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Ave Deus

by LeutnantSchweinehund

Note: I don't write poetry. In fact, I don't particularly like poetry to begin with. However, I gave it a go, felt like writing something shorter for once, so here you go. It's far from perfect. I'd argue that it's pretty bad. For that exact reason, I desperately need a review. I know it isn't your ordinary topic, I know that you probably don't find it compelling. I found it interesting myself, so I decided to write about it. Please, despite its unusual nature, I beg of you, the reader, to help me improve with the harshest critique you can come up with.

I changed the name because the original wasn't too compelling, and I'm really getting next to no views at all. I need views, and I need reviews. I fear that my work, just like before, will end up being completely overlooked and left to rot. So hopefully a new name gives people a reason to read.

I do not speak Latin. I got my translations from a friend in medical school who studies Latin. He isn't perfect, but it should be somewhat correct.


Lord Give Solace [Ave Deus]
By Leutnant Schweinehund

O Lord, who art so high,
give rest to thy fallen sons,
those who blooded lie.
Let not ruin thrash thy land,
and bring them forth to paradise.

Blood and sand, blue skies above, a tarnished flag.
Be blessed, our kin, our holy golden cross,
tonight, for the Sacred Ghost we die.
Bear honor now, bear steel, bear the wrath of God,
and waver not in sight of death.

O Lord, who art so high,
give not peace to wretched louts,
those who tainted cry.
Let not error mar thy land,
and bring them to thy righteous hand.

Night and stars, the veils of strife and war.
Be hailed, Maria, virgin mother, exalted soul,
for thou art in Heaven.
Arm thy sons, give solace, mother,
and waver not in sight of death.

O Lord, who art so high,
forgive thy sons, we pray, forgive thy foes,
those whose minds art sly.
Let not fools scar thy land,
and bring them forth to piety.

God's holy fire, homes rendered ash, now pale embers,
they burn our flesh and melt our steel.
We, God's holy men, with fearless hearts,
we march upon Jerusalem.
Yet we waver not in sight of death.

And you, crows who caw above, vultures,
strip our flesh, gnaw our bones,
bring our souls unto Him, we pray,
for we are men of Christ,
and for Him we fall.

Ave Maria,
virgo mater.
Ave Christus,
filius Dei.
Ave Dominus,
Deus Salvator.

We pledge ourselves unto thee, my Lord,
Deus Vult.

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36 Reviews

Points: 172
Reviews: 36

Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:53 pm
GodfreysBouillon wrote a review...

Oh yes, oh yes.
A Crusader prayer? Right up my alley. The Crusades are my favorite time period in all of history, and I have devoted myself these past few years to researching all of the events as deep as I can.
Does your prayer put a smile on my face? Yes.
This has to be my favorite line of the poem,
"Blood and sand, blue skies above, a tarnished flag."
For some reason even this tiny snippet of description is enough for my to imagine a great battle upon the sands of the Holy Land, and this knight's comrades who died there.

"We, God's holy men, with fearless hearts,
we march upon Jerusalem."
I love this too. Jerusalem was always the ultimate goal of all the Crusades, whether it was capturing it, defending it, or recapturing it. Many knights and pilgrims alike cried when they reached the city, after having traveled so long to get there.

"for we are men of Christ,
and for Him we fall."
Indeed almost everyone on crusade would gladly have died for their Lord, which is why they were such a terrifying and effective army, leading them to capture all of the coastline of the Levant. Since their time, never has a military force been filled with such religious zeal.

Latin? Yes oh yes.
Even though no knight would have known the Latin language, or been able to read or write at all, I'm sure many memorized prayers from the monks and priests they traveled with on the long roads.
I've included Latin in my crusader stories as well, and it really is a beautiful touch.

This is perfectly accurate and all except for the last two words.
"Deus Vult."
God wills it, as it translates to, was only used as a rally note or a battle cry, and only in and around the First Crusade around 1100 AD. So it would not have been used at the end of a prayer like this one. It was meant to be screamed with your fellow knights before a charge against the Saracens, and not in prayers and holy dealings.

Nevertheless, this is a great poem you've got here.

Outstanding job.

Oh? I legitimately didn't know that about the battle cry at the end. Good, good, glad to have that insight. I'm more of a late MA/Renaissance type when it comes to history, so I specialize more on Hussites (being Czech myself) and stuff.

Still, I'm glad you liked it. I think this was my first attempt at poetry and I'm not all that satisfied with it, but I suppose it wasn't bad for a first shot!

Thats great, I seem to lack in the areas you excel in, and vise versa.

I thought it was a great poem, i don't know what you don't like about it.

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1220 Reviews

Points: 72525
Reviews: 1220

Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:23 pm
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Kale wrote a review...

The first thing I'm going to do, and I recommend you do the same, is respectfully toss @fortis's review out the nearest window and wash my hands of it while simultaneously pointing to her review as a prime example of why knowing your audience is so important, and why showing it to said audience is equally important.

(Sorry fort, but we're not interested in writing modern poetry here. ;P The faux-archaic stuff is where it's at.)

With that said, in the first stanza, you resort to a slant rhyme, which is a rather modern convention. While extant examples of poetry may now have the appearance of having utilized slant rhymes, those slanted rhymes are artifacts of shifts in how the language is spoken rather than being intentional at the time of composition.

While you certainly could aim for more authentic faux slant rhymes by utilizing extant examples thereof, that would also require greater accuracy in the vocabulary and grammatical constructions, which would be a lot more work than simply adhering to exact rhymes.

Authenticity is a laudable goal and all, but I've found that writing and reading in this style is a lot more enjoyable when concessions are made to modern conventions in language. There fast approaches a point where authenticity can become more of a chore than a pleasure for the reader as the focus shifts from the content to the form, rather than the form being a meta reference to the traditions the content is calling upon for context.

With that said, although the majority of stanzas follow the same "five lines with the odd lines all being rhyming" pattern, the lengths of these lines are inconsistent from stanza to stanza, and sometimes inconsistent within a stanza. Coupled with how the pattern of stresses (the meter) also varies, and the piece feels quite a bit more modern than ancient, word choice and grammatical transpositions aside.

One of the key things to remember about ancient works is that they were primarily transmitted orally, and thus the forms used were incredibly important as mnemonic devices to assist the storyteller in remembering what came next and retelling it accurately from telling to telling. The patterns themselves were clues as to the type of story being told, which is why we have forms called elegiac couplets (and the corresponding elegies written/transcribed in them) and odes.

While they can be a bit challenging to work with, you're missing out on quite a lot by not using them as they instantly instill a piece with a sense of ancient gravitas, including sillier pieces like the starting lines of an epic detailing the struggles of Humanity versus athlete's foot, rendered in the Grand Style of dactylic hexameter.

Dactylic hexameter is very tricky to write naturally in English, for the record, but it's also quite flexible due to the lengths of the lines and lack of required rhyme.

On a side note, science Latin, Church Latin, and Latin-Latin are three very different beasts, with science Latin being very, very wrong according to the other two.

This is one of my older works. I'd ignore this one. The epic poem I was referring to was "The Teal Knight."

This one here is quite lacking in many respects.

However, what you say about ancient poetry makes a whole lot of sense. Even in the Epic of Gilgamesh, there was plenty or repetition for the sake of memorization.

In any case, I'll definitely attempt to write more ancient poetry with these notes taken into account. When I think about it, The Teal Knight is more of a tavern poem, maybe even a sort of bard song, rather than an epic. Still, that one is more recent, maybe less flawed, but I can't say for certain.

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594 Reviews

Points: 106
Reviews: 594

Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:40 pm
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fortis wrote a review...


I don't think this is bad at all for what you're going for.
I am no expert in this sort of poetry, but it looks pretty good (again, FOR THIS SORT OF POETRY)
But the thing is. No one writes this kind of poetry anymore. That's because it's old and outdated and archaic and... well, boring.
It's very crusader-esque, but we aren't in a crusade right now. It's hard to relate to this.
This poem would go FANTASTICALLY in a novel about a crusade or something like a crusade. But as it is now, in our modern world, this couldn't really ever be published elsewhere because it's not relevant to anyone's lives.
Does this make sense? I hold firm that the best way to write poetry that people are interested in is to read /very/ modern poetry. Read poems that were published in poetry journals within the past few months. Styles change often. To be a successful poet that people are interested in, you need to keep up with the times. It's just like any art form.

In terms of technicality, your poem seems pretty good. You do have some awkward phrases that might just stem from this archaic style, but I feel like they would be awkward even for the style.
For example, one that really stuck out to me was:
"those who blooded lie."
I feel like even back then people would say "those who lie bloodied on the ground" or something less... pretentious?
There are some other examples /I/ thought were awkward, but I don't want to pull them all out, because what I find awkward, you might not, so I want it to be you who decides whether something is awkward or not.

This is mostly what I have to say! I hope this helped!
Keep writing! The best way to get better at poetry is first reading a lot of poetry, and then writing a lot of poetry. You can do it!


Indeed, indeed. I never really write poetry, as it isn't my personal cup of tea, but I wanted to get something out, so this was what I came up with. Your criticisms are valid, and I will take them into consideration. Now I'll try to think about why I wrote some of the less stellar ways in that manner.

I agree that in order to invoke emotion and thought, a poem should concentrate on more recent events, or no events at all, but rather feelings or just things from life in general. However, it seems that too many people write about popular topics, and it really bugs me personally. That's why I wanted to stick to my own rule and attempt to do something that may have not been done as much. Still, maybe it could be relevant today! While not my original intent, you could say that it portrays the unwavering devotion fanatics have for their Gods. That's still an issue to this day with radical beliefs. But yes, that wasn't my intention.

The phrases were problematic, I agree. By far, the first... Paragraph? Again, I'm primarily a prose writer, so I don't know the terminology. Anyway, the first part is the weakest by far. I meant to write "Those who bloodied lie", blooded doesn't make sense. That would mean that they were accepted into some heretic cult or something. Honest mistake. Thanks for showing that, I wouldn't have noticed.

As for the sentence structure itself, I have to stand by it. Another problem I see in many poems is the lack of rhythm. They often just don't sound good out loud. I tried to counteract this by making that sentence as short as possible, and placing a single-syllable word at the end. It could work with a longer sentence or a different structure, but I'd have to then change the sentence under that to fit it.

Overall, I'm content with my first real effort. However, I'm not content with its objective quality. It most definitely is awkward to read, in the sense that some things just don't flow as well as I'd like.

I thank you for your notes. It is most appreciated. I'll make sure to apply this information in my next work, whenever that may come. I tend to scrap over 90% of the things I write before completion, so it could take some time.

Damn it. Grammatical mistakes.

I meant evoke, not invoke. And I meant "the less stellar parts", not "ways."

My mistake.

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55 Reviews

Points: 3562
Reviews: 55

Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:43 pm
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Silberfee wrote a review...

I don't think poem is bad, on the contrary I find it interesting what prompted you to write about war and combine it with religion. It is different, and I like different. There are many poems that celebrate the obvious beauty in life like love and not many that focuses on the less happy topics .
I think the poem sounds a bit monotonous like a prayer, and I am a bit confused whether its supposed to be a prayer or a poem.

To make it sound more like a poem I would introduce the poem to Jesus, God, Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit then describe the war, its consequences and its end, then write the stanza for forgiveness to all the sinners involved in the war and for guidance to heaven (preferably not with crows/vultures who just pecked over my dead body, its frightful enough to die painfully in war personally I prefer angels to guide my soul). This structure would make it sound less monotonous and the Virgin Mary, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all more or less one. I mean they all have the power to forgive & teach on God's behalf.
Like in the first stanza you introduce the prayer/poem with imagery about war....I could do with more detail it actual war? Or is war a simile to life?

In the sixth isnt clear how it link with the fifth ...after the Lord, Holy Spirit, Mary has been asked to bless our kin seems to jump to the kin marching to war, perhaps you could link the two by saying 'With your holy fire...' or something like that.

I also don't have a Latin background so I won't comment on the Latin :)

Keep up the good work! I'd love to read future poems by you.

Oh thank goodness, a review. I was afraid it'd go overlooked! Thank you, my friend, thank you.

You're absolutely correct. It's meant to be a crusader's prayer for a safe journey to heaven, as he is aware that he will likely not survive the siege of Jerusalem. The monotony is a clear problem indeed, and I'll do what I can to make it flow better in future versions (I intend to reboot the poem. This is a first draft of sorts).

Your system sounds quite reasonable. Perhaps it'd serve the piece better. I'll give it some thought, take your idea into consideration, and possibly recreate the structure to make it more poetic.

The crows, yes! The crows! I don't know what I was going for there. I think I was trying to imply that in the Holy War, all men, whether holy or not so, will share the same fate? I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that part, but I believe that's it. Still, maybe the crows represent their passing to purgatory, from where they can strive to gain the forgiveness of God.

It's an actual war, yes. The first crusade. It's set in the night before the siege of Jerusalem, where the "narrator" prays for safe passage to God's side.

The way I tried to write this poem was to make every second stanza connect. Every second stanza is praying to God exclusively, while those in between describe the setting itself (usually the first line tries to create a general image), so the sixth should connect to the fourth, and that to the second, etc.. Still, the last two stanzas are a bit disconnected from the rest. Again, not sure what drove me to do that.

I am genuinely thankful for your critique. Thank you for pointing out the flaws in my work. All very valid criticisms that I can look over and consider more in depth when I reboot it.

Silberfee says...

ah nah. Everyone has to start somewhere and at first it is never good but with practice true art will blossom. People often forget what it feels like to start. Anyway I looked at your profile and it says you are from the Czech Republic!! Just want to say I admire your fluency in English (because despite my parents not being born here I can only speak English fluently)
I appreciate the diversity you add to here because everyone here seems to be anglophones.

Good Luck in writing !!


Ah, I learned from a family member who can speak fluently, so it's nothing too great to admire. Thanks though.

You're right. We all start bad. Some have talents, and those who do not must instead have grit. I'd like to think I am persistent, but in the end, I'm not so sure.

Hopefully I can improve upon my work next time around!

You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.
— Jennifer Niven, 'All the Bright Places'