Author Topic: Wargaming for poets - discussion  (Read 13078 times)

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #30 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.

Offline Herald

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #31 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.
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Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #32 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.

Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #33 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
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #34 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 :)
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #35 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...


Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #36 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.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #37 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.
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2010, 12:53:47 AM »
Haha thanks mate, have rectified that slight slip :P also, glad you liked the funny one!
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #39 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.
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #40 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
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #41 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.
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Offline Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #42 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!
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting...

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #43 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.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 10:04:43 PM by Kallidor »
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Offline Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #44 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.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting...