[Bards] Writing Poetry (Long)

TheSpatlord at aol.com TheSpatlord at aol.com
Wed May 28 21:54:26 PDT 2003


  Interesting timing for this particular subject.
I have long been a storyteller, and I always strived for the seannachie
image, the historic irish historian and keeper of the tales. But to be filidh, the
poet-seer, the true bard of Ireland, the only one with a chance to become
ollamh filed, the master bard, was to breathe poetry. It's recorded in numerous
sources that these poets had to recite over 300 pieces before they could even
begin their careers, and show mastery of all the poetic forms. Me, I can do
   Granted, I don't have the twelve years of training nor the time to attend
the now non-existant bardic schools of early Ireland, but I am finally
tackling the forms.
Amergin's Invocation was my first target. The poem is the only one of it's
kind from that time and place, and at first is decievingly simple. A set number
of syllables per line (5 in the original) and the last word of each line
rhymes with the first word of the next line, or repeats it.
Simple, right?...::reaches for the whiskey::
More familiar to scholars of Irish poetics is dan direach, the strict verse
forms. No funnin' around here, no ornamentation that you might like, no, no.
  Try Casbairdne. This a quatrain of seven syllable lines. Lines 2 and 4
rhyme and lines 1 and 3 consonate. There are a minimum of two cross-rhymes in each
couplet, and the final syllable of line 4 alliterates with the preceeding
stressed word.
A 9 quatrain description of a king's retinue is written in this form.
Subject matter? I've got tons of ideas, all gleaned from my own villianous
imagination while reading the old tales. I can discover images that become whole
plotlines by reading a specific detail in a book of history.
 Yet, I have never been so intimidated as I am now. To try and communicate
the visuals and the emotions of a narrative in these near-disciplinarian
forms..::drinks again::...
Can anyone teach me how to eat fire or juggle? Puppetry, maybe?

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