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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0009832Dwarf FortressArt Formspublic2016-06-12 02:222017-07-28 12:53
Assigned To 
PlatformOSOS Version
Product Version0.43.03 
Target VersionFixed in Version 
Summary0009832: Overuse of casesura and reversal in poetic forms
DescriptionA high proportion of poetic forms include stipulations that are rare in real-life poetry and very difficult to incorporate when trying to write real poems based on the forms.

"Every line has an initial/medial/terminal caesura": occasional use of caesura is pretty common, but it's very rare to find one on every line, particularly in long poems.

"Reversed word order": Might occur in rare individual poems where the poet is showing off their cleverness, but surely not as part of the rules of a form.

"Reversed grammatical structure": See above.
Steps To Reproduce1) Start an adventurer. Select "Perform" -> "Poetry" and examine the forms available.

2) Try to write an actual poem based on one of the forms.
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-  Notes
Simons Mith (reporter)
2016-09-07 17:24

It's entirely possibly to churn out /bad/ poetry that satisfies these constraints. Maybe that's the point. After all, from the quotes page, 'Urdim Kutamèrith, Pump Operator, has created Rakusttenshed, a Glumprong blowgun!' So unless or until dwarves making masterworks were coded to prefer better-quality material, rather than the first random objects to come to hand (siltstone, turkey bones and sard...), one might infer that their production of epically bad poetry is just as intentional. They might be /trying/ to be heroically epic, but maybe they're coded to be tinged with incompetence. That does fit the DF ethos quite well :-)
Simons Mith (reporter)
2017-07-25 13:21

Here someone else's beta poetry form generator that my be of interest, if ever any refinements are made in this area. [^]

I suggest visiting and snarfing a few samples, at least.
Loci (manager)
2017-07-28 12:53

Poetry is closely coupled to language; forms which work well in one language are often unwieldy or unusable in another. Dwarf Fortress features multiple in-game languages; while we have lexicons ( [^] ), we lack the grammar and usage to determine if the generated poetic forms are indeed reasonable and achievable in those languages.

For a real-world example, caesurae were significantly more common in classic greek, latin, and old english poetry. The recognized form of alliterative verse specifically required caesurae ( [^] ), with Beowulf being a standard example.

While "modified grammatical structure" (anastrophe) was also fairly common in classic greek, latin, and old english works, you are correct that it generally was not a requirement of a form. However, it is possible to construct hypothetical languages which strongly encourage anastrophe, and in such a language anastrophe could well become one characteristic of a form.

Ultimately, though a hand-wavy statement that it could potentially work may be unsatisfying, determining realistic poetic forms for fictional languages is a difficult task that cannot be completed with the current level of simulation.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2016-06-12 02:22 Maugrim New Issue
2016-09-07 17:24 Simons Mith Note Added: 0035857
2017-07-25 13:21 Simons Mith Note Added: 0036672
2017-07-28 12:53 Loci Note Added: 0036678

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