TheDwarfyOne

Cosmere Poetry (and a bit of Tolkien, 'cause why not.)

39 posts in this topic

I have repurposed this thread. Prior to now, it was dedicated to a single poem I wrote in regards to Kaladin. Here is the original post:

Spoiler

 

I'll preface this by apologising if I'm posting in the wrong place. This is my first time on the forum. Anyway, here's a poem I wrote. It's about Kaladin Stormblessed, my tied favourite character in Stormlight Archives. Rivalled only by, you guessed it, Dalinar.

 

A heart that’s broken may not mend,

The mind that’s wearied can not heal.

A hand, once severed, may not grasp

Nor soul insensitive be made to feel.

 

The storm was raging, blue-black death,

The wind was keening hard

And all that wandered in the dark

Unwholesome was, and marred.

 

I wish the Chasm for my tomb, the stone

To wreath my bleeding head

Its herbs of life to be my rest

And serve me for a bed.

 

But then I stop, and see afar

A light, as were a star

That shone, so bright! and lit my face

On this, my darkest hour.

 

There is no shame in saying this.

I cried, and cried to feel

That golden light upon my brow,

My apathy to steal.

 

In chains of honour I was bound

With shackles golden caught,

But I cared not, for this, I found

Was what I’d always sought.

 

The spear is wind upon the field,

My hair is swept before

And where the gate was always barred

I find an open door.

 

My men with light can claim the sky

And at my side is her –

That beauty which my soul perceives

To be of all most fair.

 

Almighty grant me wisdom now!

The chains of Greatness burn,

And though I speak of justice, still,

Her love I did not earn.

 

For it is true, what all would say.

 

A heart that’s broken may not mend,

The mind that’s wearied can not heal.

A hand, once severed, may not grasp

Nor soul insensitive be made to feel.

 

And yet, within my tortured breast

Still rings forlornly honoured thought

To make me wonder, with this light

Can change… inside… be wrought?

 

However, I have since decided to make this a general Cosmere Poetry thread. I decided this when I realised that it would be silly to make multiple threads for individual poems: Instead, one place ought to do all.

Whilst this thread serves the purpose of letting me post any Cosmere poetry I may write in the future, I would also more than welcome reading poems based on the Cosmere written by other 17th Shard users; as I understand it, you are a creative bunch.

 

Happy writings!

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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That's a beautful poem, my favorite part is how the repeated stanza of:

On 1/1/2018 at 4:00 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

A heart that’s broken may not mend,

The mind that’s wearied can not heal.

A hand, once severed, may not grasp

Nor soul insensitive be made to feel.

takes on new meaning from the start to the end of the poem, emphasizing the falling away of despair, the journey through pain to find something better. Truly nice work.

 

I also really like this line that poetical sums up Kaladin's worthwhile struggle with the cost of responsibility:

On 1/1/2018 at 4:00 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

The chains of Greatness burn,

 

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Thank you! Personally, I find it much easier to write poems around epic characters such as found in Tolkien. No need to show those pesky insecurities.

But Kaladin's insecurities, alas, are what also make him such a compelling character.

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Wonderfully executed! Tell me, were you professionally trained in any way? Like a class of any sort? Cause that contains a lot of the fundamentals of poetry.

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Nope. About three years ago I read Lord of the Rings for the first time (blasphemously late, I know) and absolutely loved the poetry in it. Particularly the one on Beren and Luthien. So I thought to myself "hey, I'd like to give that a go." So I tried, and did badly, then read a lot of other poetry and slowly improved.

This is perhaps a tangent, but here's one I did inspired by Beren and Luthien:

 
Spoiler

The Nightingale sings out the glooming day,
Her feet the forests misty stay
And dance like autumn leaves and wind -
So goes in whom both love and faith are twinned!
By murky river rolling fouly
Through the rocky mountain valley
Sings the Nightingale her song
Of fences fixed and righted wrong.

Then from the bank of twisted holly
Comes the faithful Aravolly
In whose breast a heart doth beat
Desiring only for her feet
To ever tread that wholesome measure
Granting unto him undying pleasure.
He weeps to see the beauty bright
Where otherwise all would be blight,
And cries out loud "you flighty lady! Stay
A while your fleeting step! The day
Is near to close, and I would speak
To one as fair as feather-wing, as singing-creek."

The rivers sighed their misty tune
The trees were dark beneath the moon;
The Nightingale but smiled a smile
Yet on she danced, and sang the while:
"Oh man who seeks to shackle me
I have no thought for courtesy
And I have many ways to go
Through twisting ivy, heath and sloe.
The land benighted is, yet where I pass
Greater the mountains, greener the grass."

So Aravolly mused a while in thought
Then looked upon what she had wrought,
Then searched his heart, and with amaze
His inner eyes saw but her gaze,
Saw there her eyes of mellow brown
Of waters swirling dark, and softest down.
I have but met this fairy free, and yet already
Of all things, fairest she is to me!

And so he followed where she led
And fancied heard the sound of wings ahead
Where danced the Nightingale her path
Through seas of darkness, ruins of wrath.
Yet in her words he saw the truth;
Her path brought light and growth
Even unto the darkest land;
Heart aching, he observed green flowing from her hand
And like the gentle rains above, he wept
Knowing her touch from him was kept
Ere failed her flowing step so light,
'Fore darkness stole her piercing light.

Through fields of holly, under moon.
Over the mountain swept her tune
And in her spreading wake full grieved
The noble Aravolly weaved,
New-growth his bane and his desire
To view the Nightingale on fire
Her feet ablaze in darkest night
Her hair a wing to promise flight.
Ah, how he wept in silence still
To hear her haunting, mournful trill.

Yet found he foes among the way
Who sought for his fair maid to slay,
And drawing forth his gleaming sword
He struck them down with ne'er a word,
Their lusts revealed in crimson streams,
Hatred vented in useless screams.
No hand would he permit on her, not one.
Ay, though it pained him, nor his own.

They say they wander yet the world
Where evil's banner is unfurled
And she will sing a song of love
To bring once more the fox and dove,
And where there rest the darkest fears
They are swept clean as by his tears.
And if you seek for Aravolly,
Though in Wisdom or in Folly
Seeking, you may never hope to fail
If you first find the Nightingale

 

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Really nice work!

The Lay of Beren and Luthien Tunniveil is one of my favorite things ever written. I'm one of those odd ones that likes the Simarillion more than the Lord of the Rings though, so take that for what it's worth.

These are my 3 favorite parts:

15 minutes ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

Ah, how he wept in silence still
To hear her haunting, mournful trill.

And this:

16 minutes ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

Their lusts revealed in crimson streams,
Hatred vented in useless screams.

And the ending, again with the symmetry from the opening, is beautiful:

17 minutes ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

And where there rest the darkest fears
They are swept clean as by his tears.
And if you seek for Aravolly,
Though in Wisdom or in Folly
Seeking, you may never hope to fail
If you first find the Nightingale

Have you ever read Gerard Manly Hopkins, he's one of my favorite poets and your evocations of Nature remind me a lot of his poetry.

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He's one of my favourites too! I'm not religious myself, but his evocation of nature, mixed with a feeling of majesty/the divine is potent.

I could never match his linguistic brilliance, though. His poetry has a structure and style all its own.

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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This actually made me think more of the rising of Gil-Estel, and the Silmaril on Earendil’s brow. I did read Tolkien first though, so that’s probably why I associate it with that. (Basically, anything that refers to a light and a brow = Earendil, Silmaril and Vingilot.) 

I did love the poem though, even if it did take me to Beleriand instead of Roshar! And I liked the second too!

@hoiditthroughthegrapevine I’m another Silm fan! Though my favorite are the Lays of Beleriand. (I consider the Lays the ‘primary source’ and the Silmarillion a ‘secondary source.’ Pengolodh didn’t see half of what he wrote, if that!) I do need to read the prose Narn though... and I should probably finish the Silmarillion version too... (So I got distracted in the middle and read the poem instead. I much prefer the poem.)

My favorite thing about The Lay of Leithian? Luthien is Edith Tolkien. So when the lay says she was the most beautiful woman ever, the Professor is actually describing his wife...

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29 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

My favorite thing about The Lay of Leithian? Luthien is Edith Tolkien. So when the lay says she was the most beautiful woman ever, the Professor is actually describing his wife...

I know, it's so sweet, it's on their shared tombstone!

Tolkien's_grave,_Wolvercote_Cemetery.jpg

 

EDITED:

I've never read the Lays of Beleriand, I'll definitely be checking those out, thanks!

 

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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I've only read the version in the Silmarillion, didn't know there was a different version, but now that I do I'll definitely be checking it out. Thanks @Kingsdaughter613!

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On 15/01/2018 at 2:41 AM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

My favorite thing about The Lay of Leithian? Luthien is Edith Tolkien. So when the lay says she was the most beautiful woman ever, the Professor is actually describing his wife...

Indeed. He saw her dancing in the forests, and must have felt like Beren. It's part of why I love it, too; the true love written into every word. It is more than touching.

And I'll need to get into reading the Silmarillion some time. I do have it, it just hasn't really been opened. I am continually put off by everyone saying how hard it is to read, but I really should find out for myself.

 

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I like the Lays better than the prose versions, but that’s just me. ‘The Lays of Beleriand’ is my favorite book in the Legendarium. I also enjoy a lot of the essays in ‘Morgoth’s Ring.’

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Hmm, I have read some of his more academic writings as well. They're revealing - his 'the Monsters and the Critics' was particularly interesting.

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Not sure what 17th Shard policy on doubleposting is, but ah well.

So, I recently read Elantris (there are a few Sanderson books I haven't read as a kind of back-up in case I need to read something good, it was one of them.) Wrote this afterwards:

 

Spoiler

 

The city stood in ruin and slime
Which once had put its will to shine.
Hollow the castles, dead the men
Whose art was wrought beyond all ken.
There once the scribes had thought to write
Where walls themselves provided light,
And books were stored in mighty keep
Open to all who knowledge seek.
Their blades could cut a stone-made wall
And never, never, would they fall.
 
Until they did.
 
The light has left the lady's bower,
No more blooms the midnight flower,
Gates are barred which once stood wide
And none are left alive inside.
Elantris, city of a thousand loves
Elantris, shining as a feathered dove.
Oh, by the grace of Domi, fair Elantris
Where a man could touch the gods
And hear them laugh in silver tones.
Their greatness laced the very stones,
And wrought a smile on every face.
Most proud of men, the fairest race.
 
Though grime has long its splendour spoiled,
Though beauty now in filth has toiled,
Elantris must not here forget
Nobility and spirit yet.
Come, open wide the gate
Your yearning for divinity sate.
He comes, most loving of all men;
One bearing hope, by name of Raoden.

 

 

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@TheDwarfyOne, that is very beautiful, this is my favorite part:

3 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
Oh, by the grace of Domi, fair Elantris
Where a man could touch the gods
And hear them laugh in silver tones.
Their greatness laced the very stones,
And wrought a smile on every face.
Most proud of men, the fairest race.

I don't know if you are interested in constructive criticism, I truly love your work, but there were a couple of lines that broke the meter or where the metaphor fell a little flat, I have these spoilered below (look at them if you want, or ignore them if you want too):

Spoiler
3 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
The city stood in ruin and slime
Which once had put its will to shine.

The first line is perfect, the second line the meter is really good, but I can't help but feel that this could be a little stronger.
(maybe something along the lines of "When once it's golden walls did shine", the contrasting metaphor is confined to the physical presentation, the introduction of the will of the city was probably the thing that threw me off a little on this line)

3 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
Come, open wide the gate
Your yearning for divinity sate.
He comes, most loving of all men;
One bearing hope, by name of Raoden.

Again, the first line is perfect the second line falls a little flat, maybe something like
("In yearning turn thy face and wait–")

The 3rd line is perfect, but the last line of the poem breaks the meter.

I honestly think your poem is AMAZING, I wouldn't be critiquing it if I didn't feel it was really, really good, these are just the parts that broke the spell that the rest of your poem was creating, and take my observations for what they are, a good natured attempt to explain what I think could make your great poem even greater.

 

 

 

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I absolutely love constructive criticism. It's hard to get a lot of the time; for some reason, most people don't read poetry. Who knew? :)

 

I completely agree about the last bit. I had some issue with them, then finished them and had a moment where I could no longer tell if it was good or not. Hard to be impartial when you're the one that wrote it, I suppose. The second line, I didn't read as falling flat, but I do now. Hmmm. I'll change it a bit.

 

Spoiler

 

The city stood in ruin and slime,
A poem which had ceased to rhyme.
Hollow the castles, dead the men
Whose art was wrought beyond all ken.
There once the scribes had thought to write
Where walls themselves provided light,
And books were stored in mighty keep
Open to all who knowledge seek.
Their blades could cut a stone-made wall
And never, never, would they fall.
 
Until they did.
 
The light has left the lady's bower,
No more blooms the midnight flower,
Gates are barred which once stood wide
And none are left alive inside.
Elantris, city of a thousand loves
Elantris, shining as a feathered dove.
Oh, by the grace of Domi, fair Elantris
Where a man could touch the gods
And hear them laugh in silver tones.
Their greatness laced the very stones,
And wrought a smile on every face.
Most proud of men, the fairest race.
 
Though grime has long its splendour spoiled,
Though beauty now in filth has toiled,
Elantris must not here forget
Nobility and spirit yet.
Have faith, and know the walls
Once more will shine like waterfalls
When one of love has crossed the gate
And fair Elantris embraces fate.
 
Any better? Can't help but think the second line still needs help. Perhaps CPR?

 

 

 
Oh, as for the last line breaking meter, it's probably because I pronounce it 'Ray-ah-din.' No idea if that's the right pronunciation; I now think not.
Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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2 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

A poem which had ceased to rhyme.

I think the 2nd line was better in the original, on re-reading this a couple more times, the original line bothers me less and works quite well I think.

 

1 hour ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
Though grime has long its splendour spoiled,
Though beauty now in filth has toiled,
Elantris must not here forget
Nobility and spirit yet.
Have faith, and know the walls
Once more will shine like waterfalls
When one of love has crossed the gate
And fair Elantris embraces fate.

I think this is really pretty! The walls to waterfalls is really nice!

But I did like the original one, just not those two lines that I called out.
I thought it was exceedingly clever to have the lines
Elantris must not here forget
Nobility and spirit yet

Then have the emergence of Raoden (since his alias is Spirit when he's rekindling the Hope of the Hoed).

6 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
Elantris must not here forget
Nobility and spirit yet.
Come, open wide the gate
Your yearning for divinity sate.
He comes, most loving of all men;
One bearing hope, by name of Raoden.

I'm sorry if I am just confusing the issue here, but I think the first version of the ending stanza works better, it's a really good extended metaphor and it's very cleverly done, I think it just needs minor modifications, like Instead of:
Your yearning for divinity sate
Try:
Yearn, now for divinity await

Or something else, I think this is really the line that it hinges on, you fix this one and it will be exceptionally good!

And your totally right that if his name is pronounced Ray-ah-din your last line needs no modification and is in fact perfect. I listened to the audiobook, and the reader (who was pretty underwhelming) pronounced it Row-e-don, I have no idea what official pronunciation is, but I like the Ray-ah-din pronunciation much better.

 

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Ah, to quote Hopkins - "to mend her, we end her." ;)

Yea, I kinda liked the meaning behind the original ending too, but figured I was sacrificing it on the altar of poetic cohesion.

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24 minutes ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

Ah, to quote Hopkins - "to mend her, we end her." ;)

Yea, I kinda liked the meaning behind the original ending too, but figured I was sacrificing it on the altar of poetic cohesion.

I think it really comes down to one line, if it was changed (very slightly mind you) i think your poem would be perfect, again this a totally subjective opinion, but when reading the original the line that is jarring is:

On 1/22/2018 at 10:52 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

Your yearning for divinity sate.

I really like how dense the meaning is in this line, and I love the idea behind this line, but I just can't get behind using sate as an active verb in the imperative. It's usually a passive verb that happens conditionally upon something else happening.

Re-reading the whole thing, even with the line above, it's an amazingly pretty poem and I like it a lot! These are just my two cents, feel free to do with them as you will.

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Surely it is possible to "sate your yearning for divinity" rather than "[Something] sated your yearning for divinity"?

 

I do agree that that line seems clunky, but I don't see that it being in the active voice is the issue.

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This is probably just my own bias, but I think sate used as an imperative verb sounds like marketing language:

Quote

Relax with a coffee at Café Imperial, or sate that sweet tooth with desserts made using Viennese sweet wines at Restaurant Imperial.
— Condé Nast Traveler, "Hotel Imperial (Luxury Collection)," 20 Oct. 2017

That quote is from the Merriam Webster definition page of word sate.

But this is, like I said, a minor quibble. I think the reason it sticks out is that is seems like a word chosen for the sake of a rhyme, and the rest of your poem is blessedly free of this cardinal sin of rhyming poetry (which is my favorite type, but when poorly done, quickly becomes my least favorite).

I agree with you that it can be used to express what you are trying to express, but I guess it's just my opinion that it's still mildly jarring.

I can totally be done talking about this now, other than to say I think your poem is amazingly beautiful, the meter is great, the extended metaphors are really nicely developed and the final couplet (with the better pronunciation of Ray-ah-din) is superb.

 

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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Honour.
It carved the face
Of Dalinar.
A god in majesty admired
It from afar.
Lights bloomed where
Thunder boomed;
Stormfather knows
That it is doomed.

And in the darkness,
Tiny thing
Sylphrena curls
A silver wing
In void and emptiness
She dreams.
And her thoughts
Are on honour
In the hearts of man.
Her hopes laid down
Against all hope.
Surely man can
Once more uphold
The vows
Of old.

And Kaladin
Stormcursed
Feet before
The endless void
Looks down.
Chasmfiend's den,
A place of death...
And yet, deep down
A gleam.
Life spren.
A tear is on
His face
And choices
On his mind.
Honour, oh honour
Or a trip to where
All honour's blind.

His muscles twitch
Jaw hardens
Life revolves
Around his grave,
Earth's schism.
Where is he?
Honour chasm.
A breeze
Of silver
Passes.
His heart
Within him
Pounding.

He steps back
From the edge
And leans against
A ledge.
Exhausted!
Yet determined,
Mind drilling sinew,
And honour bringing
Purpose.

He greets the dew.

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A Tolkien-esque one based on the Hobbit:

If more of us spared thought for home
Instead of glist'ning gold
The world would be a better place
Once all the tales were told.
A tear would fall down craggy face
For comrades slain in war
And monuments of thanks and hope
Would crowd the cavern floor.
No more the shoulder coldly shown
And sneers beneath a crown,
No more would suffering and pain
Be met by callous frown.

I know my home by sight and smell,
The oak tree at the gate
And sounds of laughter echoing
Though it be morn or late.
The green fields roll in subtle lines
Down to a pearly lake
And all the land shines forth a glow
That gold could never fake.

This is my home, I cherish yet
Each touch which makes it mine
And mourn each step that leads me hence
Beyond its Welcome sign.
So not for gleaming falls of gold
Nor weapon laid in hoard
Would I your venture take to heart;
Nay, you would lose my sword
Were it not for your home you sought.

Though it be hewn of carven stone
And hold a mighty throne,
Though it may hold kin's buried bone
In tombs of crystal grown.
Aye, even though it echoes tones
Of piping's airy moans
Amongst the pillars' fluted stones
Shaped like the forest's boles -
I'll help your cause despite such charms
For it is dear to you
And all should have a home to speed
Their steps when day is through.

The world would be a better place
If gold had never shone
But I will help to bank the flames
Which faded with you gone
And watch the anvil, pounding proud!
To see the sparks ensue
For this is not what I'd call home
And yet... it is to you.

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I wrote some poetry for a school project. It isn't particularly good, but I figured I might as well post it here.

Spoiler

 

Unity

 

Drives are the things that move us

The things that push us

These are but a few

 

Devotion, to love

Without love, we can not appreciate others

For unity, we must have devotion

 

Odium, to hate

Without hate, we can not find the worst in ourselves and others

For unity, we must have odium

 

Dominion, to control

Without control, we can not have agreement

For unity, we must have dominion

 

Autonomy, to release

Without release, we will be held by our bonds forever

For unity, we must have autonomy

 

Preservation, to conserve

Without conservation, we can change and destroy until nothing is left

For unity, we must have preservation

 

Ruin, to destroy

Without destruction, we can not remove fault

For unity, we must have ruin

 

Honor, to fulfill

Without fulfillment, we can not trust others to keep their oaths

For unity, we must have honor

 

Endowment, to bestow

Without bestowal, we can not provide for those who need it

For unity, we must have endowment

 

Ambition, to desire

Without desire, we can not wish for betterment of ourselves

For unity, we must have ambition

 

Cultivation, to grow

Without growth, we can not strengthen ourselves

For unity, we must have cultivation

 

Survival, to endure

Without endurance, we can not impact our world

For unity, we must have survival

 

Unity, to join

Unity will love us

Unity will hate us

Unity will control us

Unity will release us

Unity will conserve us

Unity will destroy us

Unity will fulfill us

Unity will bestow us

Unity will desire us

Unity will grow us

Unity will endure us

Without unity, there is only death

 

Unity is like us

We want to join

We want to come together

 

Some may feel evil

But all provide something we need

Unity

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere

Spoiler'd for length. And when I say it isn't particularly good, I actually mean that I'll eat a shoe if it's anything higher than a 5/10 if rated.

Edited by Kidpen
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