Poetry Reading II
A reading order will be set first based on those who send Princess Helena Redrain a message with the intent to read, but impromptu readers are welcome as well. No need to RSVP unless you want to be ensured a slot. Audience members who wish to listen and not read are of course free to come and join!
We look forward to hearing the gems that sparkle among the pages of your journals!
Jan. 10, 2019, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Reading Room
Comments and Log
1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, 3 House Riven Soldiers, white-tailed eagle, Lianna arrive, following Mia.
1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, 3 House Riven Soldiers, white-tailed eagle, Lianna leave, following Mia.
The little reading room has been set aside for another poetry reading and chat. The smell of parchment and ink and dust that combine into that pleasant "old book" smell permeates the room. Helena stands at the lectern that's been set at the front, smiling as people make their way in to sit at the cozy couches. She holds a journal in her hands, its pages marked with a green satin ribbon, ready to be read from. On tables nearby are bits of parchment and quills and ink, because it's very likely she'll make the little crowd do some more writing.
Nurie enters the room as quietly and discreetly as a practiced servant might, though if one catches her eyes they are near-alight with excitement. The Lycene slips into a seat at the end of one of the couches, settling with her delicate hands folded in her lap just so.
There's a thing or two out there that'll drag Arthen Dayne away from his histories and into the social atmosphere of Arx. One of those things is Damn Near Nothing and the other is Elgana Redrain. She arrives like princesses do, notable-like, and the explorer is at her side when she does, playing at companion for a while. "I know, it's a little embarrassin' how I haven't shut up about that last poetry readin' until this one. I'm tryin' to control my excitement..", Dayne is telling her, humor in his warm tone.
Waldemai sits, waiting for the poetry, which is kind of like singing but without all the singing.
"Embarrassing? Nonsense. I'm certain that my sister enjoyed having you here last time," Elgana says to the explorer she isn't quite dragging by the arm as they enter the Reading Room. There is a pause as those dark eyes sweep about the room to land on Helena who gets a waggle of fingers before the elder Redrain is dragging Arthen off toward a seat. "Excitement is good," she continues to the man as she finds a good spot and lowers herself into it, smiles offered to those she doesn't recognize.
The younger Redrain princess waggles her fingers back, and after it seems the time has come to start, she smiles at the small group clustered together on the sofas. "I see I didn't scare a few of you away last time. Thank you for returning!" she says brightly, before her eyes fall on Nurie, and she dips her head. "And welcome." She looks a bit less nervous than the last time she took to the lectern, but the group's a little smaller and practice makees... less nervous, if not perfect.
"I hope someone has something to read besides me. But for now, we'll start off with a little ice breaker and writing exercise, because I don't want to be the only one sharing today." She gestures to the parchment and quills on the tables. "If you don't have your own journal, feel free to borrow, or not." She smiles in Waldemai's direction. "And I'd like to give you this prompt tonight: 'I believe.' Write for a few minutes, let it take you wherever it takes you, and if anyone's willing to share, we'd love to hear it."
Waldemai glances down at the paper and quill, and then leans back, staring off in no particular direction. It might be possible to notice his lips moving as he recites to himself.
Helena reaches for a sand glass and turns it over, letting the purple-hued sand inside make its way from one end to the other.
Arthen Dayne's done this one before. This little exercise, if not the exact one. That small booklet he carries with him comes out of the inside-pocket of his coat, and he tears a page somewhere out of the middle and hands it over to Elgana, "Here, write on this..". He shoots her a smile and takes up one of those quills too, so he can sit there and scratch out whatever it is he's gotten to writing.
Nurie returns Helena's dip of the head with a deeper one of her own, a slight flush creeping into her cheeks. Though at the indication of the parchment and quills on the table, she seems a little uncertain. It is hard to resist taking one of the quills to hand however, or to at least touch the pristine parchment. She listens quietly to the prompt, thinking, and biting her lower lip ever so slightly in doing so.
"Ooh! 'I believe'." Elgana's brow furrows as she looks about for something but! She is then saved by Arthen, who gets a bright smile as she murmurs, "Thank you." And then she looks to that blank page before finally she starts to write. Scritch-scritch. Pause. Scritch-scritch-scritch. The Redrain concentrates on that prompt.
This time, Helena doesn't write too -- treachery! -- but watches the others until the time winds down. The sands move more slowly for her no doubt, in that relative way that sand time has, as she doesn't have a task to complete in a few moments but the others do. She waits a few moments, rather than calling time immediately, to let anyone still working to finish with a few more breaths past the last grain, before she speaks again.
"Would anyone like to share? It doesn't have to be long at all. A sentence is fine. A list or litany." Her blue eyes pass over each face, to wait for the first brave soul to speak.
Waldemai stands up and crosses his hand in front of himself to recite what he ... well, he never wrote it. He recites what he composed mentally. "I believe. I believe in the gods as they watch over us. I believe in the king, my fealty, House Malvici, and my Patron to do the right things for all of us. I believe in the strength of properly worked and quenched steel, and in the power of a hammer in my hands. And I believe in the people of the nation. We have fought together many times and come through each time because we stand shoulder to shoulder and never flinch when the enemy comes. We may die, but we do not run."
Waldemai's long unwritten response earns for him a bright smile from Helena. "Well spoken, Master Isenhu, and very poetically worded. You have a way with aphorism, with a belief system to back it up," she tells him, with a dip of her head.
Helena is overheard praising Waldemai.
Rebellion, a Graypeak Vanner Stallion arrives, following Elsa.
Waldemai has already resumes his seat when he bobs up again to bow politely. "If I can, your highness, what's that afor thing? I know what an aphid is, but not that other."
Once the sands have run their course, Elgana's quill ceases its scritching and she sets it down, smiling at her work before those dark eyes lift. She glances toward Waldemai as he speaks, nodding at his words. A glance is given back down at her own piece of writing and her nose crinkles. Those dark eyes tilt in a sly fashion toward Arthen's page.
Arthen Dayne gives Princess Elgana a look when tries to peek at his paper, shifting it away just a little bit. After a playfully admonishing look, he stands up, because he wrote a thing so he gonna share the thing. He peers into that little black book like he can't remember all of what he wrote there, before clearing his throat. "I believe everything is goin' to be okay. We just gotta make it okay." and that's all he's got it'd seem, so he sits himself right back down in his seat.
Nurie applauds Waldemai enthusiasticly, to his recitation, without much thought as to its appropriateness in such a small and quiet room. But she nods in agreement with Helena's praise of his work. Her own parchment is held somewhat tightly in her hands after she's put down her quill. She almost seems on the verge of speaking, with Arthen stands, and she sets it aside to applaud him as well
"An aphorism is a statement that sums up a universal truth nicely in a small, memorable way," Helena says with a grin for Waldemai. "Maybe because they are both small. I haven't studied the ety-" she pauses, before shifting her word choice. "The origins." When Arthen speaks, he too gets a smile and she nods in agreement. "Agreed." Her eyes fall on Nurie, noticing the woman about to speak, and she tips her head. "Did you have something to share?" she asks softly. "Or I can make my sister go first, if that would suit you." Elgana gets a grin.
Elsa slips into the room quietly, offering a quick smile all around while seeking out a chair to sit in that's out of the way. Settling in, the lady pats down her pockets and removes a small steel flask from oen pocket, uncapping it for a small tipple while looking to the group for the promised poetry.
Helena is overheard praising Arthen: be big damn heroes!
The Lycene tailor clears her throat slightly, before she stands, and smooths her skirts just so. "Oh no, my lady. That's quite all right, I'd be happy to." Nurie pauses, and recites what is on her page, her voice calm and cultured, betraying little nervousness except for the growing blush on her cheeks. "I believe that each thread simple and single in color still, shows its truest beauty in warp and weft with another. Only in that weaving may our hands bring forth the thrill, of seeing what pattern shall be discovered." And with that, she takes her seat once more.
Helena is overheard praising Nurie.
When Elsa slips in, Helena gives the woman a smile and nod, before turning to look back at Nurie when she stands. The princess' brows rise at the legitimate miniature poem that Nurie shares, and she claps her hands together, quite please. "Oh, lovely!" she says. "That's very lovely, especially on such short notice. I think you're what we call a ringer." She grins. "Did you have anything you wanted to read tonight as well?"
Elgana looks thoroughly repentant when Arthen casts that playful admonishing look the Redrain's way but it lasts only mere seconds before she is smiling and trying her very best not to laugh. When he rises to speak that laughter fades into her smile, managed gently as she nods at his words. "Well said, Dayne. We'll make it okay." Those dark eyes then flick toward Helena as her smile turns into a grin. "Now, now. I'll share mine in time!" As Nurie rises, Elgana's attentions turn there. She listens and she nods, smiling softly. "Well said." A moment later she rises, amethyst silks shifting in a quiet whisper. "I believe that the heroes of yesterday shine brightly within the hearts of the heroes of today, the everyday people who strive to do the right thing. Unseen and perhaps forever unknown, their deeds, both great and small, will turn the Dream and a brighter day will dawn." A little color comes to her cheeks as she sits back down.
"I hadn't, your highness," Nurie replies, with a small shake of her head. "I do not have a lot of time to write, especially of late. But I do greatly enjoy hearing what others share!" She bows her head again at the praise. "Thank you for your kind words!" She listens intently to what Elgana shares, and then happily applauds her as well!
"Wow, it's like I walked into a room full of poets or somethin'!", Arthen Dayne says right after Elgana finishes, and he claps real loud too in the name of support. He's an emotional support trusted house servant. But he's not clapping just for Elgana, so he stands up, "That was some real fine and inspirational stuff!". Clap! Clap! Clap! Then he finds his seat again, sensibly.
Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant arrive, following Petal.
Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant leave, following Petal.
Offering soft applause for each of the poems being read aloud, Elsa lets her gaze skip from one person to the next, that warm smile never leaving her face. Just enjoying hearing the efforts and creativity from others for an uncharacteristically quiet evening of art and appreciation.
Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant arrive, following Petal.
"Lovely as usual, Elgana," says Helena, with a sigh for her sister's sentiments. "Something that's been on all of our minds, I am sure, and a good reminder to us all to have faith and hope. And to make things okay." Arthen gets another smile at that, and then she looks to Nurie and nods. "It's quite all right. I was just hoping someone else might read a poem or two, to break up the monotony of my voice." With that she opens her journal and flips through a few pages. "I think I'll read just two tonight."
Helena is overheard praising Elgana: best sister, smartest sister.
Arthen Dayne calls out, "Hey, I can read somethin'! I just can't read first!". Haw.
Elgana gives Arthen a curious look before she says, "Ooh, got some poetry tucked up your sleeve?" There's a gentle tease in her words before she nudges him lightly with her elbow. It doesn't last long before Elgana is looking over toward Nurie, her smile warm and her gaze curious as she asks, "Are you a seamstress by chance? I only ask because of what you shared with us."
"Good!" says Helena with a laugh to Arthen. "And thank you," is said more softly, before she selects one of the pieces in the book.
"Disjointed," she begins, before she reads aloud, her voice clear and just loud enough to project through the small room and no farther.
"This body feels too fragile,
too soft, too grounded,
too bound by physics,
too limited by bone.
Mundane temples of flesh
cannot house the spirit.
This heart beats too rhythmically,
machinelike and regular,
its pulse, efficient perfection,
can't keep time
with the ever-shifting tempo
of my imperfect soul:
song without end."
Waldemai nods along with that.
"I guess I got somethin' tucked away in here..", Arthen Dayne tells Elgana before he stands up again, on account of how he's reading and all, and he takes a spell to clear his throat and put on his very serious reading face while he thumbs through that little black book. It's safe to say that in the late summer of his life he's able to get away with looking at his own tiny handwriting without squinting too much. "Upon a plank in storm-tossed seas, a group of folks did lay, and watched their vessel burn and sink into the hungry bay. The bones were cast. They knew not where their choice would bear them now, and gone were hopes of e'er seein' dirt what could be worked by plow. A better fate, it seemed, than to be stuck upon the ship, for yet on deck a thing they saw that straight from night was ripped.". He peers over the top of that little book just to make sure he didn't kill nobody. An apologetic smile, then he reads "Then yonder on a stormy shore, a light they all could spy. A tower made to ward off ships had chanced to catch their eye. They knew not what peril lay in wait for surely there'd be cliffs, but such a death was given chance for gettin' off their skiff. They spent what strength they all still had and paddled to the point. They kicked on heedless of fatigue in muscle, bone and joint." A man's gotta breath, and he does, and spends a moment to assure everyone, "Almost done. Stay with me..". Phew. "Then pulled they hard to dodge the shoals but swept into a dock, they eased their wearied forms upon it, countin' off their flock. One and all were starved and sick and weary without plan, but breathed they sighs and cried relief for finally they'd gained land." There it is, he lays it out, and he takes a second to explain it too, "That uh, that's just a thing I was thinkin' of stickin' into a new book I am workin' on is all. A piece of adventure memoir.", and he sits right back down.
"I am, your highness," Nurie replies brightly to Elgana. "I have a shop near the Lycene quarter, though I also serve my lady Countess Sabine Tessere, of Iriscal." She looks encouraging at Arthen as well. "Oh, I'm glad to heat that, messere!" She tells him, before turning back to Elgana with a smile. "Will you read again as well?" she asks, hopefully. But then Helena is reading, and she settles down to listen, intently.
Petal arrives in the room quietly while adorned in her common clothing and toting her basket. She has a gentle smile for those gathered here.
Helena turns to listen to Arthen, head canting to one side as she listens, finger lightly tapping along with the meter of the poem. "Oh, lovely!" she says when it's done, clapping her hands together. "Do you write adventures?" she asks, eyes widening. "I'd love to read it when you're through," she says to Arthen. Her eyes fall on Petal and she smiles at the latest arrival.
"If, Mistress Petal, you have anything to read, do let me know. I have but one more. Anyone else?"
Nurie falls silent again, as Arthen recites his tale, gathering near the edge of her seat, as if feeling the uncertainty of the poor shipboard travellers herself. She looks lost in thought for a long few moments. "Are you a musician too, your highness?" She asks Helena curiously. "Your poem reminds me of a little device one of the tutors used to use, at my lady's lessons, to help keep the time. She wasn't allowed to play what was in her heart or mind, but had to keep time with what was written instead!" Her eyes widen as she considers Arthen. "Are you a sailor too then, messere? My first time upon a ship was when I came to Arx with my lady. I didn't get sick at all, but sometimes seeing all the water with no hint of land made me dizzy with fright, and there wasn't one monster."
Petal shakes her head in response to Helena. "Oh, oh, no, I am no writer or poet." She says, but gives her a warm smile. "I just came to hear the poems, but I might have came too late."
Once more falling to silence, Elgana listens raptly to Helena recite her poem and only when the younger Redrain is finished speaking does the applause start. "Lovely! Absolutely lovely. Where are you hiding all of this poetry lately?" she wonders with a laugh as those dark eyes slip back to Arthen and she adds to him, "Isn't she wonderful?" But then he's making to stand so it is back to being good and quiet, thoughtful as she listens to him speak. There is a look on her face that clearly states she's been an audience to his stories before and she just devours this snippet until she falls from silence into a sigh. "He needs to write some and share!" she says to Helena at her question as a grin blooms on her lips. It is to Nurie her gaze travels next. "Oh! I will have to visit your shop sometime. I would love to see your work."
"Oh, not a good one," says Helena with a laugh to Nurie. "I learned a little as a child, but I had no patience for it, it turns out. She turns to smile at Petal. "I've one more, so at least that many! And you are talented enough without being a wordsmith too, I would wager, both of you." Nurie is included in that nod.
Sir Floppington, the soulful hound arrives, following Rowenova.
Arthen Dayne gives everyone a thankful smile for all their encouraging words, and then he turns a little to see Nurie there, "I do some sailin'. I do a bit of just about all the gettin' around sort of stuff. Good for explorin', so I see it.", and there's a longer smile for her before he's looking back to the rest of what's going on. He tells Helena, "I've got a couple around. I'll see if I can't dig you up copies of a couple. But always somethin' new in the works. Just recollections, that's all."
Scout Rowenova and Sir Floppington 'fail to sneak' into the Reading Room, doing so as quietly as they can, but still probably noticed due to showing up late.
"Thank you, Master Dayne," the Redrain scholar tells Arthen. She flips to another page in her journal, and then looks at the little group gathered together, nodding to Rowenova as the scout 'sneaks in.'
"I think it's not a secret I was greatly affected by the strange snows and the events surrounding them this winter," Helena murmurs, a rosy flush coloring her cheeks and a small smile given to Elgana, before she continues. "I wanted to add to the remembrances of Copper," she touches the copper brooch she wears, "but I am no crafter, so here is this instead:
"Somewhere, a clock stops ticking; quiet is its mourning song
Somewhere, murmurs a lament from lips silent everlong
Somewhere, shakes the ground below a temple black of stone
Somewhere, waits a paramour, feeling evermore alone
Somewhere, shatters a glass-wrought city, shards strewn far apart
Somewhere, stills for breathless moments a forever-beating heart
Somewhere, a castle from another 'when' arrives in our 'today'
Somewhere, a spark of brightest light bears part of the Dream away
Everywhere, hearts are broken, and one day, tales we will tell
of where we were, and who we were, the day that Copper fell."
Rowenova nods back her wolf-framed noggin toward Helena and then settles down onto a chosen seat before welcoming Flop to rest his noggin on her lap while silently listening to the ongoing poetry. She glances down to the tail ends of her copper scarf but then back up once more with a rueful smile.
"Beautiful," Elgana says softly when the poem comes to an end. A soft smile is given to her sister and those dark eyes now shine softly, a bit wet but she blinks it away carefully. Her little scrap of paper gets folded up neatly and tucked away into her satchel at her side.
Petal listens to the poem with all this attention and she smile when it come to an end. "Very lovely." She says in her heavy accent. "I am glad it made it in time for such."
Petal is overheard praising Helena: Lovely Poem!
Nurie listens attentively, though unlike some of the others in the room, it would appear that she doesn't have as much of a connection to the words themselves. The reactions of those around her, however, moves her greatly--her expression reflecting some of the sadness shown.
The book is closed and a small sigh escapes. Tears glimmer on Helena's dark lashes as she smiles, though it seems perhaps she feels better for sharing. "Thank you for coming. I hope that some of the words shared here today all of you lend each other strength and hope in these trying times. I believe," she adds, with a small breathy laugh, because she's answering the prompt after all, "that poetry is something that uplifts, even when it's sad, and that sharing anything that we find beautiful with one another can only make our world brighter. Thank you, all, for bringing beauty and hope in whatever way you do -- your medium can be fabric or metal or wood or words... or any combination of those things and more."
Arthen is overheard praising Helena: Heck of a thing, these poetry readings! Heck of a thing!
Waldemai tries to remember where he was that day. "I was in the city proper..." he recalls.
"I was outside, on my way to Raconteur... thank the Gods for a hooded cloak, it was already so cold out," Elsa murmurs softly before shaking her head and turning a smile towards Helena, inclining her chin towards the princess.
Nurie is overheard praising Helena: Thank you for such a lovely event!
Petal is still perched in a seat. "I was up in my loft sewing and didn't realize that anything happened unti later. I can blue clueless sometimes. I then grew the copper poppies in her honor, because it is the best I have to offer anyone, flowers."
"And I hope the recitation of your words eases some of your sorrow, sweet lady," Nurie says with heartfelt sincerity to Helene. "But I thank all that shared this evening. It was just what I needed, to get away from my work for a little while."
"The poppies are lovely. I placed mine in the augury at Redrain," says Helena gently to Petal. She dips her head to Nurie. "Thank you. I've found the strength I need when I lack it in my friends and my family." A smile is given to Elgana. She nods to each as they mention where they were, what they were doing. "It's a day that won't easily be forgotten."
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