Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I can't rhyme

So I've joined the WriYe blogging circle.

If you don't know what WriYe is, it's like year-long NaNo. But less crazy. Well, you get to pick how crazy. I picked not-very-crazy (500 words/day) and I've written ...

... well, let's just say, less than that.

Nor yesterday nor tomorrow nor ... I need to write more.
Since I joined the Mythic Scribes Champion of Cliche World challenge, this is even more of a problem. Mainly because I haven't written in AGES so nothing is coming out right, the deadline is June 7, and AH ALL MY IDEAS ARE CRAP. I've newly started Attempt #3, which has progressed past 500 words so there is hope. But MC has no personality and I'm in info-dump hell, additionally I have no plot.

A sudden bolt of inspiration would be very welcome right now.

And on that note ...

Did you see what I did there? Are you SURE? :D :D
Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end....
As an effective and mature way of dealing with the "Oh right I'm in WriYe, I should write--AGH I SHOULD DO HOMEWORK" dichotomy of being a college student who dares to have hobbies, I am going to talk about poetry to the Internet.
How do you feel about poetry? Do you write any? Do you see the significance of it or do you think it is a waste of time?
Bonus: What is your favorite poem? Tell us! (Written by you or another great writer!)
Glad you asked. I LOVE POETRY.

OLD poetry. BEAUTIFUL poetry. Oftentimes DEPRESSING poetry. And most definitely, poetry I didn't write.

Like it says right there in the title, my poetry-writing skills are ... lacking.

Does anyone remember that May is National Epic Poetry Month? Is anyone participating?

I tried, once. I wrote this epic "poem" (it was very post-modernist. As in, it was a a few paragraphs randomly broken up into separate lines because I can't hear meter, nor rhyme, nor describe beauty). Mainly about a princess whose quest was to stop her brother from doing exceedingly stupid things, like rescuing his fiancee from a dragon when he sucked at swordfighting. IT COULD HAVE BEEN EPIC. If someone else was writing it.

 When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Sadly, my total inability to hear meter, and my painfully literal brain means that most poetry tends to pass me by. If it's a beautiful and subtle metaphor for the Human Condition or plays tricks with word order to demonstrate the irony of existance ... I will not pick up on it. There's a reason I'm good at programming guys. LITERAL. BRAIN.

Could not resist. (xkcd)
EPIC poetry, however, is a whole other deal. Of course, there must be deep themes about Life, The Universe, and Everything. But the basic-level story, the legend-style wording, the way that sometimes it flows so well I CAN hear it being said aloud in my brain ... yes, I like Epic Poetry. Can't write it to save my life.

LOOK AT THAT SECOND ROW. Why does America never get the best covers?
My first fantasy books, the first series I was well and truly obsessed with, was Pellinor by Alison Croggon. I can't tell you how many times I reread The Naming. I memorized the poems. It was the reason I found SFFworld, started looking for people to talk about fantasy with me, started writing. I will not lie, my first SRS BZNS attempt at a book was an awful ripoff of Pellinor, with totallyNotMaerad, singing magic, and Airbending (HUSH IT WAS REALLY COOL OKAY).

If you're going to have a Prophecy for your Chosen One, this is the way to do it.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to win Third Runner Up on the Flash! Friday contest with a short little flash about the world ending in a particularly depressing way. Needless to say, I was quite surprised. As Mars put it:

> Mars: My favorite is the "it reads like poetry" line
> Mars: when you so vehemently deny being able to write poetry

Maybe I can only write poetic depressing things?

Well, I've always liked prose poetry. Though that sounds like an oxymoron.

For a book that is the DEFINITION of prose poetry, read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel.
"That which yields, is not always weak. Choose your victories wisely."
I need to cross-stitch about half that book. Beautiful.

I'll end this ramble with lines from my favorite poem ever: James Elroy Flecker's Gates of Damascus.

Postern of Fate, the Desert Gate, Disaster's Cavern, Fort of Fear,
The Portal of Baghdad am I, and Doorway of Diarbekir.

The Persian Dawn with new desires may net the flushing mountain spires:
But my gaunt buttress still rejects the suppliance of those mellow fires.

Pass not beneath, O Caravan, or pass not singing. Have you heard
That silence where the birds are dead yet something pipeth like a bird?

Pass not beneath! Men say there blows in stony deserts still a rose
But with no scarlet to her leaf-and from whose heart no perfume flows.

Wilt thou bloom red where she buds pale, thy sister rose? Wilt thou not fail
When noonday flashes like a flail? Leave nightingale the caravan!

Pass then, pass all! 'Baghdad!' ye cry, and down the billows of blue sky
Ye beat the bell that beats to hell, and who shall thrust you back? Not I.

The Sun who flashes through the head and paints the shadows green and red,
The Sun shall eat thy fleshless dead, O Caravan, O Caravan!

And one who licks his lips for thirst with fevered eyes shall face in fear
The palms that wave, the streams that burst, his last mirage, O Caravan!

And one-the bird-voiced Singing-man-shall fall behind thee, Caravan!
And God shall meet him in the night, and he shall sing as best he can.

And one the Bedouin shall slay, and one, sand-stricken on the way
Go dark and blind; and one shall say-'How lonely is the Caravan!'

Pass out beneath, O Caravan, Doom's Caravan, Death's Caravan!
I had not told ye, fools, so much, save that I heard your Singing-man.

I swear I'm not actually this depressing.


... not sure if that helped or hurt my case.

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