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Fantasy Faction Writers => 2011 Contests => Archived Contests => Monthly Writing Contest => [Mar 2011] - Poetry => Topic started by: Overlord on March 02, 2011, 08:47:39 AM

Title: March Writing Challenge - Voting Closed!
Post by: Overlord on March 02, 2011, 08:47:39 AM
Poetry

NO! Wait... Don't hit that 'x'... Hang on...

"Poetry teaches you about language, sound, and form." says Patrick Rothfuss whose prose border on poetry. Authors such as Steven Brust or Mark Lawrence as well... who write some of the darkest, most brutal fantasy in the business write poetry and even make it part of their stories...

Why though is poetry so beneficial? Rothfuss just told you... but I will let him continue...

"Poetry teaches you about language, sound, and form. I believe that if an author loves language and words, then poetry can teach a great deal about how to use those words effectively.

True, all authors use words, but not all authors focus on making them beautiful. Shakespeare loved words, so did Roger Zelazny and Angela Carter. Ray Bradbury also has what I consider a poetical turn of phrase, by which I mean that the language itself it beautiful, regardless of content, character, or cleverness.

Some authors just don’t play that word game. They care more about story, or plot, or character, or… I dunno, unicorns or making money. I’m not being critical here. Those things are important. Those authors can still write good stories, there’s no denying that.

But my favorite authors love words AND character AND story… and sometimes unicorns, I guess.

Even if you aren’t a word-centric writer, poetry can teach you a lot. You know how everyone talks about Hemmingway learning his tight style by writing for newspapers? I think people can learn the same economy of phrase from poetry. In an 80,000 word novel you have space to waste. But in a twelve line poem you need to make every word pay for itself twice. Ideally, poetry is all about the efficient, affective, well-crafted line. Any author will benefit from learning lessons in that vein."


One Example:

The Cycle by Steven Brust
Phoenix sinks into decay
Haughty dragon yearns to slay.
Lyorn growls and lowers horn
Tiassa dreams and plots are born.
Hawk looks down from lofty flight
Dzur stalks and blends with night.
Issola strikes from courtly bow
salmoth maintains though none knows how.
Vallista rends and then rebuilds
Jhereg feeds on others' kills.
Quiet iorich won't forget
Sly chreotha weaves his net.
Yendi coils and strikes, unseen
Orca circles, hard and lean.
Frightened teckla hides in grass
Jhegaala shifts as moments pass
Athyra rules minds' interplay
Phoenix rise from ashes, gray.


The Rules

1. First rule. There are no rules in poetry. Do you believe there are? Let's talk about this. Sure, the sonnet and the limerick have rules; haiku has rules; these forms are defined by their rules. But poetry in general? At the end of the day, I'd argue that poetry has but one rule, that it not be prose, that it be one notch more distilled and exciting than prose.

2. Second Rule. In this case we WILL limit your Poems... They can be 12 to 20 lines long... purely for fairness and so we can judge evenly.

3. Third Rule. Covered in the first rule but to make it clear... They DO NOT have to rhyme!

GOOD LUCK... DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Read About Poetry in an un-formal form here: http://www.creativity-portal.com/bc/bruce.price/rules-poetry.html (http://www.creativity-portal.com/bc/bruce.price/rules-poetry.html)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Overlord on March 02, 2011, 10:32:43 AM
I have always been shockingly bad at poetry... but I tried really hard to put in a good hour just making something work. I started with the idea of giving the image of one thing but taking that image and giving it a different meaning than first presented. *shrugs* I tried... lol. Practice, Practice, Practice.

The Dragon's Treasure

There sat a dragon upon a mountain of bones,
It contemplated the heroes they once belonged.
Each had come to steal what was not theirs,
For what reason it knew not.

They came with magic, with swords and now guns,
Quickly though they fell - added to his mountain.
Millennia he had fought to guard this treasure,
For what reason it knew not.

Eagerly he awaited the arrival of the next champion,
His chance to dance, to play, to add to the mountain.
The time between visits seemed longer and longer,
For what reason it knew not.

It reflected upon of leaving behind the bones,
Of retreating to quiet and peaceful solitude.
The lifeless things though remained alluring,
For what reason it knew.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Funky Scarecrow on March 02, 2011, 10:50:41 AM
I haven't written a poem since I got kicked out of high school. Should be interesting to try it again. I'm in. No guarantees about quality, though. ;D
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Nighteyes on March 02, 2011, 10:56:50 AM
There was an elf from the kingdom of Magina,
who was a bit of a ....

Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Overlord on March 02, 2011, 11:08:54 AM
Quote
There was an elf from the kingdom of Magina,
who was a bit of a ....

Graphic Designer?
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Nighteyes on March 02, 2011, 11:13:00 AM
Quote
There was an elf from the kingdom of Magina,
who was a bit of a ....

Graphic Designer?

He went on a quest to defeat the dragon of Flamydia,
but sadly got a dose of ....
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Overlord on March 02, 2011, 12:36:37 PM
Quote
There was an elf from the kingdom of Magina,
who was a bit of a ....

Graphic Designer?

He went on a quest to defeat the dragon of Flamydia,
but sadly got a dose of ....

*NOTED*

-----------------

Right - Entries please! lol.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Arthum on March 02, 2011, 03:22:32 PM
Well, time to get to work. But unfortunately most good ideas come to me when I'm outside without anything to write on :/ Hopefully this time I'll get a good idea at home.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Autumn2May on March 02, 2011, 06:01:55 PM
Does it really have to be at least 12 lines?  I have a whole bunch of shorter ones I could use. :)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Lyz on March 02, 2011, 07:15:37 PM
The Forest

As I wandered the path through the woods
I wondered to myself,
"Where does this lead? Should I have hope?"
My world was crumbling around me,
a blur of red bringing destruction quickly.

Farther and farther I walked,
until I thought I would die
before ever seeing another building.
Dreams of the ocean I had never seen
kept me going until the gate.

The trees in the thick forest
sounded like waves crashing
on a long-forgotten shore,
though darkness and death
moved through the branches
like lovers in the night.

My home was lost,
but my dream of the sea
bound me to the path.

And so I walked on.

... If you couldn't tell, I'm reading "The Forest of Hands and Teeth". I seriously cannot stop thinking about this book. It's freaking amazing. :D
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Funky Scarecrow on March 02, 2011, 07:34:23 PM
On the Matter of Observing a Unicorn

To see the Unicorn which flees,
First find a virgin pure of heart,
Then take her in among the trees
And bind her, as the ritual starts.

Bring in a woodsman, large and strong,
To pull her through the loam and bracken.
Then as he drags the mite along
Sing as her bruises raise and blacken:

“This girl shall die unless I see,
A Unicorn of purest white.
Show all your magic unto me,
Step out from shadow into light.”

Hide and bid the girl farewell
For Unicorns must eat, as well.


... There it is, then. A sonnet about the correct methodology for seeing carnivorous magic horses.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Autumn2May on March 02, 2011, 07:35:21 PM
Dang it!  Now it's too long! :P  Alright I'm posting this one, but I'll go back and do another that is the correct length. :)

* * * * *

Fire Magic

it started with a spark
a little piece of light
it grew inside her heart
and intensified in might

the heat began to grow
trying to consume her
caught up in the flow
thoughts becoming looser

spark became a flame
hands began to tingle
she called on magic's name
spell and fire mingle

the blast shot from her hand
and sailed across the dark
the light lit up the land
and the magic found its mark

her enemy lay dead
his body charred and black
his sword lay by his head
his shield across his back

she'd won the day against him
her powers now mature
her chances had been slim
but her purpose had been sure

she turned her face away
and walked into the night
her magic saved the day
dark had bent to light
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: knittingknots on March 02, 2011, 07:54:08 PM
I saw Autumn2May talk about this on Twitter, so I had to play.  Based on the fairy tale the Wild Swans.

The Silent Sister

The spinning wheel turns round and round
She listens to its whirring sound
And dreams of summers yet unfound
As she pulls the fine white thread.

The swans fly silent through the sky -
they set their wings to land nearby
She dare not stop to sing or sigh
with the curse upon their head.

The loom clicks as the shuttle flies
the tears fall silent from her eyes,
as bespelled brothers take to the skies -
they spot the loom’s white shed.

Nettle linen she sews by day
though why she does she may not say -
or else the swans will go away.
Her hands are sore and red.

What will she say when the task is done
the last stitch made, the last thread spun
and her brothers stand man-shaped in the sun -
Will she scream the spell is dead?
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Lyz on March 02, 2011, 08:15:34 PM
I saw Autumn2May talk about this on Twitter, so I had to play.  Based on the fairy tale the Wild Swans.

The Silent Sister

The spinning wheel turns round and round
She listens to its whirring sound
And dreams of summers yet unfound
As she pulls the fine white thread.

The swans fly silent through the sky -
they set their wings to land nearby
She dare not stop to sing or sigh
with the curse upon their head.

The loom clicks as the shuttle flies
the tears fall silent from her eyes,
as bespelled brothers take to the skies -
they spot the loom’s white shed.

Nettle linen she sews by day
though why she does she may not say -
or else the swans will go away.
Her hands are sore and red.

What will she say when the task is done
the last stitch made, the last thread spun
and her brothers stand man-shaped in the sun -
Will she scream the spell is dead?

Wow. This is fantastic. Well done. :D
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: knittingknots on March 02, 2011, 08:51:37 PM
Dang it!  Now it's too long! :P  Alright I'm posting this one, but I'll go back and do another that is the correct length. :)

* * * * *



Might have been too long, but I liked it a lot..the rhythm and the imagery building up...
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Nighteyes on March 03, 2011, 11:44:01 AM
The Orc

The old lady descends from the train clutching to her husband of 50 years
Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack, goes the train as it rolls onwards.
She shudders in fears as she sees a gang of orcs loitering by the platform,
Boom, Bang, Boom, Bang, Boom, Bang goes their unfathomable orcish music,
She clutches her purse tightly, and looks imploring at her husband who’s clutching tightly to his walking stick

Me and my brothers are waiting for a train, hoping to get work in a factory out of town,
We see an old lady and her husband, she clutches to him in fear,
Does she not realize that us orcs are taught respect for our elders?
We are not like young humans who would rob an elder simply to get money to buy smokes and booze.


The elf whore uses her glamour to entice potential clients hoping to snare a human male from the city,
She suddenly revokes her glamour as she sees a group of orcs loitering down the street,
She has no time for those threatening uncouth brutes who rarely have a penny to their name,
And she threatens them with magic if one should try some funny business with her, not that she has any to use.
Me and my brothers are walking down the street, trying to find the factory my pa thought might need workers,
We see an elf whore, and she curses at us and threatens us with magic she probably doesn’t have,
Does she not realize that us orcs don’t pay for sex?
We are not like humans who are unfaithful lovers and seek our females just for sex no sense of commitment or fidelity?


Here is a start, but it doesn't scan well at all... thoughts?
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Libertine on March 08, 2011, 09:21:03 PM
OK, I'm not really a poet but here goes:


The wraith and me

It was complicated, the wraith and me.
We lay entwined, wrapped in the longing,
giving in to the belonging, holding on
to the only way we’d known since... when?

I knew it was time, letting go overdue,
it should have been easier having met you.
But the wraith clung on, dragging me back
after all, the years he’d snared were still his.

I pushed him away, turned my eyes from his,
clawed my way back, crawled through dust.
He clutched at my ankles desperate to win
but the sun's warmth on my face pulled me on.

It was complicated, the wraith and me.
He failed to notice when glimmers of light,
rays of hope, shone through. And so I railed
against my bonds, slipped the ropes. Now free!
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Overlord on March 09, 2011, 10:50:32 AM
Really impressed so far this month guys :) Poetry although to some people a bit out of their depth or normal routine is very good at getting you to think about 'words' and putting more meaning into a single sentence that you would in prose.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: ayros on March 12, 2011, 07:40:04 AM
Chameleon

He walks unnoticed,
never missed
are his emotions his friends should know.
They still rage, just hidden below
the icy cage of denial.
A convincing smile its effects are so vile,
poisons rightful doubt and spreads belief.
His lies prosper to his relief,
because right before them beneath his shell
his heart throbs for her and screams to tell
of a love kept hidden that's endured for so long
it's her and her only, he wants to belong.
Desperately he still tries not to feel
the immortal love he tries to kill.
Endless praise ''his new girlfriend's the best”
amongst his lies, unnoticed the chameleon rests.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: flinton on March 12, 2011, 05:26:33 PM
not sure if its right not sure if its any good but thought i would give it a shot last night while i was in the mood. Oh and its not really fantasy based but it has swords in it so i hope that counts!

A sisters dance

Tick tack tick
The blades sing a song of woe
Tick tick tack
They dance, bodies pressed up against each other
Silence
The absences of contact stuns them, slowly one gropes for the other.
Tack
The soft gentle caress on her neck sparks a vicious reaction.
Tick tick
The attack was savage a killing blow if ever there was one.
Tack
A desperate dive to intercept
Tack tack tack
Jumping from one side to the other barely throwing her body in the way the attacks rain on
Tack tick tack
Diving forward she gains a small rest bite gliding her body between her sisters the bright white looming in front of her but not before her sister can intercept .
Tick tack tick
The dance resumes with more consumed passion
Tack silence
Another gentle caress on her sister’s neck provokes the dragon; she ducks under the first, spirals over the second her sister grasping at nothing but air.
Click buzzzzz
Gracefully she slides her way past her stranded sister thrusting her head on to her intended target all the while craving for the buzz of victory.

Flinton
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Fellshot on March 13, 2011, 11:30:23 PM
A warning to all, my poetry tends to be really awful stuff. I also have to be in a very particular mood to write it (and yet I still managed to write a full review in verse. Don't ask).

--)---------

I'm a little shadow
Stuck tight to the wall.
I'm a little patch of darkness
Looking at you all.

Please don't turn the light on
I like it fine right here.
I never bothered anyone
I don't need to disappear.

So as you look over your shoulder
Into my hiding place
There's no need to worry,
I'm no danger to face.

Now keep your senses open,
Most other things aren't me.
For I'm but a little shadow
And the more substantial look at thee.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: DracoFidus on March 22, 2011, 07:29:49 PM
Here you go, a quick one I wrote called,
The Men Of The Moor
From the ashes of forests rise trees,
From the ruins of cities rise spires,
Their banners wave in the breeze,
From the moor comes the smoke from their fires.

These men of the moor are raising,
This broken country of ours,
Our king lies abandoned and gazing,
At his country, the sea and the stars.

The men of the moor will conquer,
But not to rule or destroy,
The men of the moor will conquer,
To replace this sorrow with joy.

The shadows that governed are fading,
The country returned to the light,
The bandits have ceased their raiding,
And it’s safe to go out at night.

Saved from itself and its king,
Valdor will rise once more,
And forever the bards shall sing,
Of our saviours who came off the moor.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: OneChapterMore on March 28, 2011, 01:41:41 PM
Seeing as it's still, just about, March, I'll attempt some.


Dive to depths of Love and Laughter.
O my pretty moon, you know no bounds -
Fly to the zenith of time, know no after
For the light burns brightest in the rounds.

Why? For why? To create and to destroy them.
Become. Be more. We wilt in colours known
To the wise, and to the brave. The hem
Of the dress dragged out of the dirt, made alone.

Our blunt horizon reaches out, takes hold
Of your hand. A wisdom, speaking throughout
Lands is all that remains. When all is told,
Loss is but the lithe serpent, once devout.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Arthum on March 31, 2011, 06:56:56 PM
Maybe at the last moments but here it goes. My attempt at writing a poem :D


The Shadow

My soul tinted by darkness
The kind induced by other people
And nurtured by them
By those who called themselves my friends.

My heart lingers on the edge
The edge of darkness and despair
The very edge of hatred
Keeping me within isolation.

Other people walk beside me
I try to stay unnoticed
But as I lay in the shadows of my soul
They notice me and push me even further.

The deeper I get the harder it is to see the light
The light of hope for better future
For my self to become as I should be
And soon all hope shall be lost.

But once again my eyes can see the dim light
The dim light of hope.
Passage of time may help me move towards the light
If only slowly I begin my travel now.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: DracoFidus on March 31, 2011, 10:27:42 PM
There is some really good stuff on here so with only a few hours to go until the end of march I want to wish everyone the best of luck.
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge
Post by: Autumn2May on April 01, 2011, 01:50:00 PM
The March Writing Challenge is now closed!  A new challenge will be posted soon.  And check back to vote for your favorites from last months contest! :D
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Poll Now Open - Come Vote!
Post by: Overlord on April 06, 2011, 01:27:45 PM
Voting now open - no new entries though ;)

Please vote and feel free to leave a comment :)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Poll Now Open - Come Vote!
Post by: Autumn2May on April 06, 2011, 02:43:58 PM
My poem made it to the vote?  I thought it was too long?
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Poll Now Open - Come Vote!
Post by: Autumn2May on April 06, 2011, 02:45:51 PM
Also, tons of good entries this month!  I hope you all try our April contest as well. :)  Though having this many entries makes it much harder to pick who to vote for. ;)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Poll Now Open - Come Vote!
Post by: Overlord on April 06, 2011, 06:10:25 PM
My poem made it to the vote?  I thought it was too long?

Well....... I guess it did but I made an exception :)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Poll Now Open - Come Vote!
Post by: Autumn2May on April 06, 2011, 09:34:50 PM
My poem made it to the vote?  I thought it was too long?

Well....... I guess it did but I made an exception :)

That's okay, I doubt I'm going to win this month anyway, too many amazing poets to compete with! :)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Closed!
Post by: Autumn2May on May 02, 2011, 03:15:22 PM
Congrats to KnitingKnots on the win! :)
Title: Re: March Writing Challenge - Voting Closed!
Post by: Libertine on May 02, 2011, 09:14:52 PM
Well deserved, congratulations!