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Bianca’s out for this episode, so William and I take the opportunity to talk about something she hates so much she wouldn’t let us have a show about it: poetry!  Figure out how to choose good poetic devices for your conlang, and how history can affect the complexity of poetry.  Also we talk about the amazingly verbless Kēlen.

Top of Show Greeting: Delang

Links and Resources:

Poetry Examples:

On the third day they reached the appointed field.
There the hunter and the ensnarer rested at their seat.
One day, two days, they lurked at the entrance to the well,
where the cattle were accustomed to slake their thirst,
where the creatures of the waters were sporting.
Then [came] Enkidu, whose home was the mountains,
who with gazelles ate herbs,
and with the cattle slaked his thirst,
and with the creatures of the waters rejoiced his heart.

Biblical antithesis:

A wise son maketh a glad father,

but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

— Proverbs 10:1

Conlang: Kēlen

13 Responses to “Conlangery #21: Poetry”

  1. Koppa Dasao

    Wow! That was strange.

    I think you’re right, reading IPA isn’t your strongest side 😉 It was almost like hearing you speak Norwegian, very foreign, but still easily understandable.

  2. Tom H Chappell

    Did you consider the Burmese (? somewhere around there anyway) “climbing” meters, where a particular tone occurs in the first syllable or foot of each line of a particular stanza and also in the last syllable or foot of the first line of the stanza, then the next-to-last syllable or foot of the second line, then the antepenultimate of the third line, and so on until it occurs in the second syllable or foot of the stanza’s last line? Then, the next stanza follows the same pattern with a (usually) different tone.

  3. Anthony Miles

    I really enjoy the show and have used some of the episodes to improve my own conlang, although most of the conlang poetry I’ve written is in Toki Pona. One thing I would add to your discussion: conlangers need to try many different forms, but realize that many promising patterns will fail miserably in execution. That is okay.

    In terms of resources, I recommend looking at Korean sijo poetry if you’re in love with Haiku. Its pattern of syllable clusters, timed pauses, and thematic structure is too complicated to replicate directly, but it might inspire the conlanger to think differently.

    Conlang poetry can be therapeutic if you want to write something that you can’t say in public.

    Oh, and I _like_ the Greek Anthology. I recommend it for conlang vocab building.


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