Author Topic: Wargaming for poets - discussion  (Read 13085 times)

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #45 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.
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #46 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
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 Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #47 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.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting...

Offline Inquisitor Sargoth

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #48 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...
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Offline Kallidor

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #49 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.
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Offline Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #50 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.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting...

Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #51 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
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 Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2010, 10:31:35 AM »
Thanks  :) Personally, I want to see more of your stuff, and Brimstone's.
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #53 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
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 Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #54 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.
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #55 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
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 DapperAnarchist

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #56 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)
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Offline Mohauk

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #57 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?
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting...

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #58 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....

Offline Shannow

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Re: Wargaming for poets - discussion
« Reply #59 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!
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.