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February 20, 2012
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He brushed his wavy hair from his pale face
Just like his horse was shaking off the flies
While following behind. Their limping pace

Was slow, although the city rang with cries
Surprised from friends who thought that he was dead--
But still his head slumped down, and still his eyes

And clammy cheeks were flushed with streaking red,
Though they were running, dashing to his side.
And then his young brother, half-laughing, said,

"Oh god, I thought--you know we thought you died?
That awful task--you left, you rode away--
And then did not come back. Oh, how I cried!

I thought you died. On last year's new-year's day
A year since you had left, they all agreed
You must have failed your quest, but I said nay--

I knew my brother Gawain would succeed
Although it seemed to all impossible.
But you did not come back, and I concede

I thought you died." And then his voice sunk low
From where it had been shouting in delight,
And then he said: "But brother, may I know--

Your hair is snarled, unkempt--your eyes are bright
As if with tears; Your horse seems wounded too.
Your awful task--was it so hard a fight

That still some evil lingers over you?
And now I make it worse! I cannot know
The torments of the hells you have walked through

But surely I have sense 'nough to forgo
This questioning. Brother, please answer me!
Each second of your silence is a blow

Against my heart, which only wants to see
The brother that I love alive and well."
And all the crowd was waiting quietly

To hear Gawain's reply, to hear him tell
Of his heroic deeds, for he of old
Would often sing of them. But his head fell

And he drew his limbs closer, as if cold
Was creeping up along his silver mail,
And murmured that his story he would hold

Until the King himself asked for the tale.
So this is the beginning of the Arthurian poem I promised, and have been working on for quite some time now. Currently I have close to 40 stanzas completed, and I still haven't actually gotten to the main story of the poem. So I doubt I will post it all here, but here is at least a portion of what I have done!

This poem is basically influenced from two primary sources--"Gawain and the Green Knight" and Morris' "Defence of Guenevere". It will probably make more sense if you've read "Gawain and the Green Knight", at least, but even if you haven't I would really, really appreciate any feedback you might have. This is my longest poem and the first really telling a story. I would like help.

So some questions:
First impressions of Gawain?
Of his brother?
Meter issues? (I know there are some)
Do you like it thus far?
Anything else, at all? Any comments/critiques would be so helpful!

Thank you!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-01-24
:icongrimface242:
Wow! That's all I can say right now.

I've always been a fan of the legends around King Arthur and his Knights. The stories capture you and hold your attention because you're easily able to root for them. You want to see the knights succeed in whatever their task is.

And you do not fail in accomplishing this.

Your description of his appearance as he returns captures my attention right out of the gates. It's obvious he's been through hell and back and I wanna know the story.

The way the brother rushes up and greets Gawain is exactly what you'd expect of a younger sibling that never gave up on seeing his older brother again!

And the end. Oh, the end. It's truly evil because I wanna know what happened. I can't wait for the next part.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
13 out of 13 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014   Writer
I'm terrible at commenting on poetry, but I really liked this. Have you finished the whole poem?
Reply
:iconelksongredfeather:
elksongredfeather Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Gawain seems like he's gone through some tough times (I wonder what?) and he brother seems like he's a pretty nice guy that really cares for Gawain :)

I love it so far! I can't wait to read more! Congrats on the DD, it is well deserved :D 

Reply
:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, and congratulations on the DD! I am here to offer a review on behalf of Criticarium

First impressions of Gawain?
Not much so far, only that he's tired and wounded, and suffered some great loss. 

Of his brother? 
I get this image that he's all like: HELLZ YEAH I knew you were alive all this time! Take that haters :happybounce:  ............ wait a sec, why are you bleeding? :ohnoes:
I get the impression that he's idealistic, though not necessarily naive or oblivious. I also get the impression that he cares about Gawain and looks up to him. 

Meter issues?
You used enjambment quite well with the last line of (most of) the stanzas, it helped keep things consistent. With some of the stanzas near the end, without the enjambment it actually got harder to figure out the meter. 

Also, it's a little hard to figure out how to read the middle lines sometimes; some of them are longer and have a lot more syllables. I can suggest one change for this line: Surprised from friends who thought that he was dead  ...to... Surprise from friends who thought him dead. It simplifies the number of syllables in the last couple of feet, and also gives the diction a more archaic feel. 

Do you like it thus far?
Yes, it has me interested in what happens next; I would really like to read the rest, if you have it floating around somewhere. I like the formal, romantic tone that you adopted for this piece, it really does remind me of a fairy tale, where all the characters speak with flowery, poetic language. 

Other comments:
I'm not really sure why it is, but the first stanza feels a little more modern in grammar and diction than the rest of the piece, it sticks out to me (not in a good way). Maybe I'm just imagining things :shrug:

Oh god, I thought -- God should be capitalized here; I imagine that they believed in God. 

On last year's new-year's day -- Love this line! The repetition gives it a very musical feel. 

That still some evil lingers over you?... While it has some meter issues that I can't quite put my finger on, this stanza showcases the flowery speech that I love about this piece. 

Overall, while I'm not too familiar with Arthurian legend, I loved the romantic feel to the piece, and will be eagerly awaiting more. 
Reply
:iconlibbykeppen:
LibbyKeppen Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG I love Gawain so much ah!  I am so glad this got a daily deviation, it is so deserving.  I also love the obvious influence from Gawain  and the Green Knight.  The flow of this is very appealing and I can't quite pinpoint what it is so it kept me interested throughout.  And the creative use of dialogue here was excellent too.  I am so happy for you, congrats!
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
I think you're largely fine on the meter. There are a few hiccupy places, but almost all the old poems had those, because perfectly metered poetry actually gets mind-numbing and you lose the actual words in the meter. It wasn't choppy enough to throw me off, so that wasn't bad (except maybe "impossible" since it's a tertiary rhyme).

I would continue to read more, if it were available. Thanks for the read.
Reply
:iconsakohju:
sakohju Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Wow! Really rich poem~ I'd love to read the rest!
Reply
:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Student Writer
Please, please please do post the whole poem. This is brilliant stuff. Always good when peeps get classicalness spot on. 
Reply
:icontruthistruth:
TruthisTruth Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations on the Daily Deviation! :clap:
Reply
:iconfalconfate:
FalconFate Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow…

You should become a scholar! This is AMAZING!!
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Student General Artist
What's the form????
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