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 Post subject: [Poem] Pallen and Paal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:23 pm 
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I just needed to write something.

For the purposes of rhyme and rhythm and so forth, "Pallen" is pronounced "Pal" (as in friend) "In," and "Paal" is pronounced like "Pale" or "Pail."

Enjoy!

Pallen and Paal


Last edited by RavenoftheBlack on Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:31 pm 
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I always, always, always love your poems, Raven! Is this a Jakkard poem? It sort of feels like it is, although I don't want to presume.

OK, so, anyway, I have to start with an admission, because the first line ("The sun in the sky was summer-time high") immediately put me in mind of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Summertime Dream," at which point my deeply-cracked brain started reading the poem in full Gordon Lightfoot voice, and tried to force every stanza into the meter of "The Wreck." Which actually worked surprisingly well on the longer lines, only to then trip up again on the shorter ones. As such, this made for a rather strange tug-of-war with my own internal narrator. :doh:

Anyway, I love all the internal rhymes in the longer lines, which is probably another reason why my brain keeps trying to force this poem into a song -- it has a wonderfully lyrical quality to it. This one feels a bit less like a bawdy trail song, and more like a midnight campfire tale -- something that would be told or played late at night, after the sun goes down, when the ghosts come out. I find myself wondering just how real Pallen and Paal are -- how much are their stories based in history, versus how much has been embellished over the years. It's fascinating to consider.

Thanks again for sharing, Raven! It is -- as usual -- wonderful! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:27 pm 
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I always, always, always love your poems, Raven!

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy them.

Is this a Jakkard poem? It sort of feels like it is, although I don't want to presume.

Although it does have bandits and jails, I did not conceive this as a Jakkard poem. Because horses are mentioned, I assume that it isn't, or else it would have had to come from before horses went extinct on Jakkard, which if memory serves was at some point before the Waste closed itself off in the first place. So while this likely bears some similarity to Jakkard, I don't think that it is.

OK, so, anyway, I have to start with an admission, because the first line ("The sun in the sky was summer-time high") immediately put me in mind of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Summertime Dream," at which point my deeply-cracked brain started reading the poem in full Gordon Lightfoot voice, and tried to force every stanza into the meter of "The Wreck." Which actually worked surprisingly well on the longer lines, only to then trip up again on the shorter ones. As such, this made for a rather strange tug-of-war with my own internal narrator. :doh:

As a big fan of Gordon Lightfoot's stuff, and those two songs specifically, I can say that I appreciate the connection, although it was not intended. The tension between odd and even lines, though, was intentional. Odd lines in this poem are more or less anapestic (though not strictly) but have a more flowing quality to them, whereas even lines are iambic and short. It's meant to have this jerky sort of start/stop quality to it, because, owing to the nature of the content, I didn't want readers getting "comfortable," if that makes sense. The pattern is consistent, but like the Edmund Fitzgerald, it comes up against rough seas, so to speak.

Anyway, I love all the internal rhymes in the longer lines, which is probably another reason why my brain keeps trying to force this poem into a song -- it has a wonderfully lyrical quality to it. This one feels a bit less like a bawdy trail song, and more like a midnight campfire tale -- something that would be told or played late at night, after the sun goes down, when the ghosts come out. I find myself wondering just how real Pallen and Paal are -- how much are their stories based in history, versus how much has been embellished over the years. It's fascinating to consider.

I've encountered a few different pieces recently that in one way or another explored this concept of offering "guilty" men the chance to make good by joining the army, and the consensus in those works, in which the protagonist almost always chooses the army, is that they eventually regret the choice. That's why Paal's fate winds up the easier, or "better," of the two. I suspect that, in whatever world this poem exists in, Pallen and Paal were not real people as such, but more stand-ins for the choices. Both being victims of circumstance of winding up in the wrong town at precisely the wrong moment, they are tragic figures anyway, and then apparently some sort of commentary on the perceived "fairness" of the two choices. But there's no reason they couldn't have been real at some point and, as you mention, simply faded away into their own legend.

Thanks again for sharing, Raven! It is -- as usual -- wonderful! :D

Thanks for reading!


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