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Okay. I vented, it's gone - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Okay. I vented, it's gone
Deep breath. I removed the bitchy post that a few people on my f-list may have seen. I will wait until I actually see PoA before I judge how faithful it is. People may be picking up on odd things in reviews, so the spoilers about a lot of things might not be an accurate picture. It's not fair to pre-judge, and what one person calls shouting, I may think of as "speaking firmly but quietly." Right? (Please?)

Anyway, just because after venting, I feel that I owe something, here's the first half of the Sorting Song from Tonks's sort in Of a Sort. It turned into a mini-Founders Fic in verse, which I sort of like, but it's a darling I'm going to have to kill, or at least amputate severely, or it will bring the story to a stand-still.


Years ago, in ages dark
On the windy, heathery moor
On a mossy rock, on a stormcrossed hill
Sat bold young Gryffindor.

His feet were sore, his shoulders stiff
From traveling for days.
Alas, he thought, his masters could
not be in just one place.

And just like that, the notion came
Full-formed and burning bright
He'd gather all the wisest ones
And on the hill, they'd set a light.

He went first to crafty Slytherin
A teacher and a friend
To try and get him to depart
His home in misty fen.

"I am not wanted," Slytherin said.
"The fear me far and wide.
An enemy they counted me,
A demon to despise."

Gryffindor told him, "Don't be daft,
The war was long ago
If you'd be brave and come along,
They'll not see you as a foe."

So together they set out
For the valley green and wide
Where kindly Widow Hufflepuff
And her chlidren did abide.

Said Hufflepuff, "I cannot go,
I have this earth to tend
And all these small ones to protect
From the fearful mob's bloody hands."

"Be wily, Madam," Slytherin said
"And be not where they believe
So when the cruel strangers come
You'll have long since taken leave."

And so the three departed
The small ones in their care
And sought a peaceful forest glen,
Home to Ravenclaw the fair.

"I will not join you," said Ravenclaw,
Her voice a bitter draft
"I vowed to serve but was driven away
For serving through my craft."

Gentle Hufflepuff stepped forward.
"Holy Sister, pray, be kind.
Your gifts are needed in our world--
Keep your vow and share your mind."
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Comments
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: May 24th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I want to know what Rowena has to persuade Godric to be wise(?) about....
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: May 24th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
You could always post the song in its entirety as a separate fic, or as a kind of a bonus to the story.
From: falco_999 Date: May 24th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, me like. My favourite songs tend to be Child ballads, so I have a soft spot for lyrics that tell a story. There's an interesting contrast between Gryffindor's quite casual speech and the other more folklorique parts of the song. It reminds me a bit of the Sorting Hat's style in GoF.

The first stanza is slightly odd though - you seem to be going for six syllables to every second line, yet there you have *counts on fingers* eight.

What kind of melody do you imagine the Hat singing the song to?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Basic folk guitar. Little hippie baby in me coming out. Probably a lyre or harp in the wizarding world.

The eight syllables break up the beats differently

Years ago, in ages dark (4 feet; kind of weird going from troche to iamb, but four)
On the windy, heathery moor (3 feet, anapest and iamb)
On a mossy rock, on a stormcrossed hill (4 feet, anapest and iamb)
Sat bold young Gryffindor. (3 feet, and yay, she manages to keep the whole line iambic!!! Shakespeare would be so impressed. :p)

I'm pretty sure the meter is messed up here and there--I'll never be a great formal poet!--but I was going for essentially a 4/3/4/3 combination of beats.
From: falco_999 Date: May 24th, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll never comment on lyrics again - you know much more about them than me! But since you've just revealed a rather impressive knowledge of metre (big mistake!), I expect to see the remaining chapters in Of A Sort written entirely in blank verse. Or else. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. Someday, I'll get bored enough to give it a try. I keep swearing to try a rhymed double sestina, but I just don't have quite enough daring for it. :p

I always wanted to see a pop band with a name like "Iamb, I Cry" or "The Tearing Dactyls." Maybe a rap group. They could rap old poems, like "The Raven." (Which I think would make an awesome video.)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: May 24th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always wanted to see a pop band with a name like "Iamb, I Cry" or "The Tearing Dactyls."

Now I do!

I'd suggest we start one, but I suspect it would require more time than either of us has and more musical ability than I've got.

I bet my brother would do it, though. And he can sing. (He can also do a startlingly good imitation of Darth Vader and then Mickey Mouse on successive breaths, or he used to be able to. I'm not sure if he still has the Mickey range or not.)
readerravenclaw From: readerravenclaw Date: May 24th, 2004 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
You definitely did the meter well; it was obvious to me from the start, and I like the 4/3 combo - it's a very memorable one. There's one line that breaks it somewhat jarringly, though, if you feel like fixing it.

And just like that, the notion came
Full-formed and burning bright
He'd gather all the wisest ones
*And on the hill, they'd set a light.

This last line can be forced to fit if you leave out the stress on "on" - but the natural first reading is to place the stress there, since the previous sentances have the second syllable stressed, and the effect is somewhat jarring.

Also, I think that the line
"I will not join you," said Ravenclaw,
would read better as with "said" and "Ravenclaw" switched. Again, once you're familiar with the beat, it can easily be made to fit (in several different ways, as a matter of fact - I wonder which one you had in mind?) but on the first time readng it, it sounds a bit awkward. "Ravenclaw" naturally has its stress on the first syllable, which makes it easier for the reader to read with the meter on the first time through.

The last line is also a bit messed up, and since its the last line, you might want to fix that as well.

Also, two typos that I caught:

"The fear me far and wide.
*They

And her chlidren did abide.
*children
/un-asked for beta-ing. Sorry if I'm being annoying!

The poem in general is very good; I wrote a Sorting Hat song for a fic of mine as well that was actually longer (I believe) than the one in the OotP - (the Sorting Hat was implementing a new Sorting policy, and was explaining the whys and wherefores of it) and I definitely know how complicated it can sometimes be to keep the meter/rhythm! And I really like the idea of Rowena having been a nun, not necessarily because I think she was, but because it does seem possible, and Rowena is a FAR more likely candidate than Helga, from the little we know of her.

And since I noticed that others have been letting you know when they've friended you, I figured I might as well inform you as well. I friended you earlier today - mostly, I admit, because I'm eagerly awaiting future installments of Shifts - but I'm finding the rest of your posts interesting/enjoyable as well. (Just in case you hadn't figured that out from the rate at which I've been commenting today. :) )
mafdet From: mafdet Date: May 24th, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the song. I'm going to have to make one up for my own fic and I am dreading it. You've gone and made up several Sorting Hat songs and that is very cool (and Hufflepuffish in its diligence - many authors are lazy).

It makes much sense for Rowena to be a nun. Many authors assume Helga was a nun, but, being a history buff, I know that it's much more historically accurate to make Helga a housewife and mum (you just know Helga knows how to make a mean homebrew!) and Rowena, the intellectual, belongs to the convent. Nuns in the Middle Ages were often women who preferred a studious life of the mind. (I read about a nun named Hroswitha who wrote plays - which the local bishops encouraged her to do because they were religious plays and the object was to improve the minds of her audience).
dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: May 24th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Founders! *squee!* PK pointed me your way because you have FOUNDERS, so here I am. *g* I've been following your fic for a while, though I don't review as often as I should. Mind if I friend?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2004 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love friends. :)
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: May 25th, 2004 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I loed this song so far. I"ll jsuttell you you knwo mcu hmore about poetry than I doaboutaht ,and prose together so I"l just hide inacorner with a few thousand books on literature and writing techniques.

I never even NOTICED exactly how those lyrics in t he boks went.
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