The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Roleplay => Out Of Character => Topic started by: Brother_Brimstone on June 03, 2010, 06:47:46 PM

Title: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 03, 2010, 06:47:46 PM
I decided to turn my questionable 'talents' upon you all, so tremble! My favourite method of writing has always been poetry, so i decided i might turn my hand to some 40K inspired poetry.

It's not very good, i know, I'm writing it mainly for laughs. If you want to know the prosody, it's iambic quadrameter (or is meant to be) with an A-B rhyme scheme.

Feel free to tell me what you think - i'm considering this good 'practice' for my regular, more serious poetry writing, so any comments, constructive criticism and/or opinions would be appreciated and welcomed. Don't be worried about telling me if you don't like it - I shan't mind.

If you like it, I might try writing some more and then post that in - i'll see how this rather short piece goes down. I imagined it to be Imperial sponsored war poetry, a bit like how certain poets and artists signed up to support their country with their works during the World Wars. Thus i know bits of it are outright lies ('Our rulers help to serve our need' - as if!), but it's meant to feel like propaganda.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Herald on June 03, 2010, 07:03:49 PM
It's interesting to see poetry on here it doesn't happen very often. Like you it's my favourite way of writing and also my favourite to read.

Also interesting that you went for Imperial stuff first as normally i've seen it used in relation to daemons and the like as prophecy.

Obviously propoganda-esque but that seems fitting for the Imperium and just the kind of thing they might well use.

So basically what i'm saying is I enjoyed reading it and would love to see more so keep it up.
EDIT:
Having read it again there's one line that doesn't quite seem to work. Bear in mind I am no expert on all the nuances of prosody the line "The alien we always purge," seems like it would fit better with an extra syllable perhaps a "will" between "we" and "always". That is however just my very very humble and amateur opinion.

Also it's inspired me to try my hand at some similar 40k poetry.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 03, 2010, 07:33:50 PM
I would just like to echo the sentiments, of poetry being my preferred method of communicating thought to paper.

I like what you've written, I think it has a well balanced level of passion without being over zealous :)

I always struggle to write in a style adherent to a rhythm and as such it always becomes a little abstract and sharp (much like nietzsches poems if you happen to have read any).

I look forward to seeing more of your work.

EDIT: Having read through a few more times and reading out loud so I definitely keep to the rhythm its written in, it really is rather good!! Ever considered working for labour? They could do with a new spin doctor :P
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 03, 2010, 07:44:45 PM
Thanks very much for the input, iambic quadrameter dictates there should be 8 syllables per line, in pairs, with stress on the second so;

The-A-li-en-we-al-ways-purge
1      2 3  4   5    6     7        8

That was my reasoning, maybe it's just what i call an 'awkward rhyme' - technically fits the prosody and rhyme scheme of a poem but just doesn't 'sound right'.

Anyway thanks for the kind words, i was revising today and idly making rhymes alongside my notes and then it just struck me; 'why not try some Imperial war poetry?'. I'd never seen any before so i thought it might be a good experiment.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing your poetry, be it Nietzsche-esche (not read too much of his poetry, but i've read 'Beyond Good And Evil) or otherwise. It seems we have more 'closet poets' than i'd expected!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 03, 2010, 08:11:24 PM
Excellent, very enjoyable to read and fits the Imperium mindset very well, very patriotic; now you just need to do a few dozen more  ;D
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 03, 2010, 08:26:45 PM
Just so I'm sure and don't accidentally offend; if I write a poem can I post it in the same thread as your poem Brother_Brimstone?
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 03, 2010, 08:31:46 PM
Yes, that's absolutely no problem; it's rather how i'd intended it to be - a thread where anyone who has some 40k inspired poetry can post it and then discuss what they'd writtien in this thread, if they wish. So, if anyone has any grimdark poetry they want to contribute - go for it! It combines two of my favourite past times, poetry and Inquisitor!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: greenstuff_gav on June 03, 2010, 09:04:40 PM
iambic quadrameter

curse those Iambians!  ;D

can't really comment on the poetry but those two words amused me for some strange reason  ;D
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Herald on June 03, 2010, 09:10:31 PM
You're right and now I read it again it sounds fine. I think the problem before was just my lazy pronunciation of alien as a two syllable word not a three syllable word so a-lien as opposed to a-li-en if that makes sense?
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 03, 2010, 09:28:55 PM
can't really comment on the poetry but those two words amused me for some strange reason  ;D

Whatever floats your boat  ;) (sorry, couldn't resist).

As for syllabic pronunciation it makes perfect sense. There were various words that I was going to use in that poem that I omitted because i was unsure of syllables in them. Some words are very difficult to count the syllables of. One that always gets me, for instance, is oil. You can say it oil (1 syllable) or (and i write this phonetically) oy-il.

Anyway, thanks for the posts, look forward to seeing others' poems.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 04, 2010, 12:26:29 AM
Well having finished my exams earlier today and really enjoyed Brother_Brimstones poem I had a go myself.

Void Dreams is just the thoughts of a void born. I thought it would be odd if they were to consider life on planets to be always pleasant and nice, compared to the reality of underhive scull-duggery.

Comments and critics always nice.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 04, 2010, 01:17:16 AM
Very nice; beautiful imagery (i especially like the imagery of 'metallic womb') and yet i get the sense of a somewhat distant, cold melancholy - it feels almost detatched, yet still emotionally charged. Interesting subject matter as well, not something i'd considered, so it also ticks the box of 'makes me think of something in a different light' (which is something poetry seems to do for me much more than any other medium).

Definitely a good poem, with a great structure, it was a great read, thanks for contributing!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 04, 2010, 11:00:03 AM
Another quick one - this time about travelling through the warp. I wanted to highlight the faith that the crew of the vessel must have to put in the Emperor to travel in the warp - they trust their very souls to him while demons tear at the hull; pretty scary stuff.

Anyway, this will probably be my last for a few weeks, as i should really probably focus more on my revision...,
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 04, 2010, 01:46:05 PM
I have to say reading your latest one, it made me feel quite sombre as it felt like a very slow and powerful analogy of life as well as giving me this image in my head of a warp crew fighting through the ship shaking and feeling like it breaking apart, with a kind of serene calm that comes with absolute faith.

Very good poem, I like the fact that (to me at least) it sort of builds to a crescendo at the makeshift ship line then comes back down again in sort of 'but it doesn't matter we are safe under him' sort of way.

On another note I sympathise with your revision, luckily I finished my 2nd year exams yesterday. Good luck with revision and exams and look forward to more poems when your done :)
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 04, 2010, 03:13:41 PM
@ Shannow: I liked Void Dreams, it gives me two impressions of someone void-born, reflecting on ship life and their duties to the Emperor and yet it could also be a hiver, watching ships and imagining escape from a terrible life. Good stuff.

@ Brother Brimstone: I found the last two stanza in Light in the Darkness particularlly powerful imagery. With daemons and the warp being made of emotions to have the crew feel those emotions washing through the ship is very evocotive. I also found the the calm faith in the Emperor, as a benevolent father rather than a brooding, crushing presence refreshing.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 05, 2010, 05:34:46 PM
Emperors's Pearl: A speech come poem, as I wrote it I had in mind that it was the internal monologue of someone like an Inquisitor, Commissar, General etc that sort of thing.

Comments always nice

EDIT: Also thank you for the compliment Kallidor :)
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 05, 2010, 06:57:20 PM
Nice; it's metre isn't as strong as your last, so it felt less rhythmic, but seeing as you have said 'speech-come-poem', i presume the deviation from poetic form was intentional.

I like the 'muscle' imagery, and feel a strong sense of determination running through the poem, so i think that was conveyed well.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 05, 2010, 07:06:08 PM
Thank you Brother_Brimstone; the lack of a particular rhythm was deliberate, as I have its delivery in his head to be somewhat stop start with pauses between the verses that are supposed to be almost his doubt in his own belief.

I sometimes find it hard to convey how I would like something read, a quality I admire in your poems! I will probably fiddle with this one and try and make it feel more fluid then see what you think of it.

Thanks again and hope revision isn't getting the better of you!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 05, 2010, 11:40:07 PM
It puts me in mind of the scene in 13th Warrior, where the village comes under attack. In your poem though I see this as one of the defenders on the walls of the Imperial Palace during the Heresy, I thnk it conveys a certain kind of mental and literal pressure as the Traitor hordes come on, you can feel the speaker bracing himself for the impact.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 05, 2010, 11:43:43 PM
I really really like that specific imagery you've applied to it Kallidor I only wrote it with a general idea but that is just perfect. Also 13th warrior......awesome film! :P
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 12:10:36 AM
I think the tempo suggests to me a literal physical pressure, like a strong wind, pressing down on the speaker caused by the traitor horde closing the gap and so his poem or prayer or internal peptalk is increasingly forced as he has to hold back this pressure and feels the weight of it upon him and then by the time you reach the end he is shouting 'forever we shall hold', cut scene, fade to black. Quite enjoyable  ;D
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 12:25:15 AM
I'm really enjoying the relatively forced constraints of writing 40k poetry and hearing people apply imagery from this world on to what I write. Admittedly there is only really three of us but still :P!

Its also nice to see me and Brother_Brimstone write in different styles. Do you have any thoughts brewing Kallidor?
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 01:13:01 AM
For something to write? No  :-[

Having read your poems so far I feel compelled to do one, they have a quite punch for providing detail and insight into the Dark Millennium but I know almost nothing about how to write poems so I'm going to have to go away and re-educate myself and then come up with something.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 01:29:25 AM
Don't be put off by 'not knowing anything', I don't really know anything either, I just write down the imagery in my head at a pace and organisation that I would say it at, and pleases me.

Though you can order them around rhythms obviously but I have tried and failed at that, but by the sounds of it I think Brother_Brimstone has more than a passing knowledge and his poems are excellent too!!

As long as you have imagination your sorted mate :D
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 01:33:13 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. I often have little flashes of ideas, what I think of as scenes and up until now I've always thought I should put them into a short story of some kind but it's never occured to me to put it into a poem which makes so much more sense.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 06, 2010, 02:24:50 AM
Sorry for my relatively late input here - I went straight from the end of my revision into a little project i've been working on (which will eventually be seen either in DM or on here), so i've not seen the clave for the duration of the conversation.

Even if there are only three of us, i wouldn't say it matters; we're on a rather niche forum as it is, we're just one particular niche within the niche.

To Kallidor I would say that an in-depth knowledge of 40k or poetic structure isn't required. While I myself am not Christian, I'm from a Catholic family, and a lot of my ideas of the Imperial faith come from my rather in-depth knowledge of the Catholic Church. That's why often, my presentation of Imperial Faith is different to how it is normally seen, i'm bringing personal experience in. I would recommend that approach; find a concept or feeling important to you or that you find interesting and then just try 'applying it' to the 40k universe. Then it's just an issue of incorporating 40k themes into the imagery you use. A working knowledge of prosody and poetic form isn't necessary at all (although as with all poetry, it helps), you just need a basic sense of rhythm. I myself have never formally studied prosody or poems (i gave English up at GCSE), so i'm no more qualified with regards to poetry than anyone else, I don't think it's necessary, you just need a concept, a rhythm and some imagery.

I know it sounds easier said than done, but i suppose to paraphrase my rather long and pointless ramble I would encourage you to take the plunge!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 03:17:13 AM
Will do and thanks  ;D

Fortunately for me, my mind is much brighter than I am so if I leave it alone for a while I'm sure it will come up with something for me to type.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 03:25:54 AM
Haha an excellent plan with which I wholeheartedly agree :D! Now if only the university let me use that excuse in exams....
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 03:58:46 AM
The best exam I had was when one lecturer decided that we could answer questions in our exams which we had also covered in our essays so I read my essay on the Inquisition and Heresy on the way to the exam hall and then re-wrote when I got inside; a useful tactic for someone who never revised altough to maintain the universal balance all my other exam results were decidedly mediocre  8)
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Herald on June 06, 2010, 11:06:12 AM
Thought I'd bite the bullet and have a go obviously inspired by the typical 40k quote. Not sure it's up to the standard of the other pieces and i have no idea what meter its in its just what sounded right at the time. I might have a go at some more it's quite an interesting challenge.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 06, 2010, 11:34:26 AM
I like it. The repitition makes it sound like a chant, which is good. One thing i would say is that because it's arranged into pairs (i.e. new line and then repeating line), it would look and sound better if you added a 'The big guns never tire' to the end of the first stanza and a 'The forge worlds never tire' to the end of the second. As it is, there's an uneven number of lines which seems odd in a work using repetition. Also, another piece of advice; if you want two lines to rhyme, it's best to have the same syllable length in both of them. Not necessarily the case, and many great poems don't do this, but often mismatched syllables makes for odd rhythm even though the end words rhyme. For example

Oil the gears of the great machine
1    2       3     4   5    6        7    8

We labour on, unseen,
1     2    3    4   5      6

The top has a full 2 syllables more than the bottom leaving the lines sounding mismatched. Although the lines 'rhyme' in last word, it makes it difficult to read them rhyming because they run at different paces. I might suggest

'Oil the gears of the great machine
The forge worlds never tire
We labour on ever unseen,
The forge worlds never tire'

And by asdding that two syllable word you do wonders to improve the rhythm. Remeber, it's not just rhyming words, like music (and i say this also as a (somewhat underpracticed) bassist) poetry has to have a rhythm; so many beats per bar etc... You can vary the tempo and time signature of the music but not 'per bar' because otherwise it sounds mismatched. The same goes for poetry. If you look at Keats, or Vaughn (my personal favourite), they don't give every line of their work the same amount of syllables, but they balance the rhythm of each stanza brilliantly (which is what makes them such geniuses).

Anyway, as i say, it's not a 'hard and fast' rule and you don't have to follow it, but if you're struggling to get a decent rhythm, the easiest way is to just use the same number of syllables on the lines you want to make form a rhythm, and then you needn't worry about more complex structure.

Anyway, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I don't wish to discourage you at all, and I like the basic premise of the poem; I just thought i'd give a couple of pointers as to how you can 'polish it up' a bit.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Herald on June 06, 2010, 11:45:56 AM
Thanks very much for the advice. I see what you mean about adding it at the end of each stanza. It's nice to have the criticism to help improve it because you won't get any better otherwise. The chant effect was what i was going for and also for that to mirror the constant firing of the big guns or constant working of the forgeworlds.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 06, 2010, 12:43:51 PM
Much better, the rhythm feels much stronger now, it really does convey the rhythm of a chant, or a 'Boom! click,click,Boom!'. Those extra syllables make the second stanza scan much more smoothly now too.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 04:39:26 PM
I can only echo the sentiments of Brother_Brimstone really, I especially like it when thinking of it in terms of an unceasing forge world. And of course we'd love to see more, MOAR! :D
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 05:07:10 PM
Sorry for the double post chaps! I will spend many hours repenting I assure you.... Day in the Life of... is as you have guessed about imperial guardsman and a regular day on the battlefield.

I know theres a distinct lack of punctuation, but that because I want the four line stanzas from the guardsman point of view to be read fast and quickly as though he's running/out of breath etc. And the Commissars is a constant drone of slow words intermittently heard.

I keep feeling its not quite right so anything you guys see would be a big help :)
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 06, 2010, 05:20:33 PM
It's a nice break from all the serious and sombre poetry we've had so far. I get the sense it was intended to be humourous and light hearted, so it was a good change of pace. Perhaps it is just taste, but i preferred your more serious work; on a personal level, i've never been a fan of humourous poems.

Mine was inspired by 'The Soldier' and is just right to re-depress all of those who thought they might get an upbeat day of poetry :P. My exams aren't over but if i didnt't take a break from all this Bible Studies, my head was going to explode...

Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 06, 2010, 05:25:10 PM
Haha it was intended to be a bit more upbeat yes, I see you have addressed that turn of events very well. I am working on more serious ones, but that was just a quick one that came to mind after reading somebody signature about taking their arm with them...can't remember who's though...

The Soldier was exactly what came to mind when I read yours actually. Really liked it, it has a fantastic sombre tone of an old soldier to me. It holds a lot of depth and emotion in very few lines. Lovely and dark.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 08, 2010, 12:09:18 AM
@ Herald: I thought it was good, really gives a sense of the repitition of giant drop hammers beating out armour plates and the chants of tech-priests.

@Shannow: Blood splatter/Mud Crater/Joe's arm/Save for later! - Epic, really funny poem.

And no some end/To fear. - I think you've spelt know wrong.

@ Brother Brimstone: I thought it was quite a heavy piece which fits the weight of the message the Guardsman is conveying; his fate is a burden to him and one that he is passing on, to those who come after to fight as he has fought and also to remember him and all the other brave souls. It also has a calm dignity which seems like the sort of thing a soldier would write if he believed he was living his final moments; it's realistic about his personal chances of survival but he isn't going to give up on life.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 08, 2010, 12:53:47 AM
Haha thanks mate, have rectified that slight slip :P also, glad you liked the funny one!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 08, 2010, 01:32:21 AM
I think you nailed the pace, it gives a good impression of someone jogging along pffing and panting but it is most ammusing. I think it's the tiredness of the soldier, unable to stop because he's too busy trying not to die and being so businesslike as a result about something as horendous as his friend's arm being blown off.

I don't know if you've seen a film called Regeneration, its about when Siegried Sassoon went to an asylum, but one of the other officers there can't speak due to trauma and his recollection of what caused it was a mortar blowing them all half to hell and when he opens his hand there's an eyeball in it and he says, 'what about this gobstopper?' and laughs uncontrollably.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 08, 2010, 01:49:34 AM
I haven't heard of that but it sounds interesting, I will look out for it definitely. The puffing panting pace was what I was aiming for and as you say he just doesn't have time to properly deal with arms being blown off friends.

But yeah, that "Regeneration" sounds very interesting and equally disturbing...thanks for the recommendation
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 08, 2010, 02:44:15 AM
It's a tough film to find but well worth the watch if you can find a copy.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on June 27, 2010, 09:31:24 PM
Haven't posted on here for a long time, years even. But I browse occasionally and this really caught my eye...

Being an English student, I have a certain unconscious, built-in snobbery in regards to mixing a hobby like ours with 'literature'. Poetry, unlike prose, doesn't ever really dip into the realm of popular writing, so this is a slightly unnerving experience, and not one I would have expected to impress - one imagines the usual wargamer writing naive rubbish. But these, particularly with the ideas of propaganda and the ignorance of footsoldiers, and the referencing of real life war-poetry and its various familiar meters and lexes, is really quite brilliant. At some point, I'll post some of my specific comments, but safe to say I found this a pretty intriguing read all round.

So I'm inspired enough to have a crack, if that's ok. Sassoon's caustic, ironic fury is ringing in my ears even now!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 27, 2010, 09:39:57 PM
I'm glad you've turned up Mohauk, I've been wanting to ask you a question. Were you the one who came up with the idea of the daemonically possessed planet, it became an RP we did on the old Conclave? I never saved it for some reason and now the old boards are gone and it was pretty damn good.

EDIT: I don't know if that's much good, but it just came to me now so I thought why not.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on June 27, 2010, 10:30:35 PM
Yeah I think that was one of mine. Didn't get very far, if I remember rightly, but we did some good work. Unfortunately I don't have it either - I did save a load of stuff I liked, but about a year ago our old family computer burned and died and I lost it all.

Nice little poem, btw. It's a ridiculously rich seam, once you start to think about it. Not only are there chants and propaganda-rhymes and votive prayers and war-ballads and ironic verse of the footsoldier type, but there could be Mechanicus rites and chants, and Space Marine epics recalling chapter history and tradition... and the list goes on and on.

I probably won't be able to sustain any kind of posting on here, but it's nice to do it again anyway.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 27, 2010, 10:37:49 PM
about a year ago our old family computer burned and died and I lost it all.

Noooo.... Well you weren't very helpful!  :D


Suitably grim stuff there Mohauk, I can see the poor old sod covered in mud and blood, scribbling away with a tiny pencil, sharpened badly with a knife just a little note before the end. Cruel in a way to think of someone going out like that. Good Stuff.

Even if you don't post often I hope you'll still be a regular on the boards, this place is a bit, wierd, since the old 'Clave got shut. Doesn't feel the same anymore.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 28, 2010, 05:15:31 AM
I echo Kallidor's comments Mohauk, a very grim and to my mind at least, very well crafted piece. I look forward to reading whatever you have spare time to post :)

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on June 28, 2010, 03:13:50 PM
Thanks Shannow  :)

Another little offering. This time a Mechanicus ritual chant. I imagine lower-order adepts chanting it as they do final checks on everything from cogitators to lasguns to tanks going out of their forgeworlds.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Inquisitor Sargoth on June 28, 2010, 08:34:46 PM
I probably won't be able to sustain any kind of posting on here, but it's nice to do it again anyway.

A shame, but one I can quite easily understand...
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on June 28, 2010, 11:52:15 PM
Excellent piece there Mohauk it could quite easily appear in a Codex. I see a lot of people complain that the Imperium cannot be as superstitious as it is described because characters in Black Library novels don't contantly use these sorts of prayers. To me that argument seems like bunkum. At the heart of your General Prayer for Preparation before Ignition are the basic checks that anyone should and could perform and I imagine that the mahoirty of humans within the Imperium will silently mouth these holy prayers as they perform maintenance afterall the Imperium's stance on technology isn't about what they do or don't do its about the reasons why they do or don't do those things. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on June 29, 2010, 09:40:47 AM
Quote
t the heart of your General Prayer for Preparation before Ignition are the basic checks that anyone should and could perform

That's exactly what I was going for. I loved the idea of such a perfectly mundane and sensible task (we're essentially talking checking the screws and wiping the windshields!) being performed as a sacred act.

And of course the mechanicus would outwardly express anger if they were to be directly challenged by someone saying this was unnecessary. But it is likely that each machine actually only receives this process in full once - when leaving a forgeworld. After all, even, say, a Magos in the field is not seriously going to want to read this prayer aloud every time he needs to use his gun. So, like you said, there'd be differing levels of adherence.

But yes, I like the idea of soldiers whispering this for luck as they prepare to go out on a dangerous patrol of whatever, given that this is, remember, the prevailing scientific approach of the times. Lots of people irritatingly forget this in their writing, with normal citizens saying things like 'don't go in for any of that mechanicus mumbo-jumbo'. But that would be like us saying 'don't go in for any of that electricity nonsense.'

Anyway, wandering tangent over... glad you like it.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on June 29, 2010, 06:04:25 PM
Seriously.....where have you been hiding? I feel that should adequately express my pleasure at reading your latest work :P
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on July 03, 2010, 10:31:35 AM
Thanks  :) Personally, I want to see more of your stuff, and Brimstone's.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 03, 2010, 10:43:21 AM
THank you also, certainly means a lot :) sadly though I have been spending a lot of time in the labs recently and I'm moving house this coming week, but hopefully after that I will have respite to model, read and ponder.

Are there any poets in particular that are your favourites, or that you draw inspiration from?

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on July 03, 2010, 01:44:18 PM
Hah, the question never to ask an English student!

I don't really write poetry, so inspiration might be the wrong word. But I love the work of a number, spanning a pretty eclectic range of movements and periods. T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens are both fantastic (the latter shockingly underappreciated). John Donne. Many of the Elizabethan dramatists (Shakespeare's verse is beautiful but Jonson's is very good too). Wilde was good for coining lasting lines. And though studying them as you do at school kills the war poets, Sassoon really is brilliant.

To give this a gloss of relevance, Sassoon's best quality (his caustic fury) is what makes him both best and worst as an inspiration for 40k themed poetry. It's perfect to capture the futility and disgust in the way the Imperium's soldiers are used, but totally inappropriate as an IC voice, as that kind of attitude doesn't exist in the Imperium - there is only either authority or ignorant acceptance.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 03, 2010, 01:59:55 PM
Haha as a scientist, I feel greatly overwhelmed by your expertise! I shall have a dig around for some Wallace Stevens and Sassoon to get a better grasp of your comments, thank you for bringing them to light :)

With regards Sassoon though I don't think it is entirely non-applicable, in the sense that a figure of authority may have acceptance and power within the imperial creed but also express disgust at certain general's use of soldiers if they are just throwing soldiers in to a meat grinder.

The disgust is therefore not that soldiers lives are expended but that they are expended in a manner that is uneconomic and prevents the soldiers use in others fights for the imperium.

Obviously not having read any of his work (at least not knowingly) I cannot fully comment on its application, but from what you have said that sounds like a possible, if somewhat sideways and synical approach, that can be taken as an intermediate between authority and ignorance.

Thanks again for those suggestions :)

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: DapperAnarchist on July 03, 2010, 03:21:12 PM
It would be possible to find World War I style war poetry in the Imperium, just with some twists of emphasis. Take Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen - a Heretical, anti-Imperial poem if there ever was one. However, parts of it could be salvaged by the Imperium, like "vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues" - what the taint of Chaos does to soldiers. You could even change the last bit - to "That old lie, Dulce et decorum est pro libertas mori" (no, my conjugation is probably not good, but just call it High Gothic and I'm fine  ;D)
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Mohauk on July 03, 2010, 10:54:34 PM
Quote
With regards Sassoon though I don't think it is entirely non-applicable, in the sense that a figure of authority may have acceptance and power within the imperial creed but also express disgust at certain general's use of soldiers if they are just throwing soldiers in to a meat grinder.
Quote
what the taint of Chaos does to soldiers. You could even change the last bit - to "That old lie, Dulce et decorum est pro libertas mori"

I see both points, but I'm not sure I agree. Yes, the words can be slightly changed but the meanings are then very different. The basic leaning of Sassoon and the later Owen stuff is simple pure anger (sassoon) or regret (owen) at the meaningless waste of life in WW1. And this is a sentiment which is highly unlikely to show itself at least on a conscious level in an Imperial soldier because it is the accepted status quo, the accepted (even divinely approved) means of warfare.

And the whole point of the Dulce final line is that through the horror of the preceding scene the line that was originally (in Horace's poetry) a genuine patriotic exhortation (and set the tone for the pro-War poet Jessie Pope, to whom Owen's poem is a riposte) is transformed into an ironic deconstruction of the sentiment, mocking it and proving it a lie. So to turn the words into an opposite, authoritarian Imperial mantra against chaos (for which the WW2 equivalent for Pope would have been the Germans) discards their original sense of mocking the institution's 'official line'.

However, what you can use from it IMO is the irony, which I imagine would be the one surviving vessel for criticism of the loss of life on the front lines in the Imperium. Basically, when a whole galaxy-wide civilisation has been employing attritional warfare for millennia, there simply isn't the capacity for open disapproval in the racial psyche. But perhaps, when the Primer's Imperialist phrases and mantras are read by guardsmen, it would be with the same grim 'if you know what I mean' irony of 'dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' in Owen's poem.

Anyway, babble over. Anyone got any more ideas for some 40k poetry?
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 11, 2010, 09:34:49 PM
I start off by apologising for my late response - i've been in France the past two weeks and had no internet access where I was staying, so this is the first time i've seen the Clave in two weeks... I've made reparation by adding a new poem. It's perhaps not as good as my others, definitely not as technical, i was going for more of an emotional gutpunch - also, it was just an off-the-cuff thing, so perhaps lacking technical planning...

It's about a guardsman who has had a son who is also destined to be a guardsman (i imagined because that was standard practice on his home-world). He is an old and tired man and goes through stages of grief with the poem. The first is obviously regret, then guilt - I'm using the old 'religious guilt card' - he's a good man, but thinks he and his son are being punished for his sins (a bit like the christian notion of 'Original Sin'), then he moves onto begging and bitterness - he's angry at the emperor for taking all he has away and finally a stoic acceptance and a 'be it on your head' message. As i say, not great, but i wasn't too displeased seeing as it was basically made up as i went along...

Some great poetry added since i've last been in here, really pleased to see a new poet joining the ranks and very much liked your stuff. I especially like the St Thor's Morn poem, reminded me very much of the sort of celtic folk poetry you hear - like a limerick, but not (obviously it doesnt follow the structure of a limerick - i realise they have a very rigid set structure; we did a little bit about limericks when I was doing aesthetics in philosophy, strangely enough...).

Anyway, i'll try and get some more ideas down on paper as and when the inspiration strikes - i have a good three months of free time now....
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 11, 2010, 10:10:41 PM
Glad to have you back mate :) and returning with a good poem too!! Very much like it and it has great sentiment and depth of feeling. My only criticism is of the 3 verse:

I mourn not for the loss of all,
My life and hope and dreams.
It is too late, and gladly I would give them,
Just for he.

It just doesn't quite gel when I read it, ending just a little to abruptly, but the rest of it is absolutely sterling.

Rob

Ps. also look forward to developments in your WIP thread!
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 11, 2010, 11:28:43 PM
Good to be back; I'm rather ashamed at how much i missed the clave and inquisitor in general while i was on holiday - i think i'm now fully addicted...

Thanks for the comment; while writing, that verse was my least favourite - i'll have a think about it and see if i can fix the rhythm. I think the problem is line 3 is too long and 4 is too short, so i'll try to balance them.

Now exams are passed, expect to see a fair amount progress on my WIPs too! I also made use of my 2 week absence from technology to write a giant background on The Organisation and read the core Dark Heresy rulebook (amongst a huge stack of other books - i read a lot normally, but when i dont have dvds and miniatures to divide my time, i consume books!). Anyway, long story short i'm back with renewed vigour and far too much free time!

Apologies for the slight off-topicness, but thanks for the comment.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Kallidor on July 12, 2010, 01:29:10 AM
A very poignant piece.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 26, 2010, 02:59:13 AM
Just a short one, the imagery in my mind is that of a man, a traitor, with shattered belief in the imperium, wandering through the streets of a fallen hive, dressed in a long ragged red trenchcoat with a gasmask on and holding a rifle. He is pushed not my glory for the chaos gods, but a determination that if he were not to enjoy the emperor's promised land, then nobody shall.

I'm generally poor when attempting rhymes, so any suggestions etc would be lovely :)

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 26, 2010, 03:45:15 AM
Nice imagery, just a few quibbles;

'All bleached bones
Dry as dust,
Through cluttered streets,
And shattered dusk.'

Here, i get the sense that the 'through' refers to nthe narrator, but there's no indication of that. it's almost implying the bleached bones are 'through cluttered streets' and i'm not sure that 'through' is the right prepostion for that, as it requires movement. It would have to be 'throughout' and that's rather too long. If it is for the narrator, while it is implied there is nothing to state that it refers back. In short, the wording confuses things a bit. A full stop after 'dust' would imply a new subject, and thus would provide a sufficient resolution, if the 'through'refers to the traitors. If not, you need a new preposition.

'Such grey edifice' - one syllable longer than every other line in the poem (providing you pronounce 'Emperor' in the way intended), sounds rather out of rhythm.

Towered spires
Of broken grief,
Embittered hearts,
Through lonely streets.

Same problem as above, who does the 'through' refer to? The structure implies it is the 'embittered hearts'. This one, however, is workable. If the 'embittered hearts' are the embittered hearts of the traitors then that actually makes sense and is fair enough, but then a full stop is more suitable after 'grief', as otherwise they are the same sentance and thus it implies the towers and the embittered hearts refer back to the same subject. I think the entire issue would be solved by changing the comma to a full stop, as long as the 'embittered hearts' actually are the traitors.

'Ghost we wander
In worlds abound,'

- I'm not entirely sure what that means; is he addressing a 'ghost'? If so, then there should be a comma after 'ghost'. Is he refering to himself and other 'ghosts', if so it should be ghosts rather than ghost and still a comma after ghosts. As it is, i can't really make sense of it.

Anyway, i hope you don't feel that i'm being a bit too harsh, I just perhaps got the sense that in places coherency was sacrificed for the sake of rhyme.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 26, 2010, 03:53:15 AM
The bones, hearts and ghost were supposed to be representative of all those that felt that the emperor had turned his back on them, though the image in my head was but one person, the poem was supposed to be an embodiment of all the lost souls that had strayed from the emperor's light.

As far as punctuation goes, I am a scientist! and as such my punctuation is utterly poor and I really struggle with punctuating to make the poem read I as I intended, will take your advice and play around with it, though may leave till morning :P

With regards edifice, wasn't happy with how it sounded, though I never count syllables tbh, will also work on that, though I am always open to your own ideas or refinements?

Thanks for comments mate!

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 26, 2010, 04:06:10 AM
Actually, on the 'bones' count you out-metaphored me! I thought you mean that they were literal bones of the dead on the street, but if the bones were metaphors for the traitors then it was spot on and I have egg on my face :P

As for the embittered hearts one, a full stop after the 'broken grief' would resolve it nicely.

For the 'ghost' one, 'ghost' is singular and 'we' is plural, so it needs to either be 'Ghosts, we wander' or 'Ghost, I wander' but the latter seems to make less sense. I would opt for the 'ghosts' option.

Finally e-di-fice is three syllables, in my opinion you should switch it for a two syllable word, bringing the line back to four syllables, which fits better (although the poem does seem to switch between three and four syllables, that still keeps a reasonable metre that scans well, the one five liner threw it off). Building is a two syllable synonym, but wildly less poetic. A thesaurus suggested 'rockpile' which changes the meaning rather, but i think actually creates quite a nice image, while feeling poetic. However, the meaning change may be too much to maintain coherency of image. I'm sorry to say i can't find a perfect replacement.

Hope that helps, and as i say, i by no means consider it a bad piece of work; it has very dark and intriguing imagery.
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 26, 2010, 04:10:50 AM
Woo eggy face :P hehehe. Looking at it again I only just realised there was no 's' on ghost..Doh! Will add that in in a second.

I have to say I greatly appreciate the fact that you are using a thesaurus at 4am to help improve my poem! Says wondersabout you and for the class of people on the clave :)

I will have a think on edifice,,,,would ruin work? Hmmm ponder, ponder, ponder.

Thanks again

Rob
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 26, 2010, 04:17:54 AM
I think

'Such grey ruins,
That loom above,'

Is a good replacement.

As for what consulting a thesaurus at four in the morning says about me... that's probably another matter; maybe one for some sort of psychologist :P
Title: Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
Post by: Shannow on July 26, 2010, 04:27:03 AM
It would not surprise me if there was one on the clave! Just have to put an advert out :P

Thanks for help, will edit now! Look forward to whenever you write your next one also :)

Rob