath a beech embowed,
Reach down to make the weeping scholars laugh.
Inspire my words of gallantry and love.
Make heard my hymns of sadness and of hope,
And lend to me from where you waft above,
As I set pen to parchment, depth and scope.
I speak of friendship that melodious rings
Without the stridence of betrayal known;
On honor’s flute; upon euphonious wings
To where the notes of loyalty are blown;
With resonance and truth, and without pain
Or harsh cacophony to bruise the heart.
I speak of troth, and harmony maintained,
And not forsworn though fates be torn apart.
I speak of honest oaths, that sweetly sung
May mend the weeping heart by treason torn;
That by betrayal’s dissonance was wrung,
And without honor cannot be reborn.
I speak of fealty and friendship true,
With ringing words I pray may linger on,
If only they inspire a listener whose
Truth then shall echo like a carillon.
04 April A.S. LIII (2019)
I didn’t turn it immediately into a song, because I just didn’t figure I had the time. But then it occurred to me that nothing had been said about “good” music, so I dragged out my old (VERY old) Casio keyboard thinking to hammer out some sort of simple melody.
Funny thing about old keyboards. When you haven’t used them in a while you tend to forget that they might also have VERY OLD batteries still in them. Suffice it to say, that (of course) I had no AA Batteries handy, so away to the Dollar Store I went for batteries, only to discover upon my return that nothing was really going to resurrect that keyboard.
Okay, well I had another larger keyboard, and fortunately the batteries in that weren’t quite as old and corroded, and new batteries did the trick with THAT one. I composed a VERY simple tune guaranteed NOT to impress anyone at all, but figured I could always improve it if I needed to — and I did. Okay, well I improved it just a bit, but it wasn’t going to be earning me any Grammys for the instrumental score. I knew that, and figured I could live with it. Extra points, after all, are extra points, right?
How did I do? Well, when I got to the event the program book made no mention at all of the contest, and no one I asked had any idea of where to enter, and no announcement was ever made of this — nor ultimately of a winner. Oh well. At least I tried, and do have a poem to show for it and to publish in our Shire Newsletter (The Equinox), huh?