Poetry has been used as a way of preserving lore and presenting narratives since ancient times - from the ancient Greeks and Romans, through the Middle Ages, and up until the Renaissance (and indeed, the Modern Day,) poetic forms has been used to render simple statements into aesthetically pleasing art, to preserve information in a less corruptible form, to aid in memorization for performances, and many other purposes. Virtually every culture where we have written language, we also have poetry.
Period examples of poetry include, but are not limited to
- Narrative poems that tell a story. These range in length from a stanza or two to hundreds of pages (e.g. the Illiad.) This also includes stories that are obsensibly true - some histories are written in verse.
- Poems that express an idea or desire of the poet. This includes love poems, but also in some cultures a person would compose a poem to underscore their point, sometimes even on the spot.
- Poems that praise an individual's virtues. The subject of the poem can be the object of the poet's love, a friend whom they wish to honor, or a ruler whom they wish to impress.
In the Society for Creative Anachronism, poetry has a number of uses. They include, but are not limited to:
- An alternative to simple prose for telling a story. It is distinctly easier to memorize a poem than it is to memorize prose. It is altogether likely that in period poetry was used as a narrative form for performance more frequently than prose, but it is impossible to say.
- As a written or performed gift for an individual - period examples of praise poetry abound. This can be anything from a "thank you" for a nice turn to a gift for our Majesties to take to foreign Royals.
- Text for a scroll for an award.
At this time there are no groups that focus primarily on producing poetry, but anywhere you are likely to find classes on performance, you are likely to find classes on poetry.
To assist those looking for more information in poetry, the following is a list of those with some expertise in poetry, followed by the cultures of which they know.
- Mistress Aife ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige - early Irish
- Master Grim the Skald - Viking-Age Norse, 14th Century Alliterative, a few other miscellaneous forms
- Lord Magnús hvalmagi - Viking-Age Norse
- Countess Marguerite Ingen Lachlainn - Indian
- Master Tiberius Iulius Rufus - miscellaneous forms
- Master Toki Redbeard - Viking-Age Norse, a few other miscellaneous forms
- Viscondesa Jimena Montoya - miscellaneous forms, primarily English
A poetic performer may be recognized with the Order of the Troubadour. Otherwise Poetry falls into Arts and Science Awards such as the Maunche.
Here are some links to articles about poetry. Feel free to add.
- An Overview of Norse Poetry
- 14th Century Alliterative Poetry
- The Alliterative Meter of the Mort Arthure
There is a tag for the Category:Poems and Songs in the Wiki.
Here are some pages with multiple poems or links to poetry composed by various citizens of the East Kingdom: