You are now reading my contribution to the Tumblr event "Feanorian Week" in 2017, organised between the 20th and 26th of March. I will update each prompt accordingly, in the following order: 1. Maedhros 2. Maglor 3. Celegorm 4. Caranthir 5. Curufin 6. Amrod & Amras and 7. Feanor.
To bring both my understanding of these characters and my skills as an author to a higher level, I decided to write my prompts using patterns and techniques I find extremely complex and/or difficult to monitor. Each day of this event, I will update this set of prompts with a piece of poetry,designed as if written by the character linked to the actual day.
All of these prompts were written in different classic poetic structures, from the easiest to the most complex kinds. And even though I'm usually a rather instinctive writer, this time, every little symbol and every triseme was calculated with as much precision as I could find in myself – hence the fact that for the first (and probably the last) time ever, I will also publish small bits of stylistic and rhythmical analysis, as well as notes on the reasons behind my choices of structure, topic and form.
For all the lunatics who are interested in such acts of blasphemy, I send my sincere invitation to consult my 'Author's Notes' after each prompt.
And as always - enjoy!
Song of the Scarecrow
Would ye ever kneel 'fore a crownless king
letting your finest cloak pour into dust
not knowing what all those dim days shall bring
when your own proud people protect you'll must?
Would ye ever build your hopes an' your dreams
upon a hill clawed by wind-fangs of ice?
Would ye go against your own brothers' pleas,
against law, against love's earnest advice?
Would ye go pick the lock on castle gates
open the hinges 'fore winds of thunder
when red sun rises 'bove fair lands laid waste
remnants of your kingdom torn asunder?
The silence of your halls now comes to end,
Behold what words of doom thou shall portend.
I am the one who sinned, I who bathed in crimson
I who yelled 'death' at armies of ten thousand;
Would it count as roistering if I asked for ransom
to spend my proud people an' my best stallions?
(I am the one spared, one daringly rescued
flown on Eagle's wings from cruel death to worse
I promised the Doomsman that I would pay my dues
yet trials of long years have emptied my purse.)
(my soul is bare
six feet underground
dread tramples me
with its hooves of iron
shame nuzzles my skin
its claws around my neck
despair has its lips
upon my forehead
scorn presses its finger
down my throat
and i plead
a waning reflection
a shadow of glory
a mockery of might
a feast for crows
a reeking swamp
for winds to rouse -)
About the form: An English (or Shakespearean) sonnet consists of 14 decasyllabic lines, its rhyming structured as abab cdcd efef gg. To make the author's life even more miserable, each line should have iambic pulsation (I didn't entirely manage to do that, I admit…).
The second and third parts of the poem break the steady structure: the second episode imitates a clumsy and badly punctuated tavern song and the third has much more to do with postmodern poetry than anything else.
…and the reason behind: At first, I thought that a Shakespearean sonnet, with its rigorous eminence, would be a perfect form for Maedhros. Lordship, the leading of a household, the power to command and the responsibility that comes with owning the lands of Himlad and keeping watch against the Enemy: all these things must have laid enormous weights on his shoulder, sometimes to the point of breaking, of suffocating him. I wanted his words and thoughts to be sort-of imprisoned in this stark structure without any chance to break free, apart from the absolute necessity that he managed to express in his poem.
The second and third part just came as companion pieces: in fact, I had to realise that Maedhros would not be entirely able to stuff himself between the frames of a sonnet. Not any longer; not after his rescue. If he were to read this poem aloud for an audience, he'd probably leave part II. and part III. out of the whole matter, but they would be there nevertheless, scraped carelessly on the paper (perhaps even crossed out or thickly scribbled over with ink).
Accordingly, part II. delves a layer deeper in Maedhros's personality, showing that he's a genuinely good and caring soul and even has a (wry) sense of humour. Part III., on the other hand, betrays fear and despair: the true feelings beneath the kingly surface.