• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

horizon


Not a changeling.

E

Scansion has a problem. The poems that flow from his pen at night are the most beautiful he's ever written, but he doesn't remember writing them. Drawn ever-deeper into an exchange of letters with a voice that speaks only through his work, he must discover the truth: Is the lonely, recently-returned goddess of the night reaching out to him in the only way she can, or is he chasing shadows?

* Now with a dramatic reading by Neighrator Pony! *

Holy crap you guys. What have I unleashed? Here's a sample of the word-of-mouth blogstorm that drove it to the feature box out of nowhere:
"This is the best thing I've read in a long time."Bad Horse (rated: sitewide Top 10)
"'Thou Goddess' is magical and transcendent all the way through."Skywriter
"[P]oetic beauty. There is scarcely a height of acclaim I would not believe it deserves."Causal Quill (rated: sitewide Top 10)
"[C]hock full of splendid poetry … a jaw-dropping piece of prose and one of the best fics I have ever had the privilege to read."Present Perfect (rated: sitewide Top 15)
"I shall keep this brief, because I must finish weeping before lunch is over. This is gorgeous, and has utterly deserved every accolade it has received."Blue_Paladin42 (rated: sitewide Top 5)

Winner of AugieDog's "Nocturnes" Luna story contest! | Featured on EqD!

If the title sounds grammatically incorrect, please read this.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 185 )

A few administrative notes:

1) I will post some author's notes to my blog (tagging this story) after Augie's contest finishes. This will include annotations on the poetry. For now, I want the entry to stand alone.

2) I will also possibly post a revised version of this story after the contest finishes; I'll announce it if I do. (Note: With the two-day deadline extension, I'm feeling far more confident this is in its final form.)

3) COMMENTS CONTAIN SPOILERS. I think the resolution of the central mystery will have more impact if you figure it out organically, though I've done my best to make it rewarding if you (re-)read it knowing the ending.

This is beautiful.

4026729
Quick on the draw tonight!

Thank you for reading and enjoying (this goes for you too, 4026798). It's not quite a traditional romance, but if I ever did a traditional anything I'd probably need to go see a brain doctor.

4026892

I honestly must have refreshed just as it posted. And I'm a very quick reader. It definitely deserves some attention, though, and having it in Twilight's Library right off the bat should help...

--arcum42

This was oddly upsetting.

4027025
Thanks for speaking up. It certainly doesn't end up where it starts, or where I thought it would go; I don't even know whether to call it a happy ending or not!

Do you think that it would benefit from the massive pre-story spoiler of a Sad (or a Tragedy?) tag, even though the only source of tragedy is a third party to their relationship?

4027109
For the ending, I would just call it upsetting, yet thought prevoking. It was amazing. Also, it is damn near impossible to surf the net with a nook. Which i am now doing. There is also no spellcheck. Which sucks.

4026892 Traditional romances are a dime a dozen. I like it when something is a little different. :twilightsmile:

Their correspondence blossomed in triolets and sang in octaves,

Well, I really like that!

passionate and spondaneous,

...uh...

with the occasional atrocheous pun.

Oh dear.

His words would fly across the page, and she would tear a dactyl in response. She would cut a line tantalizingly short and he would meter halfway.

Okay. Impressive. It is about poetry; I suppose I should allow some punning. I feel this was sudden, though. Having characters make puns is one thing; having the narrator pun requires some warning levity.

Now you're making me think about Shakespeare again. I fear I am becoming obsessed. I worry a lot about whether stories can be good or bad, and whether people can tell if they're good or bad. I'm distressed that my allies in this, the people who believe that a story can be good or bad, keep justifying their position by citing the clever things they found (or imagined) in Shakespeare. Oh, look; he punned "sword" with "penis" and used "marry" with a double meaning again, just like he did in his last seven plays. Brilliant!

Now all I'm thinking is that this is better punning than Shakespeare ever did. It supports my opinion that Shakespeare's incompetence is ignored, and when he attains mere competence it is praised as genius.

I've had too many run-ins with Shakespeare this past week. I'm developing an allergy. It began about two weeks ago, when I heard Twelfth Night. Gods, that play is awful.

Onwards...

Oh, my. I'm impressed by the poetry, and your extensive knowledge of its forms, orders of magnitude beyond my own. Sending subtext by the choice of poetic form. You know I wouldn't even be able to read this without Wikipedia?

But there's a really good story here! It would be good even without all that poetry and erudition. If writing were baseball, this story would be a double-threat. And it has two climaxes, or three, or four; I'm not sure how to count. I guess 1 establishing dramatic event, 3 moments of great tension, and 1 resolution. Quite a lot of plot going on here in just 5000 words, between poems! I wish I could write a poem to say how much I like this story. But I'm not a wizard, so I can't.

The incubi of the sweven appear courtesy Skywriter,

Uh, what? :applejackconfused:

Yes. Wow. Yes. Okay. Yes. Wow.

Yes.

4027559
The Incubi of the Sweven are mentioned in Skywriter's latest, Philomeanie.


Incidentally, this was quite a bit of fun. That was one of the better pun-streams I've had the priviledge/misfortune of encountering, in the middle there.

Pure poetry in motion.

4027559
Dang, wow. Thanks.

Re Shakespeare: No comment, which I suspect is the proper response anyhow so that you can avoid getting dragged into yet another conversation on him.

Re "incubi of the sweven": I edited the story to change the author's note, since I edited the word "sweven" out of the story in a pass earlier today and forgot to change the note accordingly. But, yes, what 4027723 said about its origin.

Re the puns: iamb not even sorry. :trollestia:

4027826
Literally!

4027910
Didn't you spend the Everfree iron author competition making strange poetry? I should have known you were up to no good.:trixieshiftright:

4027918
Oh, no, that was an entirely different No Good, even though it also involved Luna and love and poetry. I posted it here. :twilightsmile:

4027934

That's right, I'd forgotten you'd posted it.

Principle seems sound, though: horizon is just generally up to no good, also poetry.

A beautiful story. Hm, yes. Rich and fraught with misgivings, rife with emotional turmoil, and all tied neatly with a poetic bow of stars.

Yep, that's love. The poor, poor thing.

No mercy.

Wow. That was fantastic! The poetry is so well-written... :rainbowkiss:

Their correspondence blossomed in triolets and sang in octaves, passionate and spondaneous, with the occasional atrocheous pun. His words would fly across the page, and she would tear a dactyl in response. She would cut a line tantalizingly short and he would meter halfway.

I don't know whether I want to punch you in the face or shake your hand for this paragraph.

As for the story itself, I literally had tears in my eyes at the end. Magnificently done. Thank you for it.

Brilliant. I'll quote myself from Bad Horse's post and say that I found it beautifully sad and sadly beautiful. It doesn't need any additional tags, despite your qualms. Not because it is a spoiler, but because this isn't really [sad] and isn't really a [tragedy] either, though it flirts with both. It's a pure romance, if seen through a glass, darkly.

And, on a personal note, I'd like to review the inclusion of Dotty: It's spot on. The scene where he shows up to talk to the poet—that is pure Dotted. That's what he does. He makes things be smooth[1]. And he is a discreet, constant presence whenever he is needed, and a welcome absence when he is not. Five teacups out of five! :twilightsmile:

[1] One thinks Cap'n Mal might have a use for him...CROSSOVER IDEA!

Woah. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the resolution of the mystery both took my breath away and made me grin like a mad man. I'm still grinning as I write this comment, and expect to continue doing so for some time.

Also, it looks like I need to get around to reading Philomeanie.

I get the feeling that this is going to be one of those unfortunate stories that doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. Maybe it's too heady a concept, or maybe people (myself included) don't care to read about OCs, but whatever the case, I thought this was beautiful. It's a lovely little tale that I'd like to see continued, whether it's fit for a sequel or not.

Always leave them wanting more, I guess! :twilightsheepish:

Wow, this is fantastic! It was a great read, even though my knowledge of English poetry is close to nonexistent.

Are some of these partial rhymes from Night intentional or pre-great vowel shift pure rhymes?

I took my time with this one. It is worth reading and it is worth reading closely.

This story STOLE from me, thou thief of hearts!

After imbibing your story, I seem to have acquired a strange aftertaste of:

Wait, did he die?

Gorgeous. Gorgeous, and I think it probably sings best to those who are also poets: so, don't expect a mass audience.

Their loss, truly. :ajsmug:

4030429

I think he cantereth now Nyght's stallion, himself.

4030961

That's what I originally thought, I just wasn't certain.

I only wish I was better at poetry analysis. Fantastic story.

Terror's eye doth rove when
Lords leap from their beds:
The door to darkness open!
Yet love make gentle ends.

4017711
I read it twice, as you requested,
And found my prior outlook bested,
Finding night the weaving master
Set aft' Nightmare Moon's disaster.

And yet still, understanding rended,
I was confused once it ended.
Whenceforth did their fate them now bring,
Come new gentle touch of morning?

Was it death, that met them freely,
Or now a fate more Unseelie?
Would the meeting with his lover
Make him Princess Luna's Brother?

From prose clearly beyond my knowing
I'd plead an understanding growing
As it stands I fall flat to unveil:
What flies the true purpose of this tale?

I know not the true purpose of this tale -- except that it made me even more mournful than usual, and I was precisely in the mood for that sort of thing.

(My thanks to Bad Horse for pointing me this way.)

I enjoyed this. I also have to say it's been a long time when I've needed to sit with a dictionary to read a story. I've learned more new types of poems than I than I ever thought necessary for any level of my education. Overall, nice story with a nice little twist.

I shall keep this brief, because I must finish weeping before lunch is over.

This gorgeous, and has utterly deserved every accolade it has received.:raritydespair:

I don't think any comment I could leave would honestly do this story justice, so I'll just say this: beautifully well done. I will certainly read this again soon. :twilightsmile:

I'm not sure if this is the correct usage of 'Thou'. I mean, "You Goddess" doesn't sound like a complete sentence, or seem to mean anything.

4032874

"You goddess" is the same kind of statement as "You rat", albeit with a very different emotional torque. It's an exclamation. In this case, it's a highly positive one.

I love poems so much. You sir, are brilliant.

This is poetry done right. Not that basted, over-analyzed nonsense they enforce in school. Bravo.

This is a very, very pleasing and amazingly different story.

I think you have the beginnings of a very good story should you choose to pursue the development of it.

Even if you don't, thank you for writing such a small and beautiful work of art that is this story.:twilightsmile:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

HE WOULD METER HALFWAY?

HORIZON YOU ALFUHSLUGBDFKLHBASLFYSDAAAAAA I SWEAR I WILL FIND YOU

Would you just ascend already and leave the rest of us peons to our purgatory? :|

That's beautiful...

I cant find words fulfilling or strong enough to properly describe my thoughts of this story... Though I will settle with what I can. You writing style is unique to me, and very appealing to my eye. Your poetry is wonderful, creative and full of meaning, unlike what we are shown in school which seemingly have no meaning at all. The type of romance you show here is... beautiful. Tis not lust, desperation, or pity, but simply there, which has touched me as I didn't think it could. Your level of writing skill is magnificent and I wish that I had that level of skill to better myself with, Luna knows! I can improve. I cannot fathom a way to continue this story and still keep its power and glory, though if you plan to continue it, I know that you will somehow only improve it. As a oneshot, this is just amazing and.. and........ annnnnnnd....... I'm running out of words to use to describe it... like I said earlier. :twilightblush: so to sum it up in a much shorter version: Story was great, and I absolutely loved it! :yay:

You wrote me oh so many letters
And all of them seemed true
The sentences looked good on paper
Specially from you, from you.

The weight of all those willing words
I carried all alone:
You wouldn't put your pen to bed
Until we'd found our own, our own.

Or perhaps you'd prefer to hear it it from a roving troubadour, singing through the streets at night:

Nice shout-out to Thomas Ford, in the parade scene:

I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.

Really, really, really good work there, Horizon. I'm rapt and admiring.

4028094 4028380 4028489 4028496 4028581 4029260
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4033491 4033599 4033720 4034714 4035855 4036057
First of all: I'm sorry for the reply-spam, but I need to say thank you, everyone, for such deep and passionate responses to the story. It means a great deal to me to be touching readers this way, above and beyond the usual feedback on one of my stories.

4029638
Wow, if I managed to layer in pre-GVS slant rhymes by accident, I'm going to have to count that one a win. :twilightblush: Not intentional. Where were you looking? I confess I'm not seeing anything similar except maybe the occasional use of "heart".

4028961 4033866
As for a sequel … this is one of those rare one-shots that does have a built-in hook; there's just so much intriguing territory to explore with Scansion's new life, and the reconciliation of Night and Mare..

I'm just not sure it would live up to the quality of this one. There's a magic here I'd have a hard, hard time reproducing, and the sequel would feel like a very different story.

4030429
I had hoped the final poem made clear enough what 4030961 summarized, but I'll take another look at the last section. (Was there anything which specifically made you wonder about the alternate interpretation?) Or, to put it another way,
4031400
Ignore the lure of my description
(in poetry) of tomb inscriptions —
if Scansion's last reply had made
him fear to reach an early grave,
he would, I hope, like you or I,
not meet his end without a cry.
Think of his proffered goal –
a union with a kindred soul.
That last cocoon was metaphor
to poems that had come before.
If that won't hoist confusion's weight,
sometime next week I'll annotate. :twilightblush:

4032874
re the provenance of "Thou Goddess," I'll copy and paste from the blog thread:

In the spirit of education: The "thou" is actually being used in the vocative case; the linked article shows several usages of "thou X," including Shakespeare. The most famous poetry the phrase "Thou Goddess" references, though, is Milton's invocations in Il Penseroso ("hail thou goddess, sage and holy") and L'Allegro ("come, thou Goddess fair and free"). As the phrase doesn't make grammatical sense in any other context, I use it strictly in the sense of those invocations (which the story backs up).

I hope that's helpful :twilightsmile:

4040061
Thanks for the pointer! Very fitting music.

4031244
'Tis always so, with our equines,
That all should end up right.
I close, invoking the divine,
And bid thee a good Night.
Incidentally, googling "love make gentle ends" (without the quotes) provided me a completely unrelated, slightly NSFW, and painfully funny postscript to the story. ;trollestia;

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