[Bards] No Sh*t stories

Donnchadh Beag mac Griogair donnchadh at cornelius.norman.ok.us
Sun Jan 6 23:02:08 PST 2008

I fear that I did not clearly convey my meaning in my original post.  
When I spoke of "There I was" stories, I was thinking of the relay of 
personal experiences seen and heard at SCA events.  Not that I 
necessarily prefer them in their most crude and unfinished form.  When I 
spoke of whether or not a "There I was" story was a lesser bardic form, 
I was comparing it to other areas, such as medieval history, or period 
love sonnets.  In that case, think that none of these is lesser or 
greater, only different.  Now are some of those stories presented with 
greater or lesser skill?  Absolutely!

There are many different ways to tell that same basic story.  Whether 
set to prose or poetry, or just as a grizzled old veteran sitting by the 
fire talking to a new recruit.  My purpose in using the Battle of 
Thermopile was to show how such a moving story could have gotten its 
start with such humble beginnings.  I was not in any way trying to 
suggest that my little opener would be the most enjoyable way to hear 
that particular story.

Master Robin gave us an example of two different ways to tell the same 
story, and I agree that the second would be much more enjoyable, in 
fact, I can't wait to hear it performed.  But regardless of that, I 
would still have welcomed the first example around my fire, because it 
relays a piece of Ansteorran history I've never heard before.  I also 
see nothing wrong with going up to a fellow bard and saying "Thank you 
for sharing that piece of history with us.  By the way, have you ever 
considered doing it in the <insert persona culture here> style?"

After re-reading my original post I see that I didn't emphasize enough 
on the importance of improving the delivery of those experiences, so I 
can see how I was easily misunderstood (my excuse is that I was rushing 
out the door to archery practice).  The point to my original post was 
not to suggest that we should sit enraptured to stories of fiberglass 
and duct tape, but that we should be encouraging people to relay those 
stories of personal experiences and keep our history alive.


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