1. Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
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Defoloce


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A lovestruck knight in Equestria's early days, unconvinced of his own worthiness, decides that he must prove himself to the mare he loves. With Princess Cadence as his guide, he is put on a quest by the Crown to go forth and right wrongs and ease sorrows associated with latent Chaos, all while learning of the Elements of Harmony from the ponies' companion races.

The entire piece is written in iambic pentameter, with the exception of a few English sonnets, which are italicized.

First Published
13th Jul 2012
Last Modified
9th Jan 2014
#1 · 127w, 3d ago · · · Prelude ·

Sweet Celestia, Luna and Cadence this is AMAZING. I haven't read any new epic poetry in years!

I cannot write good poetry as I have no sense of rhythm and my wording is... more chaotic than I'd like. But this! My goodness yes. I almost thought that this was not pony, but some knight, true and brave, to win the heart of his lady. To write and transcend those boundaries!

My goodness yes. Please continue!

#2 · 127w, 3d ago · · · Prelude ·

Writing in iambic pentameter alone gets this right on my watchlist. Fantastic. :D And it looks like you might well have a nice quest story going on there too. Bonus! :yay:

#3 · 127w, 3d ago · · · Prelude ·

Most impressive. And the sonnet was lovely. Truly worth a track.

#4 · 127w, 3d ago · · · Prelude ·

Glad to see people are liking the format! I looked for some kind of "Poetry" or "Medieval Equestria" or similar group to submit it to here, but there wasn't one, so right now it's just kind of out there alone, unassociated with any particular interest group. If you folks know of a group that would likely enjoy it, please feel free to submit it. I'm not read-up on everything available out there, so you'd be doing me a favor.

I started dickering around on my phone while away on vacation for Independence Day, just putting together lines for fun, and then I realized I was writing something, so I decided to stick with it. Keeping to the format is harder than I first thought it would be; I knew it was more involved than just hitting Enter after every tenth syllable, but the stressing-unstressing scheme really forces you to write a certain way, so at times it can be slow going. It's a lot of fun, though!

#5 · 127w, 2d ago · 1 · · Prelude ·

You are insane. Totally mad. Utter psychopath.

Seriously, I thought I was the only one who did shit this crazy, or noticed stuff like that.

And the sonnet! My gods, that sonnet! It names each Element in proper Shakespearean-era language! I could fucking kiss you!

It goes without saying that I will be watching this story like a goddamn hawk.

#6 · 127w, 2d ago · 1 · · Prelude ·

You've got thee vs. thou right, but "wast" is second-person only.  Thou wast.  But her name was Cadenza, and Day was then to live.  Similarly, A gentle mage who didst not want for eye => did not want for eye, he didst come => he did come.  "didst" is second person.

#7 · 127w, 2d ago · · · Prelude ·

>>909690

Whoops! Good catch. Fixed. I did the same thing for "canst," "wouldst," and "couldst," too. I fixed those as well. Thanks for the heads-up!

#8 · 127w, 2d ago · · · Prelude ·

>>909129

Fun stuff, isn't it? "Modern" Equestria as it's presented in the show still seems to have plenty of medieval elements about it, so I'd say that the society either isn't far removed from its analog to the medieval era or it holds the memory of its medieval era more fondly than we do.

...or it could just be a choice of style by the show-runners. :trollestia:

#9 · 127w, 2d ago · · · Prelude ·

Also, I just re-read it and realized, I get the most wonderful "The Faerie Queene" vibe from this story. as a Spenser fan, I cheer you, sir.

Also, I bow to your superior skill. I am only an Elizabethan novice. My specialty is Early 20th century pop-lit.

Ahhh, delicious. The blank verse is wonderful, and the language is so perfect.

I almost want to hire you as a story doctor.

#11 · 127w, 2d ago · · · Prelude ·

Absolute Elizabethan Perfection....Well done, and keep writing, you have a talent there to hold on to

>>910787

Faerie Queene? I'll have to run this story through a find-replace and see how transposing all the Us and Vs works out. It'd probably be sparse enough that many folks would just think I make lots of weird typos.

>>911277

I see you started a poetry group! Thank you for letting it be added there!

The fact of the matter that you are attempting to write an epic makes me 'like' it.

By Celestias Beard, this is ambitious!

~Syn3rgy

This is awesome. The fact that you were able to write wholly in iambic pentameter alone impresses me

Mine face when.

You are writing an epic poem about FiM in proper iambic pentameter AND making me wish I could draw so as to make fanart for same AND making me regard Cadance as something other than a terrible, terrible idea given unholy life.

Go join Team Dai-Gurren, because apparently doing the impossible is your cutie mark talent.

#16 · 126w, 5d ago · 1 · · Prelude ·

As an English major and somebody who recently completed his last English literature course, I salute you. Stuff like this is so rare to see. You deserve serious recognition, simply for writing this. The style is perfect, and I'm a bit of a nerd so I checked your lines to make sure you maintained the proper meter. You did!

Seriously awesome job, I can't wait to read more.

Sometimes I wish I was educated enough to read one verse of this without having to re-read a 3rd time to make sure I interpreted it properly :applejackconfused:.

#18 · 126w, 5d ago · 1 · · Prelude ·

Okay, now this is a work of art.

Sooth, Mirth, Benev'lence, Charity, Fealty, and Magick? Clever bastard. :rainbowlaugh:

#19 · 126w, 5d ago · 1 · · Prelude ·

Unrhyming?  For shame!  I kid, though.  This is the sort of thing I've been highly discouraged to do in my program, so it's hard to approach, but I'm interested so far.  

#20 · 126w, 5d ago · · · Prelude ·

My thanks go to Fable Scroll for getting The Deed of Sooth back up here. Suffice it to say that I'll be keeping backups in Google Docs from here on out.

Now, I admit to not knowing a lick about poetry besides what I remember from AP English back in high school. But there is an elegance, a beauty to the language you use here. I look forward to reading more of this epic!

>>928684

I'm not out to pierce the heavens, but luckily, writing this has been fun enough to be its own reward so far. Glad you're enjoying it!

>>928788

Going into this, I knew I'd have to keep a close eye on what I was doing, because people would undoubtedly be checking after me to make sure I wasn't just some doofus hitting the Enter key after every tenth syllable, dusting my hands, and then going down to the corner to get a Slurpee.

My attention to the stress-unstress pattern has gotten so bad that I've started to unconsciously check the stressing of other short sentences I write, such as in e-mails and whatnot. The feeling of realizing that no, I don't actually have to do that right now, is lovely.

>>929194

Holy moly, am I ever not good enough to stick even with couplets for the duration of this thing, much less a more complex scheme. Thanks for your interest! I want it to be accessible, so please let me know later on if I've succeeded.

Ye freaking Gods, they haven't told a lie-

This crazy pony's got a poet's ear!

Sufficient for the tasks he's taken on

Which for too many- prove a cost too dear.

So let th' heralds cry out this guy's name

And celebrate the wonders we all seek

For his gift is a gift surpassing rare

*ahem* though maybe it ain't quite UNIQUE.

...burma shave!

:rainbowlaugh:

WELL DONE. LOUD CHEERS! :ajsmug:

>>931092

Call out in poem, then don't be surprised when a poem is written back.

So let me go full dactylic on you, reader who puts up their challenge.

Homer's hexameter in normal stress meter escalates our duel.

But I'll be honest, I can't keep this up, so I'll have to now forfeit.

:heart:

#26 · 126w, 5d ago · 3 · · Prelude ·

An English major, a worthless degree.

But it still makes you good at poetry.

Slam!

>>931330

Dammit, them dactyls give me the vapors, who thought them things up?

Wish I could kick them 'til all them stresses shaped up and sat right.

Let's just pretend that we had a nice battle and leave it at that?

:ajsmug:

To get this out of the way: "Find ease, sir knight, find ease, I thee beseech!"

If I'm reading it right, that ending quotation mark doesn't need to be there.

As ever, I stand in awe.

...

Don't let Chatoyance see this. I have so little joy left in my life. If I can't be special, I am bereft of damn near the lot.

Also, there's too much "thou" going on, it seems to me. Is no one's status sufficient for the use of a "you" here and there? Ok, that's a nitpick, but heck, it's all I've got :twilightblush:

And now that I read it again, I'm still not quite sure what the Knight traded to Steven Magnet for the return of the voices.

Was it his ability to dream? Or to sleep?

I feel like I'm missing it.

>>956736

The line following that one used to be a bit of dialogue attribution. I've quietly snipped the quote mark off. I've also changed a single word in this chapter to help clear up confusion regarding the bargain made.

As for ye/thou, it's mostly to give a more recognizable style to a character's voice rather than to act as a reliable indicator of familiarity, as shown in this chapter with Sea Nettle. I'm saving the more progressive "ye" addresses for folks with ways speaking which differ from those with the more courtly Equestrian accent.

You are pretty much a hero. I do not exaggerate in the least when I say that this is the best work of fan-written epic poetry I have ever read, as well as the single greatest collection of correct archaic pronoun and verb usage I have ever seen on the internet. Both story and style are really and truly delightful.

If you desire a bit of feedback, the only thing that distracts me at all from the glorious whimsy of the poem is your freeness with the contraction-apostrophe. Not that conserving the meter is bad, of course, but may sometimes make it unclear what the full word is. Additionally, with '-ed's and such, generally a modern reader assumes the contracted pronunciation unless you specifically put a little accent thing over the e, so the contraction would be unnecessary.

Please don't think I'm criticizing; I still adore your story, and offer you a most heartfelt congratulations on your success with such a difficult form. :yay:

>>960520

Thanks for your comment! And yes, I'll of course take any feedback I can get.

First, a bit of what's going on in my head regarding contracted past tense, if you or anyone else is curious. There are a few cases where I don't use the contraction in past-tense verbs, and those are with verbs that have a silent E on the end. Verbs like "place" are still "placed," since making them "plac'd" would suggest a change in pronunciation. The tricky ones for me are verbs that double up the trailing consonant before the suffix, like "plan" becoming "planned." I fully acknowledge that it's around here my style gets a bit shaky. I've gone back and forth between dropping the doubled consonant and contracting, keeping the doubled consonant and contracting, or just using a fully modern approach.

"plan'd"

"plann'd"

"planned"

At the very least, I want to be consistent in how I present it. I really want the poem to have a feeling of being written long ago, so I've been trying to err on the side of archaic-like or archaic-sounding usage. If usage gets too modern, then the text can "disappear" into the story it's telling. That's normally a good thing for writing, since spelling and grammar mistakes make the text "reappear," but for this, constantly parsing the text is meant to be part of the reading experience. In the case of verbs, that means contractions a-go-go. I could scale back the contractions, but then I'll have to answer for why I contracted a verb here and not there, and so on, and I wouldn't have a good answer for that! My accuracy leaves something to be desired, I'm sure, but I'd love to hear suggestions. If there's rules for this sort of thing, then I'm completely ignorant to what they are! :twilightblush: Again, I'm trying to get better, so if there are resources you know of, please let me know.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

As always, excellent. I feel like I have just eaten a delicious and energizing snack.

Cadenza, then, is Venus? I approve,

And make my comment as we both are wont.

"A sell-sword with a better sword to sell"

Amused me greatly, I am glad to say.

As for this chapter's title, I'm confused.

The deed is done, but where's the Mirth in it?

With donkeys our fair knight did speak of Sooth

to lead them from their former foolish ways.

Seaponies, we are shown, have lost their Mirth

but our knight simply buys it back in trade.

Mirth reclaimed, true, but no Mirth to be had-

at least, within the doing of the deed.

So I'm perplexed, and any help you give

I promise will be likely well received.

>>964863

It looks like I've hit another weak spot in my storytelling. This is how I get better, though! Since the mark of good storytelling is not having to explain what just happened, I'm gonna go ahead and explained what just happened as an admission that the resolution could have been more satisfying.

It's not the bargain that dissolved the Chaos in the water, but the sea-pony's laugh. It was her laugh of rejoicing, compounded perhaps by the laughter of relief of the serpent (who was there to keep any more "bargains" from being struck by the citizens of the Deep Kingdom) which restored things to the way they were. The sea-pony traded her voice for the ability to breathe air (as a very loose analog to the story of The Little Mermaid), and in so doing lost also her laughter. Unable to move past times of negative emotion, which is what Mirth helps one to do, it can all easily compound and snowball into a great, consuming blackness.

In the pilot, laughter is shown as a way of beating back darkness and dealing with fear. I wanted to show how powerfully darkness could coalesce around even a single soul for whom it was impossible to laugh. This was meant to contrast with how the knight was able to laugh off his discomfort the morning after the scene at the tavern and Cadence's lecture on how lasting love needs Mirth.

And yes, in my headcanon, Cadence is Venus. It makes too much sense for her not to be!

#36 · 125w, 4d ago · · · Prelude ·

>>909129 Just a little correction, Shakespeare didn't live in Medieval times. It was long gone at that time.

>>975905 I would say that the setting of the story is Equestria's medieval period, but the writing style is more appropriate to Shakespeare's time, in that it's early modern English and not Middle English.

>>975905

>>976547

With all of the imperfections in what I am writing, I certainly couldn't do Middle English, and honestly I don't think many people would want to read it. In my mind, I'm picturing this as something older colts and fillies might have to slog through near the end of their primary education, bored, looking out the window onto a fine green spring day.

Shakespeare was fond of the medieval period as a setting, even though he didn't much care about historical accuracy and used anachronism freely, which is fine. In my headcanon, the Equestrian Classical era would be analog to our Renaissance, which would mean the pre-Classical era Twilight mentions on Nightmare Night would be their medieval period.

I'm probably not making much sense at this point, so suffice it to say the feel I'm going for is more Tennyson than Shakespeare anyway. God, though, how I wish I had his command of vocabulary.

After the troubles with FimFictino and countless other annoyances, I've now finally managed to read The Deed of Mirth.

First of, let me tell you that you have my respect, gratitude, and admiration for writing this. I had recently considered trying my own hand at epic poetry, but I could not even think of a story, and I certainly could not have kept the same quality as you do. Not to mention I have pretty much no hope of producing 4000 words of poetry in the time it took you.

That being said, I do find the text confusing at times when you modify the syntax to preserve meter. The meter isn't always perfect, either, but it probably does not need to be, and much of my stumbling is probably just a result of not being a native speaker myself and mispronouncing one word or another.

As has already been said, the contractions can be difficult to figure out. I wish I could help you with rules regarding them, but my knowledge of early modern English is not up to that task. Perhaps I can find some useful insight when I turn back to my own poetic endeavors.

The vocabulary takes me off guard here and there, though according to previous comments, that might be quite as intended.

However, I do have to agree with LittleSallyDigby. The resolution in te Deed of Mirth was much weaker than in the Deed of Sooth. While giving up the ability to dream is in my opinion a great sacrifice, that very sacrifice places this resolution closer to generosity than mirth to me. However, I won't pass final judgment on that issue until I know how it influenes the rest of the story. It does seem pretty likely that it will come back to haunt him.

Looking forward to the next chapter. And storing this one, just in case. :raritywink:

>>986409

I've taken the criticisms that Tousle-Headed Poet and LittleSallyDigby had regarding contractions and the weak ending to heart, and I'll be working to avoid them while I go forward. My intent is more for the knight to be a catalyst for others dissolving Chaos rather than doing it himself (e.g. the honesty of the donkeys, the laughter of the sea-pony), but I realize now there wasn't enough meat with the Mirth resolution to properly show what was going on.

I like this story (as in, the actual plot [that word is ruined for me]).

I just can't read it!

XD

I love that you've put so much effort into it, but understanding the text is soo hard.

A question, have you considered rewriting this normally after you've finished this version?

Just so that those of us not awesome enough to parse the more archaic style can experience the story?

In any case, this is awesome.

That is all.

Journcy Out.

:twilightsmile:

>>987340

Oh, even with any flaws I might have noticed, I think you're still doing a splendid job. Dare I say fabulous? :raritystarry:

Furthermore, I have found a resource you might find useful: An online copy of an old but respected comparative study of Early Modern English (particularly drawing on Shakespeare) and Modern English. :twilightsmile: This chapter in particular might be relevant to your troubles with the contraction of the third person singular past tense morpheme -ed: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0080%3Asection%3D5%3Asubsection%3D3%3Aparagraph%3D474

I hope it'll prove useful or at least interesting.

>>989771

The poetry might be due for a rewrite once it's done to help strengthen the weak parts of the plot, but right now I can't look far enough ahead to know whether or not I'd undertake a prose version. It doesn't seem likely at the moment, though, with my main concern on finishing what I've set before me and giving a good account of it.

>>991738

Hey, (Abbott) Abbott! A Shakespearean Grammar is now pretty old in its own right, and it's interesting to see how Modern English has progressed even since its publication. I notice that Shakespeare will happily drop silent Es from his own contractions (e.g. "rag'd" for "raged", "sham'st" for "shamest", though that also drops a syllable, which can be handy), something I'm not willing to do for modern readers. It looks like a good resource. I'll see what I can glean from this. Thank you!

I don't always read aloud,

               :trixieshiftright:

But when I do, it's in Shakespearean English

>>989771

If it were rewritten in modern-day English It would have a high probability of being significantly shorter a dull.

“Unicorns have the sky, and they the sea,

And earth for each the many kindreds ‘twixt,

As Magick doth in splendour take its source

From all of these in strange facetèd ways.”

I may just be reading it wrong due to the fact that Shakespearean English is like that sometimes, but should it not say that "Pegasi have the sky..."

Like so:

“Pegasi have the sky, and they the sea,

And earth for each the many kindreds ‘twixt,

As Magick doth in splendour take its source

From all of these in strange facetèd ways.”

Great story by the way. ^w^

>>1061932

That passage is talking about the different sources of magic that various species use. The suggestion here is that unicorns use their horns to call down magic from the sky, since that is where the sun and moon reside, while earth-ponies, zebras, buffalo, and so on use the more subtle magics of the earth and sea-ponies the still more mysterious magic of the sea.

By the way, progress is ongoing, for those curious. I've got a few weeks coming up between semesters where I'll be able to prioritize my writing again.

Ah, this gets better with each installment!  :heart:

I'm happy to see Stephen Magnet get some "screen time," as t'were; very few fics use him at all.  :pinkiesmile:

Holy smokes.  :rainbowderp:

This was NOT what I was expecting when I did a google search for [early modern english +"an thou"].  (You're the third result.) I'm knee-deep in editing the historical adventure-slash-crack crossover I'm writing, where I'm trying to simultaneously juggle Old English, EME and modern, but this is definitely going on my reading list once I come back up for air.

Dan

Glad you're still around, bro. Keep it up!

We need more formal lit geeks around here to lord over the plebs.

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