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A community for the dragon language of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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A community for the dragon language of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Using Eddic Poetry to Write Verses

 1 

Ceredalmo
January 18, 2022

Hello, everyone!

I like Dovahzul's flexible grammar and I saw some contest-winning poems that are written in a more of a 19th century rhymed style, I personally have nothing against it, but then I thought: "Well if there are Old English and Old Norse influences in the dragon language, why there are no poems in Eddic/Skaldic style?" So I decided to write one and this is only the first part.

Fisrtly I should introduce you to a few concepts from Old Norse poetry:

  1. Alliterative verse -- ("initial rhyme") every "content word" in a line or in separate lines have the syllables start with the same consonant. "rocky road"; "see suddenly". Some rules: consonants alliterate/rhyme with other consonants, ideally you should rhyme groupings of consonants with the same groupings i.e. sk with sk or sm with sm; skald with scorn, strong with string(When alliterating orient yourself by looking at sounds not spellings). Vowels alliterate with any other vowels as in oar and elk -- they have stressed syllables starting with vowels albeit different. NOTA BENE: be sure to rhyme stressed syllables e.g. bo does not alliterate with bolaav(cause the stress is on the laa), but bo all-es with bolog. Check the stress placement 
  2. "content words" or "significant words" are those that carry the most meaning or the emphasized meaning in a line, these are usually nouns or verbs, but if let's say you want to emphasize cruelly in "cruelly exiled from the of sky" than make sure it alliterates.
  3. Kennings is a form of cirucmlocution or "saying in a different way" that is used for creating imagery and making the verses ornate. Usual form of the kenning is "something of something" e.g. steed of the sea = a ship; sweat of battle = blood; lord of dragons = drogsedovahhe (I usually alliterate with the first word of the word-combination.

Galldralag "song/incantation shape/meter" or simply "spell meter" is used when characters speak about magick or prophecies(?)

Galldralag usually consists of 6+1-3 lines. 2 stresses on the "significant words" in each line.
First two lines should have at least one all-ion between two words; in the third line two words should alliterate; same model for the next 3 lines. 1-3 lines are the same as 3rd and 6th lines composition-wise.

Alliterative rhyme scheme: 

  1. a_ / 0_
  2. a_ / 0_
  3. b_ / b_
  4. 0_ / c_
  5. c_ / 0_
  6. d_ / d_
  7. f_ / f_
  8. g_ / g_
  9. e_ / e_

You can head-rhyme all 4 stressed syllables in two first lines, you need at least one in the first one and one in the second one in what ever order, BUT parallel as in the sheme; then head-rhyme the two syllabs in the third line
a_ means alliterative rhyme;
b_ means another; different rhyme and so on
0_ means anything; can also be not head-rhymed

I bolded the "significant words" and italicsized additional non-significant stresses, here's my verse with translation:

Say as a brother my servant
Who reveres the scout of winds,

Are you a querist of magic?

Teacher of sermons
Who {is} knowable husband of runes

Shall make your sword of tongue frightful!

Bitterly ensnared are you

In mortality, but with our kingship

Will {you} reach the Mirror of Sun!

 

Not ancient are arcanas*,
But are {the} words of sky-conquerors

Listen obediently {and you} won’t be deafened.

Known* are three hundred breathes
To balance {the} runes of battle

In order to persuade {the} adversary forever.

Tonvaak fron aari
Revaataas roviik do vene

Los hi aan laniikselah

Mindovin do sahvotaakey*
Wo mindok los ahmulsesik

Fent hin zahkrisevun zofaas

Ahzid horvutahlaan hi los

Ko nahlein, nuz voth junaaru

Fen hiil hi faal Fiikseshul!

 

Kruziikni los lahbaasey*
Nunon los rot do kroniidlok

Huzrah thaarn fen honvuni

Mindok los sed ton su’um
Roha siksekrif

Fah aakrot hokoron ulse

* -- arcanas here means magic, magical schools (for humans)
* -- e at the word-end shoud be pronounced as {ei} in bake {beik} so I added -y's for readability)
What kennings did you find?

Your thoughts? Publish your Galldralags too!

by Ceredalmo
January 18, 2022

Hello, everyone!

I like Dovahzul's flexible grammar and I saw some contest-winning poems that are written in a more of a 19th century rhymed style, I personally have nothing against it, but then I thought: "Well if there are Old English and Old Norse influences in the dragon language, why there are no poems in Eddic/Skaldic style?" So I decided to write one and this is only the first part.

Fisrtly I should introduce you to a few concepts from Old Norse poetry:

  1. Alliterative verse -- ("initial rhyme") every "content word" in a line or in separate lines have the syllables start with the same consonant. "rocky road"; "see suddenly". Some rules: consonants alliterate/rhyme with other consonants, ideally you should rhyme groupings of consonants with the same groupings i.e. sk with sk or sm with sm; skald with scorn, strong with string(When alliterating orient yourself by looking at sounds not spellings). Vowels alliterate with any other vowels as in oar and elk -- they have stressed syllables starting with vowels albeit different. NOTA BENE: be sure to rhyme stressed syllables e.g. bo does not alliterate with bolaav(cause the stress is on the laa), but bo all-es with bolog. Check the stress placement 
  2. "content words" or "significant words" are those that carry the most meaning or the emphasized meaning in a line, these are usually nouns or verbs, but if let's say you want to emphasize cruelly in "cruelly exiled from the of sky" than make sure it alliterates.
  3. Kennings is a form of cirucmlocution or "saying in a different way" that is used for creating imagery and making the verses ornate. Usual form of the kenning is "something of something" e.g. steed of the sea = a ship; sweat of battle = blood; lord of dragons = drogsedovahhe (I usually alliterate with the first word of the word-combination.

Galldralag "song/incantation shape/meter" or simply "spell meter" is used when characters speak about magick or prophecies(?)

Galldralag usually consists of 6+1-3 lines. 2 stresses on the "significant words" in each line.
First two lines should have at least one all-ion between two words; in the third line two words should alliterate; same model for the next 3 lines. 1-3 lines are the same as 3rd and 6th lines composition-wise.

Alliterative rhyme scheme: 

  1. a_ / 0_
  2. a_ / 0_
  3. b_ / b_
  4. 0_ / c_
  5. c_ / 0_
  6. d_ / d_
  7. f_ / f_
  8. g_ / g_
  9. e_ / e_

You can head-rhyme all 4 stressed syllables in two first lines, you need at least one in the first one and one in the second one in what ever order, BUT parallel as in the sheme; then head-rhyme the two syllabs in the third line
a_ means alliterative rhyme;
b_ means another; different rhyme and so on
0_ means anything; can also be not head-rhymed

I bolded the "significant words" and italicsized additional non-significant stresses, here's my verse with translation:

Say as a brother my servant
Who reveres the scout of winds,

Are you a querist of magic?

Teacher of sermons
Who {is} knowable husband of runes

Shall make your sword of tongue frightful!

Bitterly ensnared are you

In mortality, but with our kingship

Will {you} reach the Mirror of Sun!

 

Not ancient are arcanas*,
But are {the} words of sky-conquerors

Listen obediently {and you} won’t be deafened.

Known* are three hundred breathes
To balance {the} runes of battle

In order to persuade {the} adversary forever.

Tonvaak fron aari
Revaataas roviik do vene

Los hi aan laniikselah

Mindovin do sahvotaakey*
Wo mindok los ahmulsesik

Fent hin zahkrisevun zofaas

Ahzid horvutahlaan hi los

Ko nahlein, nuz voth junaaru

Fen hiil hi faal Fiikseshul!

 

Kruziikni los lahbaasey*
Nunon los rot do kroniidlok

Huzrah thaarn fen honvuni

Mindok los sed ton su’um
Roha siksekrif

Fah aakrot hokoron ulse

* -- arcanas here means magic, magical schools (for humans)
* -- e at the word-end shoud be pronounced as {ei} in bake {beik} so I added -y's for readability)
What kennings did you find?

Your thoughts? Publish your Galldralags too!