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Grim, but not Evil
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in hotspurre's LiveJournal:

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Friday, June 28th, 2013
4:24 pm
A Challenge to the Known Worlde Rapier fighters.
I've been working on this for a while, I feel it's time to issue it. Apologies to those who have already read it, I'm spreading this net as wide as I can.

Unto the various rapier fighters of the SCA does Grim the Skald, Order of the Laurel of the East Kingdom, send greetings.

      I am a poet. My love for poetry is deep-seated and well known across my Kingdom. I have more recently come into a love for Rapier Combat, and I have a wish to pay tribute with one love from the other. Therefore do I issue this challenge.
      I, Grim the Skald, do hereby invite all Rapier Fighters of the various Kingdoms of the SCA to fight me this summer. I shall meet any comers with either a matching or non-matching form – your choice. I also invite you to write your name, Kingdom, and any details you wish about yourself into a book I shall have with me. I hereby swear that I shall incorporate these names into at least one poem in a medieval style by the end of A.S. 48. This poem is intended to honor my opponents in specific and rapier combat in general.
      I will begin this challenge at the Summer Solstice and end it on the Fall Equinox. I shall be in the East for most of this – I will also be at Pennsic and I hope to make it to Aethelmearc at least one other event.
      You shall know by my arms – a field or, on a saltire cotised gules a Norse sun cross argent. I shall have a small banner with me – if my arms are displayed (other than on my shield while fighting,) I am available to fight. I welcome all comers any all skill level, and thereby hope to increase my own skills.

            In Service to the Society,
                              Grim the Skald

P.S. I hereby grant full permission to share this missive upon any list, page, or any other form. For those who cannot translate from “herald,” I have my arms displayed on the following page, as well as a picture of me:


There is a link on this page to my challenge; I shall keep a list of events I intend to attend on my challenge page. I shall also link the completed poem off of this page, when it is done.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
5:05 pm
Sir Orfeo Project Part 3 - Lines 53 to 72
I haven't stopped work in this, I just haven't posted any of these in a while. Here's another 20 lines. Comments very deffinitely welcome:

Sir Orfeo Lines 53-72Collapse )
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
4:48 pm
Sir Orfeo Project - Lines 29 to 52
Here's a few more lines. As always, comments welcome. As I said before, I'm going to need to cut, suggestions for that are very welcome.

Sir Orfeo lines 29-52Collapse )
4:33 pm
Sir Orfeo Project - A Comment
So, work on "Sir Orfeo" is going obnoxiously slowly. I'm also not cutting enough - I'm 200 lines into the actual poem, and have generated 110 lines. So I'm about a third done, and cut it by less than half.

At this point, I think I'll keep going as I'm going, then get ruthless with the cutting when it's done. I'll definitely look for help with that. Alternatively we'll see if it can be cut into two parts when I'm done. We'll see. I'd rather do it as one piece, but… I guess we’ll see.

Anyway, I’ll throw more up a bit later.

Current Mood: quixotic
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
5:11 pm
Sir Orfeo Project - Part 1 - Lines 1-28
Here is the first portion of "Sir Orfeo." As I stated, I intend to do the first portion in Middle English. Comments very,very welcome:

Sir Orfeo - Lines 1 to 28Collapse )
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
5:25 pm
Sir Orfeo Project Part 1 - Introduction
I’ll go into the format of the poem here, the form in which I intend to write my adaptation, and how I intend to perform it.

Read more...Collapse )

I’ll post the first part of this tomorrow, I think I’ve talked long enough.
Monday, April 1st, 2013
5:33 pm
Sir Orfeo Project - Proposal
Okay, a new project has caught my imagination. I'm looking at "Sir Orfeo," a poem written in Middle English around the beginning of the 14th Century. It probably is an English version of a Breton Lay, now lost. It's essentially the story of Orpheus, but transported to the Middle Ages. I'm going to create an adaptation of the poem for performance. I have several versions of the Middle English text (which isn’t exceptionally hard to parse,) and three translations (by Stone, Hunt, and Tolkein) to help me here. I have two obstacles in my way:

1) The poem is just over 600 lines. In performance, that would be over 25 minutes. Not doable. I'm looking for a 5-10 minute performance. I think I can cut the poem to a third of its size and still maintain a sufficient connection to the original work. I do think that’s a better option than dividing it into several performances – content wise there just isn’t that much there.

2) The poem is written in a very loose meter with rhyming couplets. So each odd line rhymes with the next even line. This is very sing-songy. I’m planning on keeping the rhyme scheme - which, interestingly enough, of my translators only Tolkien does. The other two render it in quatrains (ABAB etc.) The challenge will be avoiding it sounding to trite. I think I can do this by emphasizing the textual line over the metrical line, and writing it likewise.

I'll put it up here while I work on it, behind a cut as usual. I'll probably toss them up 20+ lines at a time. My goal is to get the adapted poem to around 200 lines.
Friday, January 11th, 2013
3:39 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part FINAL!!! - Lines 3864 to 3896
This is it! I'm done with this portion, so unless I start working on another one (which is entirely possible.) I'm done with this for now. I posted three stanzas, because they're all relatively short, and they go together well.

However, to get out my "performance version" I'm going to post the portion that I'm planning to do at King and Queen's Bardic with all the minor tweaks and edits. That will come Monday. For now, we bring you back to the shore, where Gawain has just died:

Lines 3864 to 3896Collapse )
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
3:16 pm
The Alliterative Morte Arthure Project Part 9 - Lines 3840 - 3863
Could I beg a bit of feedback on the last bit before I go into it? Is the line

no rank could arrest him / his reason had flown

clear? I much prefer it to the alternate, but I want to know.

Anyway, we're almost done here...

Lines 3840 - 3863Collapse )

Btw, all my translators make "Galys land" to be Wales, but I rather like preserving the double alliteration. What do you think?
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
4:47 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part 8 - Lines 3813 to 3839
I've conceived of a very scary plan - I'm seriously thinking of doing this portion (well, sans the first two stanzas or so) as my second round piece in King and Queen's Bardic. So I'd better finish translating it, eh?

I'd love feedback, particularly on the place where I've noted an alternate line.

LinesCollapse )

Incidentally, the second of those lines I provided an alternate for is a much closer translation. This is the original:

Thare myghte no renke hym areste, / his reson was passede.

I had the first line there, I came up with the alternate when I decided I was overusing Gawain losing his wits. What do you think?
Monday, December 31st, 2012
4:37 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part 7 - Lines 3790 to 3812
Here's another stanza's worth. I hope you like it!

Also, Happy New Year!

Lines 3790 to 3812Collapse )
Friday, December 28th, 2012
3:33 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part 6 - Lines 3770-3789
This is working nicely, I have it translated up to line 3839 specifically so I have a buffer for the future. I'm only 3 stanzas from the end of my section!

I decided to post two stanzas this time, since the first one is only 9 lines. I'll need to throw a definition of a word out there, too. A "fewter" is a lance-rest on the knight's breast plate. One of my translators, Brian Stone, chose to define the word in his introduction rather than be forced to translate it to something else, and I like that decision.

Lines 377-3789Collapse )

Btw, the first line that Gawain shouts at Mordred in the ME is ""Fals fosterde foode, / the Fende haue thy bonys!" Apparently there was a rather strong tradition of fostering your sister's son in Anglo-Saxon England (where the tale originated,) so a betrayal from your nephew is particular onerous. Neat, eh? Btw, "foode" is apparently just a man, but I threw in a bit of extra venom...
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
5:33 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part 5 - Lines 3756 to 3769
This part starts with the line that really sticks with me. I think I'll use it to illustrate some of my challenges. This is the line in Middle English:

Bot Sir Gawayne for grefe / myghte noghte agayne-stande,

The interesting thing is (at least to me it's interesting,) that although "grefe" is clearly the ME version of the modern "grief," in ME it can also mean "anger, hostility, or spite." The alliteration ties "Gawayne," "grefe," and the "gayne" in "agayne" (again.) Its a funky line, a very litteral translation would be "But Sir Gawaine was so furious he could not hold himself back."

I'll be soon getting a short, curved blade for fencing. So long as the sword doesn't tell me any differently, I think I'll name it "Grefe." :)

So here's the poetic translation:

Lines 3756 to 3769Collapse )
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm
Morte Arthure Project Part 4 - Lines 3745 to 3756
So, I didn't post every day, bad me. I've run into some issues with LJ, and I've been busier than I've expected to be. However, I am pleased to announce that this is working! I still have a decent buffer of translated lines, but I've been adding to it as I go along. In other words, progress has been made.

So anyway, another stanza:

Lines 3745 to 3756Collapse )

Copyright 2012 - Dan Marsh
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
4:23 pm
The Morte Arthure Project Part 3 - Lines 3724-3744
I tried posting this yesterday, but LJ went down. Anyway, here's another stanza's worth. I have an alternate line, I think I prefer the first choice (otherwise I kind of overuse the sound "gird,") but I'd like to know opinions.

Lines 3724-3744Collapse )
Sunday, December 16th, 2012
8:41 pm
The Morte Arthure Project Part 2 - Lines 3712 to 3723
So here's the actual beginning of the portion I translated.

Comments are entirely welcome, if anyone has trouble understanding a particular line, please let me know -- I have included every five line numbers, feel free to use that as a reference. None of this is final. However, I should make this clear that this is my work, my copyright, all rights reserved, etc.

Have twelve lines!

Morte Arthure, lines 3712 to 3723Collapse )
Friday, December 14th, 2012
5:22 pm
Morte Arthure Project - Part 1 (Poetics and The Story So Far)
To avoid making this too long, I'm going to piece this out. For this entry, I'm going to give a summary of the poetics, and a synopsis of the plot up to the point of the story I'm posting. This portion of the poem is nearly at the end, so it will be a fairly extensive synopsis. :)

The PoeticsCollapse )

The Story So FarCollapse )
1:02 pm
Help me Internets, kick me in the butt...
So I've been rather neglecting my writing lately in favor of working on physical things. I don't think I like this, particularly since I have been planning on doing a fair bit of translation work. So I thought.. hey, if I post my work here, that will push me to doing more, right?

Well, I hope so. So anyway, I'm working on translating a 14th Century poem called the Morte Arthure, sometimes referred to as the Alliterative Death of Arthur, to distinguish it from the various other Arthurian poems out there. It was written in Middle English, in a style called the "alliterative long line," which I believe was a form invented in the 14th Century to deliberately echo Old English Poetry (which probably dissappeared in the late 12th Century.)

The reason I'm doing this translation is I'm not happy with any of the versions I've read, they sacrifice too much of the poetics. And besides, its a very good excercise. I'm not starting at the beginning (its over 4,000 lines,) but rather I'm working on a part that really speaks to me, the last brave charge of Sir Gawain. I've gotten about 75 of around 180 lines translated. My current plan is to post this work as I complete it -- I'm hoping to dole this out every day until this particular section is done.

So I'm going to start with a question: shall I just launch into it, or would you like a brief description of the poetics first? :)
Friday, September 7th, 2012
2:59 pm
You Wonder how these things begin.
You wonder how these things begin.

Well, this begins with a glen. It begins with a season which, for want of a better word we may as well call “September.” It begins in a forest where the woodchucks woo, and the leaves wax green, and vines intertwine like lovers; try to see it. Not with your eyes, for they are wise, but see it with your ears: the cool green breathing of the leaves. And hear it with the inside of your hand: the soundless sound of shadows flicking light. Celebrate sensation.

Recall that secret place. You've been there, you remember: That special place where once- Just once- in your crowded sunlit lifetime, you hid away in shadow from the tyranny of time. That spot beside the clover where someone's hand held your hand and love was sweeter than the berries, or the honey, or the stinging taste of mint.

It is September- before a rainfall- a perfect time to be in love.

-From "The Fantasticks"

3.5 hours until call...
Friday, August 31st, 2012
3:20 pm
"I'm her father, and believe me it isn't easy."

In a week and a few hours I'll be in the RPI Playhouse for the opening night of "The Fantasticks." I'm very excitd by the notion, but a bit nervous. We have rehearsal every day from now until Thursday...
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