bedlamhouse: (Default)
2017-09-25 03:11 pm

The Poem

Here's the poem I have been working on, now that I have had a chance to present it to William and Isolde.
After the poem I have notes on the poetic structure and some analysis.

Yn Canmol William Ac Isolde
("In Praise Of William And Isolde")
A cywydd deuair hirion in cynghanedd groes

Midrealm people! Mead roy'lly
Flows in these halls. Fill as we
Praise battle arm, prize beauty.
William the Good - well you see
The Dragon Throne, though dear it
Cost in Will, Time. Cast on Wit,
Knit veiled tributes into view
Told of writ to laud virtue.
Singer of knights, song ever
Joyous to hear. Just to her:
Isolde inspires! As all dare
New fine feats, now fanfare,
Celebration! So labors she
Over chase of archery
Standard she set. Sought no door,
The fights rejoined though footsore.
Granters of rings! Grow new trust,
Aspire, add strides, spread stardust!
When same reign through, when somehow
Rune delivered - heir. And now,
Dandeli'n done dallying,
Tiger token of great king,
Rose down dais raised on high,
Will labors woo lullabye,
Sleep, true crowns. Seal poetry
Name more fame in memory.

-- Dafydd ap Hywel ap Madog Fychan, known as Dai Gerdwr



This is a praise poem as would typically have been written by a bard of the 14th/15th century in Wales. The specific examples of poems written by Iolo Goch and the poems of Gruffudd Llwyd written to Owain Glynd┼Ár serve as the prime inspiration for this poem.

Cywydd is Welsh alliterative poetry that consists of rhyming couplets wherein each line contains one of the defined forms of alliteration. Cywydd Deuair Hirion ("Poem of long couplets") is considered to be what is referenced when just the term cywydd is used and consists of rhyming couplets of seven syllables. In this form the rhymes must be between a stressed syllable on one line and an unstressed syllable on another line:

"Midrealm people! Mead roy'lly
Flows in these halls. Fill as we"

This rhyme scheme is fairly easy in Welsh as most multi-syllable words have their stress on the penultimate syllable and therefore can fit well into a couplet with a single-syllable word as the associated rhyme. It is not quite as easy in English...

Other forms of cywydd are Cywydd Deuair Fyrion ("Poem of short couplets") which consists of four syllables and does not require alliteration, and Cywydd Llosgyrnog ("Poem with tail rhymes") which is a complex form of 6 line stanzas of varying length with interlocking rhymes.

Cynghanedd ("harmony") refers to a number of schemes of alliteration. The most strict of these is cynghanedd groes ("cross harmony"), where the consonant sounds in the first half of the line must appear in the second half of the line in the same order and without interruption.

"Midrealm people! Mead roy'lly"

In its purest form, the alliteration is counted only from the beginning of the first stressed syllable. Examples seem to show that an ending consonant does not need to match because there is no stress following that syllable.

Other forms of cynghanedd include cynghanedd draws ("Oblique harmony"), where the alliteration may be interrupted, cynghanedd sain ("sound harmony"), where two words within the line rhyme and the second alliterates with (but does not rhyme with) the last word in the line, and cynghanedd lusg ("dragging harmony"), where the last syllable in the first half of the line rhymes with the next-to-last syllable of the line - which must be stressed.

(Sources: and


To be pure, this should have been written in Welsh. My Welsh is not at all up to anything beyond a "Goo Goo Gah Gah" poem, so that wasn't about to happen. Someday, perhaps.

Writing this in English meant making some decisions on the handling of "w" and "y" - in Welsh, these are always vowels while in English they can be considered a vowel in some cases and a consonant in others. I have tried to be consistent in usage such that if (for example) "y" is a consonant (as in "yes" or "you") in the first half of the line then it is used as such in the second half. This typically is the case when the y or w falls at the beginning of the word or syllable but not when it falls at the end.

English stress patterns on multi-syllable words can be wildly inconsistent and present problems when there is a primary stress and a secondary stress contained within the word. In almost all cases I have treated a secondary stress as unstressed. I justify this because in strict syllabic meter the secondary stress can be subsumed and spoke with small enough stress to fit the pattern. In the final couplet, I chose two multi-syllable words with a (primary)(unstress)(secondary) pattern. The image being too good to lose, I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which secondary stress can (or should) be emphasized to continue the proper pattern for the cywydd (personally, I choose "memory").

Finally, though it seems to have worked out properly for the most part, I did not strictly adhere to the alliteration surrounding the primary stress in the first half of the line being the start of the pattern for the second half of the line. This violation is most obvious when I separated a two-consonant combination into separate consonants or combined two into one ("Flows in these halls. Fill as we" - technically, the stress comes after the "l" in the first half but before it in the second half). It also appears when alliterating between an article and a full word ("The Dragon Throne, though dear it" should probably not alliterate on the th of "The" but it is somewhat rescued by "though" also being unstressed).

The inspiration for this poem was to honor the reign of William and Isolde, which was not just the first reign I observed in the SCA from tournament to coronation to the end but also has been inspiring in so many other ways. My initial challenge was to complete the poem prior to Midrealm Fall Coronation, AS LII. I accomplished this goal. I had set a secondary goal of creating a scroll to present to Their (now) Excellencies, but I was unable to accomplish that due to calligraphy and illumination skills which are not (yet) up to par for such a meaningful task.
bedlamhouse: (beer)
2017-06-16 04:44 pm

My First SCAnniversary

One year ago this weekend is the one year anniversary of the contact with the SCA that got us started on the path. We'd known people in the SCA for decades and had even gone to an outdoor SF con/SCA crossover event, but never really latched on. It was mostly because everything we saw focused a lot on the fighting ... plus, the idea of outdoor activities in the summer in Atlanta was a non-starter. The SCA held their 50-Year celebration practically in our back yard, so we figured if they were going to THAT much trouble to suck us in, we'd give it a try. We found all the things we had been interested in but never quite knew the extent of. We went to the locally sponsored event a couple of weeks later and were hooked.

It seems appropriate at the end of a year to lay out what I found and what I'm hoping to continue with. These are in no particular order (some are finds and some are goals).
  • There are amazing people in the SCA. I'm a responsibility junkie and I know my kin when I see them. They are all over the place and at every level. Stuff gets done and it's fun.
  • I can do artistic things besides music. I still am stymied on calligraphy progress (I just can't get anything to look right), but - surprise! - I seem to actually be fairly good at the illumination side (at least, at a beginner level). Goal here - to develop two solid hands so that I can start contributing to scrolls.
  • Stabbing people is fun! I thought I would spend time doing all Arts and Sciences and Bardic and stuff, because heavy fighting just isn't my thing, but since Brenda had fencing experience in college and she wanted to try rapier out so have I. We both love it - it is physical enough to increase our desire to get back into shape, and it is providing a lot of goals for us to shoot for. We're aiming to get authorized by Pennsic so we can play in a crowd there. Getting our own kit will allow us to get to some of the smaller practices in the area where they don't have loaner gear. Having a wife willing to sew me decent rapier armor sure helps.
  • I have people to drink my beer. I had really cut back on brewing because the calories from drinking at home needed to get off my ... stomach. Now, though, I'm having trouble keeping up with the summer events. I'm hoping to brew beer for more activities as well as try to get to the point of competition brewing.
  • I need to really make sure my volunteering level doesn't drop as more activities crowd onto the list. Getting more familiar with typical timeframes - when are there breaks from certain activities, when are people needed to be there - will help. Finding ways to contribute at start and finish of events will help. One of my personal goals is to try to spend less time volunteering for things I don't like to do. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but I have a personal problem with thinking I'm not working unless I hate what I'm doing. I've found a number of places I enjoy volunteering (gate in particular) and places I'd like to help with more if I could get the time from work (set-up, load in and out), and there are other areas (like field and consultation heraldry) that fall into that "doesn't feel like work - are they really volunteering?" area for me but that I want to do more of. I suspect this may be one of my biggest challenges in Year Two.
  • We are having a blast with the bardic folks. We hosted the first (hopefully semiannual) Slumber Bardy filled with lyric writing workshop goodness and are loving participating in the monthly gatherings. I'm geeking out over Welsh poetic forms and have a Major Project I need to get in gear and finish once my reference material arrives.
  • And Pennsic. Fulfilling Brenda's desire to camp with my desire not to spend more time setting up and tearing down than we do sleeping. I figure with 2 weeks, even given nocturnal revelry, we should be able to accomplish that. If the tent works as planned, of course...

In spite of the horror stories of bad experiences some have had, we so far have not run into a single garb snob or authenticity policeman - or, perhaps, the ones we HAVE met who keep such things at the top of their list seem to make comments in the spirit of contribution, not criticism. This may be because we have been around social awkwardness and one-ups-geek-ship for long enough that it fazes us less than it would were we in our teens or 20s.

This is a very general note, so I can't name everyone who has been an inspiration to me on these first steps. Within the next few months, you should know who you are (if you don't already...) because ANOTHER goal is to get a small pewter casting shop set up so I can make tokens of appreciation to hand out.

Following that statement immediately with an exception (of course), I did want to record one specific set of experiences that are locked into my memory and will be part of the foundations of my future approach to the SCA. In Dr. Who fandom, everyone has "their Doctor" - not necessarily the first Dr. Who they saw, but the first one who really resonated with them (mine is Peter Davison. No, I'm not going to argue about it.) In my case, I can apply the concept to the monarchy of the Middle Kingdom during my first year. Attending my first crown tournament was an incredible experience, with every element my "as they should have been" heart could have imagined: chivalry, respect, honor, and inspiration. To watch this man and his consort through their time as tanist/a, including having the opportunity to just sit and sing rowdy songs, then to watch the joy they have brought to so many by the way they have conducted their courts and themselves once crowned, to find myself truly honored to be in their presence - how much greater an example of that feeling when the modern world melts away can you get? My path will be very different (I have no desire to fight for a crown and neither does my wife), but in every step I take I hope to bring the same attitude and obvious love of the Society and people around them. Waes hael, William and Isolde.

In other words, I think I've found an activity that is both an incentive to retire as soon as possible so I have more TIME and an incentive to keep working so I have more MONEY (Hey, swords ain't cheap, ya know...)

Seriously, thanks for existing, SCA. Thanks to those who founded it not having any idea what it would become a half-century later. Thanks to those who keep the dream. I intend to be around for a long time.

bedlamhouse: (Default)
2017-04-25 10:07 am

More Dreamwidth Migration Stuff

...though it affects people on the LJ side.

I'm planning on dropping friends from my LJ who crosspost from DW. That will mean I will be narrowing my LJ feed to those who only post on that side rather than on DW.

I am letting folks know because as I recall this will affect their ability to see anything I post that is friends-locked. I don't post much (if anything) friends-locked, so it shouldn't be a big deal.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2017-04-14 09:57 am

DW/LJ Progress

I turned off my automatic subscription for LJ today. What with various credits and shifts in the payment date I have almost a year left paid, so I'll continue reading it for those I don't have on my DW feed. After that, it will depend on who is still LJ-only.

Meanwhile, on the DW side, I am somewhat behind in "granting access" to folks because I'm still trying to remember who is who. It really doesn't matter because I made it a rule long ago not to "friends lock" anything because I treat everything I post as public anyway. That said, I may need a re-introduction to people whose LJ names I have forgotten over the years in order to make sure I have them on my feed.

And if anyone has links to sets of mood icons for DW I'd appreciate it - I'm bored with the current ones and miss my dragons.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2017-04-10 10:27 am

Obligatory DW Post

I have disabled commenting on the LJ side, though I will keep the LJ account itself for the time being. My username is the same on the DW side.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2017-03-29 11:37 am

House Filk: April 15

Late notice here, unfortunately, though I got the FB notice out somewhat early...

Our annual House Filk/Bardic Circle/Music Party will be April 15, 2017 starting at around 6 PM.

BYOB - we'll have some sort of group dish, but feel free to bring anything else to contribute.

If you need crash space, let us know!
bedlamhouse: (beer)
2016-12-22 11:30 am

My Annual Holiday Wish

This should have gone up yesterday or the day before, but (as with so many things this year) I find myself running behind. I can't let the time go by, however, without wishing each and every one of you my now truly traditional blessing for the season, with all joy in whatever way you celebrate the Returning of the Light. Many of us find ourselves in Darkness, and the dawn seems so far away, but we have so much support and love around us that we will indeed make it to the Light.

Every year I find I love these words more and more (and acknowledge the help of [ profile] cflute in giving them their final polish):

- as the sun increases, so may your joys increase.
- as the nights become shorter, so may your sorrows shrink.
- as those you love surround you, feel my love there as well.
- may you be blessed by your Gods, be they within or without.
- may all your dearest dreams come to you in time.

Whether you have already celebrated your own Festival of Light or are preparing for it yet to come, may all the blessing of the returning Sun keep you well, prosperous, and happy in the coming year.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-11-17 12:01 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

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2016-11-16 09:00 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Wed, 19:28: Why did the individual stats go away on the NE scoreboard?
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-11-14 08:47 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Mon, 19:16: See? Just have to have Dan Burke and Frank Vogel in the same arena and the Pacers start playing defense.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-11-13 03:09 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Sat, 19:02: Why are they playing this mid-Sixties stuff? We need Woodstock-era protest music to celebrate Rajah, right?
  • Sat, 19:25: Did PG tell 'em to "win one for the gimpy"?
  • Sat, 21:00: Lots of fans leave after the 3rd quarter. Looks like Pacers' D did, too.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-11-10 12:01 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Wed, 20:32: Thank goodness our offense is so good we don't need defense.
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-10-27 03:05 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Wed, 19:34: Me likey!
  • Wed, 20:43: Pacers missing their outside shots as Mavs dial in theirs. *sigh*
  • Wed, 20:51: Report on Myles Turner? Let's just say I'm watching @El_Peckbo have pleasure convulsions...
  • Wed, 21:16: All I can say is thank goodness Nate gives us a better bench rotation. Oops.
  • Wed, 21:33: Indiana. Where layups go to die.
  • Wed, 21:38: Yeah, that's OK, don't guard Dirk.
  • Wed, 21:41: Good thing Teague can hit those clutch free throws ... Oh, wait...
  • Wed, 21:48: So you've got Teague but Monta is running the offense on transition?
  • Wed, 21:53: And THAT, boys and girls, was PG's sweetest assist of the night. The End.
  • Wed, 21:57: There's somebody in @El_Peckbo 's seat but he's standing up during the game.
bedlamhouse: (beer)
2016-10-16 01:38 pm

Fall Crown Tournament AS LI

As requested, here are my impressions of our first Crown Tournament.

Cut for brevity for those who don't particularly follow the SCA )
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-10-06 08:53 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

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2016-09-22 03:08 pm
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Wed, 17:50: Look who's back for Fever Basketball! Just in time.
bedlamhouse: (beer)
2016-09-03 10:00 pm

The New Baby

Here is the new puppy. Her rescue name was Michelle, but I have decided that her name is Miki. I could have used 2 k's in honor of my daughter-in-law, but that might invoke dog magnet energy second only to my own, which could lead to a canine black hole. The alternative is that she will dress in beautiful costumes and declaim lovely poetry - much less catastrophic.

bedlamhouse: (beer)
2016-07-08 10:04 am

Dallas, and how Black Lives AND Police Lives Matter

This essay is based on information obtained at 9:15 am on Friday, 8 July, 2016. Things may change, but these are my feelings at this moment in time.

#BlackLivesMatter. If "All Lives Matter" is to be anything more than an act of denial, then preserving it requires we address the lives most at risk. Black lives are most at risk, especially in police encounters. Attempting to treat them the same is like having a toilet seal leak and a basement pipe burst at the same time and deciding to address the toilet leak while letting the burst pipe flood the house because of some misplaced idea that "all pipes matter". The first rule of triage is to address the most dangerous issues immediately. We must address this immediately.

#PoliceLivesMatter. I know members of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line day after day to protect people regardless of their skin color. Taking revenge on any accessible white police officer is as appalling and wrong as a white police officer assuming a threat from a black man and using deadly force without due cause. Whether you quibble about the use of "racist" when a population is unempowered or not, a guy with a gun is empowered to enforce his own prejudices.


Not all police officers are racist fascists, Not all black men are criminal thugs. But the fact that of "not all" should empower NO ONE to argue the existence of "none", nor should it be used to invalidate the emotional response toward the ones who violate their own humanity. #BlackLivesMatter is about making people aware that there is anger and despair about something that happens over and over again - but people should take into their hearts that there is also anger and fear based on the existence of multiple shooters targeting police officers who were no more guilty than Philando Castile. To argue one's own case DOES NOT MEAN DEMEANING THE EMOTIONS OF OTHERS. To discuss "it happens more" on one side or the other is valid for determining placement of resources, but it is NOT VALID WHEN RESPONDING TO THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THOSE AFFECTED.

I am in mourning for all who died. I am in mourning for a population that continues to be threatened out of proportion to its size. I am in mourning for members of a profession whose reputations are destroyed by individual and systemic racism. I am in mourning that a peaceful protest was hijacked by those who would exact revenge based on race, thus destroying any chance for dialogue and setting us against one another. I am in mourning for the shared sense of our humanity that is being stripped from us all every time we ignore the value of life and argue over semantics and refuse to find common ground.

We are meant to be one people who come as a myriad of beautiful individual parts. We are meant to find God (or our fulfillment as human beings, or both, as your beliefs may define it) by meeting these challenges, not by succumbing to them.

Once, just once, whatever side you find yourself on, PLEASE take a moment to take a breath and think of someone you find opposing you. Once, just once, think of how to join yourselves together instead of thinking about how to score debating points. Once, just once, feel each other's pain and sadness and fear - and once, just once, think of how you can act together in love.

Anger, grief, pain - all are valid responses. Let them not lead to blindness, despair, and hate. Instead, let them fuel our resolve, our vision, and our love.
bedlamhouse: (beer)
2016-04-23 08:39 am


Wishing abundant (continued) joy to [ profile] clothsprogs and Tom on their wedding today in what is sure to have been The Event Of The Season!
bedlamhouse: (Default)
2016-04-22 03:39 am
Entry tags:

My tweets

  • Thu, 20:17: I really think if they are going to call fouls no matter how we defend, we might as well go 90s on 'em.
  • Thu, 20:20: Raps big miss at rim because of Turner's position. Next possession, Raps back door wide open hoop because of Turner's position. Rookies.
  • Thu, 20:23: What's with Pacers getting in the air on defense? They should all know better.
  • Thu, 20:26: Can anyone on this damn team hit a shot?
  • Thu, 20:31: And another Monta stellar pass.
  • Thu, 20:34: This damn team passes up more rim shots to kick the ball out for a bricked three than I've ever seen.
  • Thu, 21:12: Yet Another Bad Pass. Dear God, make it Stop.
  • Thu, 21:16: I want Monta off the floor.
  • Thu, 21:29: The most excited down 12 crowd you'll ever see
  • Thu, 21:40: Guys keep leaving a man wide open over confusion about who is supposed to stay in place. *sigh*
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