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Beyond - Legends In love, in pain. Vua Rapuung/Mezhan Kwaad. SFFA Winner

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Tahi, Apr 16, 2004.

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  1. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Title: In love, in pain.
    Author: Tahi
    Genre: Letter/poem/angst
    Timeframe: Set on one of the Yuuzhan Vong worldships a while before before Vua Rapuung was shamed.

    I wrote this for the Valentine's Day letter challenge, but decided to post it separately. I did post it in my Many Happy returns thread, but I guess you'd have to be an Anakin/Tahiri fan to read that. ;)

    ****

    Mezhan Kwaad,

    It is silent here in the warriors' grashal and the damp of morning lies heavy in the air. I breathe out and watch the curls of steam stretch into sinuous fingers - like yours, my dextrous love. Alone in this compartment where I sit with stylus and parchment in hand, I can still sense your fragrance, your flavour, and it fills me with a yearning that only lovers may know. The pain is glorious - searing through me like rabid hunger, then consuming me whole like a vangaak. Thus tortured, I cannot rest, I cannot eat, and I think of you constantly.

    Last night, after we parted, I couldn't get you out of my thoughts. It's as if you haunt me, temptress of Domain Kwaad, as if you have seeded something in my brain to drive me to this insanity. Then in the crazed grip of my insomnia I knew I had to record these my feelings for you. Dangerous, yes - but what is life without the imminent reality of death. I managed to procure writing implements (the usual method) and started to work, but surprisingly - to me anyway, having no experience in the art of the scribe - the words rolled from my mouth down the i'fii quill as easily as my blood flowed into its bladder.

    Easy is not the way of the warrior, least of all my way. Easy breeds indolence, lacissitude - and I would rather you run me through now with your shaper's finger-spears and bleed me dry, than watch me descend into the degradation, the deplorable ignominy of such weakness. I cast the stylus aside and went to find a healing skin to seal the slit I had cut on the back of my hand.

    Then I remembered the art of the poet, the hours spent in the crèche as a child wrestling with the many poetic forms as I tried to force my words to behave according to the rules of rhyme. I remembered the sweat, the punishment when I failed, even the feeling of failure itself - the frustration driving my nerves to the edge and making me insane with jealousy for those who succeeded. Such torment! And yet torment unlike any other, except the torment of this love.

    And so I started this poem. I struggled with it, fought with it all night. The agony of squeezing my feelings into this rigid shape, of forcing them to expand and contract, to scan, to rhyme according to the rules of the form I chose was excruciating. And I selected the most challenging - the ancient lyric rima of Domain Qah.

    I am now exhausted - but it is complete. However, I will not rest until I have your response.

    So read carefully, my cruel one. Step lightly though the stanzas in case you crush my heart with your heel.

    I await the next darkness - and the fury of your embrace.

    ******

    Savage love, no poet's skill have I.
    A warrior from the crèche, my art
    lies not in symbols. And yet I see
    that my tradition is not so far apart,
    my stylus - my couffe. My parchment -
    the flesh of my foe, where time again
    I wrote my sacrifice of blood and pain.

    Dangerous love, my partner in crime,
    my passion for you unsummoned, callow,
    shy at first, a tender seed that grew bold
    and now begs to bloom, yet must in shadow
    remain. Discovery a double risk for both
    this poem, our love. Begging dispensation,
    the gods of love reward us with temptation.

    Forbidden love, is this our lot? Secret
    assignations praying the gods will smile,
    agony of deceit rising like sap, driving us
    to sweet despair. Desire, no longer docile,
    awaits its season, cares not for reason,
    but craves your touch - your absence an ache,
    an overwhelming thirst that naught can slake.

    Manipulative love, sculptor of life,
    your skill my inspiration. But not worlds
    for my fingers, nor flesh. I choose the lyric.
     
    kecen likes this.
  2. TheCrazyRodian

    TheCrazyRodian Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2004
    I don't think I ever replied to this when I read it before, but I will now. This is so good. Seriously, this is amazing. It sounds genuinely Yuuzhan Vong and equally genuinely Vua Rapuung. Can you do more YV stuff for me? Pretty please?
     
  3. Tekli_theInsane

    Tekli_theInsane Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2004
    This is so wonderfully unique. A Yuuzhan Vong love letter? I was skeptical, I must admit... [face_blush] That was perfect. Absolutely stunning. The wording just made it so terribly heartbreaking. The poem was incredible, and I loved how each stanza started off with a different description of love except the last. I applaud you for creating such a Yuuzhan-Vong-like poetic form, tied into their religion. Wow, I could go on forever about this, but I think I have to get off of the internet soon... To sum it up: You chose an extremely difficult piece to write and pulled it off better than perfectly. :)
     
  4. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Wow! Two new readers I've never met before. Cool. Hi and thanks for the lovely feedback.

    CrazyRodian Love your nickname. :) I have a Rodian character in my Anakin/Tahiri novel - he's a good guy, too.

    It sounds genuinely Yuuzhan Vong and equally genuinely Vua Rapuung. Thanks for that. That's always the BIG worry when you're writing the less familiar characters. I do find the YV fascinating and I especially liked Rapuung. Greg Keyes did such a good job writing YV culture.

    Can you do more YV stuff for me? Pretty please? Aha! The old emotional blackmail trick, eh? I'd love to write more YV pieces. If I can think of another idea for one, I'll certainly have another crack. :)

    Tekli_theInsane Thanks, I'm so glad you found it did tweak your emotions a bit. I was a little worried that the references to the gods etc might de-personalise the "love" aspect, but obviously it didn't. Whew! It WAS a risk - but I wanted to go out of my comfort zone with this one.

    This is so wonderfully unique. A Yuuzhan Vong love letter? I was skeptical, I must admit... Actually so was I. :D But then I reread the bits in Conquest where Rapuung was telling Anakin about Mezhan Kwaad and realised that there was quite a bit of passion still there, so I hooked into that.

    I loved how each stanza started off with a different description of love except the last. Yay! Thanks for picking that up. I figured that Rapuung was a fairly systematic thinker even though I gather he was a pretty wild man once he got into a fight. (I like the inconsistencies in characters.) For example, while his writing and planning would be precise, his methods for acquiring the tools to write would be outlandish - ie. he stole the parchment and the fine i'fii quill pen from the priests. :D

    I was also consciously trying to make the last stanza a little awkward - hence the sentence breaks in mid-line. This was to both show Rapuung's anguish and also to represent his unwillingness for the poem - and therefore his communion with Mezhan - to end. The disjunctions are also to foreshadow to the reader that the love is doomed. Although he tries to make the claim that using a traditional poetic form vindicates their love - the awkward last stanza shows that he can't maintain the form and hence nor can they maintain their love. Hope that makes sense! ;) Basically it's a case of form = content. (Slight influence of Auden there. :) )

    I applaud you for creating such a Yuuzhan-Vong-like poetic form, tied into their religion. Thanks again for that observation. I figured that pretty much everything they do is tied to religion and so their art would certainly reflect their belief system. I guess if we look back into our various histories we often find that poetry arose from religious worship - so I guess the YV would be no different.

    To sum it up: You chose an extremely difficult piece to write and pulled it off better than perfectly. A while ago on one of the threads in the Writers' Resource Forum somebody threw down the glove and said we should try and write out of our usual era or character pairing - test the shark-infested waters in other words. :D So I decided to have a go at poetry again - not having written it for years - and also to try writing characters other than A/T and Wedge. ;)

    Thanks again for the replies and encouragement, guys. You really have made my day.
     
  5. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 27, 2003
    I commented on this a while back when you posted it in MHR, but after reading it again, I've got to say that its one of the best things I've ever read on this board. Really amazing work, Tahi :)
     
  6. Elfsheen

    Elfsheen Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2003
    I like it very good! I like the poem especialy!
     
  7. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Thanks Yoda. As I consider you the local YV expert, I'm especially touched by your comments. :) [my kids are muttering something about me being especially touched full stop ;) ]

    Elfsheen Thanks. You're one of the Board poets I admire, so I'm glad you liked the poem. Have you written any more sonnets? If so - feel free to PM me. :)
     
  8. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    I see that the Yuuzhan Vong aren't exactly flavour of the month. :) ;)
     
  9. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 27, 2003
    well, I like them ;)

    Thanks Yoda. As I consider you the local YV expert, I'm especially touched by your comments. [my kids are muttering something about me being especially touched full stop ]

    [face_laugh]

    YV expert? [face_blush] thankies!
     
  10. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Well it's true. Yuuzhan Vong culture is actually really interesting IMO. But I guess it's not everyone's cup ot stim tea.

    It is kind of fun trying to think yourself into another culture though. I've just thought of a way to extend this slightly with some back story. Hopefully have something in a few days. :)
     
  11. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 27, 2003
    Just bumping, as this will be on of my nominees in the best poem and/or viggie category and hope others will do the same :)
     
  12. The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Love letter? *swoons*

    Yuuzhan Vong love letter? *cringes*

    Yuuzhan Vong love letter by Tahi? *reads*

    Yuuzhan Vong love letter by Tahi with poem? *loves*!!

    This was fabulous. You return triumphantly out of the Shark infested waters! Your talent is impeccable- I loved this! (What is yours that I do not love?)

    Ambyr
     
  13. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Wow.

    Magnificco.

    Kinda makes you wonder why if she loved him so much why she shamed him.


    Reminds me a little of a book I read a while ago.

    "You read my mail?!"
    "Yeah. He wrote you love leters and a sonet."
    "A Sonet?! He wrote me a sonet?!"
    "A Sonet."

    I can imagine him sitting there writing it.
     
  14. Jedi_Alman

    Jedi_Alman Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2002
    I knew that you were a talented author Tahi, but that was fantastic. Truly unique and wonderfully written. I applaud your work.
     
  15. JDH3

    JDH3 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2003
    In honor of being named Best Poem, UP!

    Congratulations, Tahi. :D :)

    EDIT: I didn't review this before?! :eek: I know I've read it, but I can't believe I didn't drop in once it had its own thread. [face_blush] Well, it's excellent, but that's to be expected of your work. :D Okay, now that I've got that out of my system... :p


    JD.
     
  16. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Yoda

    Thanks for the bump and the nomination. :)

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose
    Love letter? *swoons*

    Yuuzhan Vong love letter? *cringes*

    LOL It does sound like an oxymoron doesn't it?

    Awww. Thanks, Ambyr. You're too kind. :) But I like it. ;)

    Vongchild
    Kia Ora and welcome. Always good to meet a new reader. :)

    Kinda makes you wonder why if she loved him so much why she shamed him.
    I think it was vengeance because he decided to end the affair. She was one tough cookie.

    I can imagine him sitting there writing it.
    Yep - me, too. He was quite an unusual Yuuzhan Vong - quite alternative if you know what I mean. :)

    Jania/Zekk forever!
    The pen is mightier than the sword, but the amphstaph is mightier still!

    Good comments. :)

    Jedi_Alman
    Thanks, Alman. :) Great to see you BTW. :)

    JDH3
    In honor of being named Best Poem, UP!

    Congratulations, Tahi.

    Thanks, JD. :)



     
  17. Tekli_theInsane

    Tekli_theInsane Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Wo0t! Go Tahi! *streamers fly everywhere*

    Congratulations! =D= :D [face_dancing]
     
  18. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 27, 2003
    congrats, Tahi ;) well deserved win :)
     
  19. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Awww Tekli and Yoda Thanks. :)
    I couldn't have done it without you guys though. :)
     
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