11 Apr 2015

Dulce Bellum Inexpertis; A Poem

Good morrow readers!

Firstly, I ought thank Jenna Hiott—out interviewee for the post prior. Her musings have not only been intriguing (and perhaps even sought to enhance my inchoate philosophical knowledge) but they have also been blessed with your attention.

In any case: being a tour host for our darling Sage’s Blog Tours is not a mere one-time affair. Indeed, it requires commitment, and variety; both of which will be met in my upcoming book review. I won’t speak too much of that now (the details are not yet revealed, anyway) but what I can say is that I am planning to review a fantasy come dystopian sci-fi novel. It should make for interesting reading—I hope.

The review will be available on Goodreads (and perhaps Amazon) and will also make a brief appearance on the blog—along with all the pertinent details. This has two purposes insofar as you are concerned: firstly, you will check out Mr Stargazer’s reviews. This is very important; for Mr Stargazer is an avid, assiduous reviewer, and will be terribly cross if you were to ignore his musings.

Secondly, it will be a good opportunity for Mr Stargazer to bash other authors. Ooops—best not say that... oh, dear, he’s heard me now... too late...

The Fallen Saga

I have promised you another episode in the Fallen Saga; and I am happy to inform you that my promise is fulfilled. Meet Dulce Bellum Inexpertis: a tale of war, of death, and of the humanity behind the angelic. (For those of you unfamiliar with the immortal Latin tongue, the former is an oft-said phrase meaning ‘Sweet is war for those unknowing’.)

Firstly, you may want to read it...

The Fallen Saga

Brief Analysis

Since I am meant to be revising (school never was a kind beast, alas) my analysis shall be brief. Apologies; blame fate.

The first stanza is basically an objective-correlative (with perhaps a dash of pathetic fallacy):

Oh, how sweet is war!
How the very earth trembles in awe
And delighted fear; how even the sky—seemingly
So insouciant; so untroubled by dark countenance—
How even it must grow vermilion
As if in sweet expectancy.

You may notice such oxymorons as ‘delighted fear’. There are two reasons for its use: firstly, this Saga is a treasure trove for oxymorons. I suspect it may be source of oxymoronic inspiration for many poems to come.

But more importantly, I believe it captures an inherent contradiction. War is a terrible business; and even the strongest of forces will lose men. And few can say they do not fear death. Yet there is also something ecstatic—delightful, even—about those who wish for war. Perhaps the delusions of grandeur may be adduced; perhaps some, though unwilling to admit, desire blood and death and suffering. Alas, a deeper analysis is not on the books for now.

As for the last two lines: there’s something of that same hunger for blood imbued within the very world itself. Make of that what you will.

I’m going to fast forward through much of the rest—pointing out a few of the more vivid sections, e.g:

How soft
Are those traitor wings; how frightening
Are those wicked swords of darkness; those
Arrows past graced
With blood.

In order to reach what I believe are particularly noteworthy sections:

And so Lake Ayre
Claimed many a fallen being
That dark day. They smile, now;
Death’s cruel grip
Imbues them with eternal unlife.
Peace is not their gift.

Lake Ayre, as you know (or at least you should know, if you’ve been paying attention to any of this) has been referenced previously. It is a key feature of the Valley of Angels—specifically, it is where the most peaceful denizens reside. Mermaids, nymphs, harmless water creatures, and so on call it home.

Thus, Lake Ayre’s ominous degradation—‘The Ancient mirror—Lake Ayre—/ Grows pregnant with dark seed’—to this terrible culmination has symbolic meaning. In war, it is often the innocent that are most deprived of what is precious.

Another important stanza is:

Merthiol!
‘Aye, teller of truth,’ says he;
‘Do you wish me—indeed—
‘To bring peace to tormented souls?’ he asks
As if in jest.
‘In light, shall they not abandon us for good?’

To speak further of this stanza would require far more time than I have on offer. It’s meaning is clear, as it is; you, dear reader, must ask why.

Our closing lines are the age-old Latin truth:

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
Set dulcius pro patria vivere.

(Sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s fatherland; sweeter still to live.)

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