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The Tale of Souls - Poem

by Riverlight, Stringbean

The Tale of Souls is sorrow-filled,

an epic of pain and regret;

Be warned, dear children of yonder days,

for no longer must you fret!

For in this tale, adventure is found,

tales of sorrow and woe!

For in this tale, love is found

between both friend and foe...


From Laenalaen fair, to the star-filled sky,

the Tale can be heard for miles.

Started was the Tale by a kindly old witch

who recieved from all folk their sweet smiles!

Sinestra the Healer wandered there,

her shining lamp afar was seen,

the gleam of the night lights was in her hair,

and in her dresses shimmering.


She told the tale to all with ears,

starting her song in the early years!

She sang of the Chieftains, she spoke of the saints,

and of her Tale, there were rarely complaints.

A history, this was, of those ancient lands-

Belecthoria to the North, the Misericord Lands,

the continents over the ancient sea,

the story of men fighting valiantly.


When at last the tale came to an end,

Sinestra sighed and looked at the floor.

"There is more to be told, my dear friends.

I'll return when i have something more.

For theĀ  Tale of Souls is sorrow-filled,

an epic that never ceases, nor ends.

Indeed, we are all a part of that Tale,

and never again shall these old bones rest,

for North, and South, and East shall I go

until I last I find the histories of the West."

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112 Reviews

Points: 2094
Reviews: 112

Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:07 pm
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Ljungtroll wrote a review...

Hey, Vilnius! I'm back with yet another review for you. I'm a bit sleepy today cuz I was up late watching Bojack Horseman and listening to some Middle English stuff, but that's neither here nor there. I'll do my best to deliver a RevMo worthy review of your poem.

Okay, gonna start with critiques today. I noticed your rhyming was a bit choppier with this poem--not in the sense that they don't rhyme or that they're not consistent, mind you. I mean they feel a tad forced, especially on the lines "who received from all folk their sweet smiles" and "and of her Tale there were rarely complaints." It feels like you're running out of things to say in these lines and a couple others.

In keeping with our rhyme theme here, I'd also like to address your rhyme scheme (see what I did there?). Throughout the poem you have a consistent pattern where you rhyme every other line, but in the third stanza you switch to sets of couplets. Not only that, but--and this really got me--you rhymed "Land" with "land"! That's another one of those choppy rhymes I was talking about above. That aside, I'm just curious about the scheme change. There's not necessarily anything wrong with it; I'm simply wondering what brought it about.

That's the structural stuff out of the way, now. I'm gonna aim a few critiques at your first stanza now. Number One (this one is a little nitpicky): The word "sorrow" is used to describe the Tale of Souls twice! I would have liked to see a little bit more variety in the phrasing of this stanza. This brings me to my second point: In the same line you say "sorrow and woe", I gotta say, that makes me want to fret. When you tell the children of yonder not to fret and then follow up with one of three "for"s, I would expect something comforting to come after. Instead, I hear that this is a tale of sorrow and woe (which is already established in line one). If you must have the sorrow and woe line, I would move it towards the end and add "though full of" right before it, thus separating the bad stuff from the exciting stuff like adventure and love.

One last critique: I would like to see at least one more stanza dedicated to the contents of the Tale after which this poem is titled. For a titular object, the Tale really doesn't have much coverage aside from some mentions and a single stanza.

Huzzah, nasty stuff is out of the way! Now for the things I liked. In the final stanza, I liked that you re-established your poem's first line through Sinestra's words. That was skillfully done. Also, your ending was lovely! "for North, South, and East shall I go/until [at] last find I the histories of the West." This was such a cool line. Finally, I really appreciated that there was a bit more rhythm to this one than the other two I've read. It gave it a bit of a bounce that's vital to entertaining stories.

Overall, Vilnius, this was a pretty good poem. There are of course a couple typos here and there, but nothing too drastic. I think with a couple tweaks and a few additions, this will be right up there with "The Devil's Song of Ismelda the Sixth"!

Happy Revmo and happy writing!

Wishing you the very best,


Riverlight says...

You literally posted this at the same time I came to check XDD

When it come to laying out rhymes, part of me feels that sometimes every other line works in some parts and the couplets work in others. Not sure why, but... it does. *shrugs*

Thanks for your review! I know this wasn't as good as my others, but there's a reason that the Tale itself isn't included!

"The Devil's Song of Ismelda the Sixth," "In Laenalaen," "The Tale of Souls" chapters I; working on with @Stringbean, and this short story (The Final Moments of King Rorimac IV) are all part of it. I sincerely mean it when I say that this tale is sorrow-filled / an epic that never ceases, nor ends." I've got centuries worth of history to dole out here-- including more poems! :D

I will be making revisions, of course! I actually need to revise most everything I've published...

Ljungtroll says...

Ah, that's really cool! Thanks for clearing that up. See, when you're just a reader you never see the big picture. Benefits of being the writer, I guess. I'm looking forward to your other works!

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37 Reviews

Points: 899
Reviews: 37

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:42 pm
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Stringbean wrote a review...

Hey! c:

I like the edits you've made! As usual, it reads more smoothly now, and I love the overall natural, legend-like flow of the poem. There's really nothing about this that I don't like.

There's a few small typo sort of things, so I'll just point them out in case you missed them.
- Stanza 1, line 3: Be warned, dear children of yonder days
I think this is meant to be addressing "dear children" and telling them to "be warned... of yonder day?" So you'd need your comma after children, which I know you know lol
- Stanza 3, line 5: A history, this way, of those ancient lands
I think you mean "A history, this *was*?"
-Last stanza, line 7: Indeed, we are all apart of that Tale,
*a part
I think Bubbles already pointed out the couple others.

A few things that stood out that I liked...

I like the way you put an ellipse at the very end of the first stanza; it makes that part about love between friend and foe seem thoughtful/reflective, encouraging the reader to pause and consider the possibilities of what's coming in the Tale, possibly acting as a bit of foreshadowing.

When at last the tale came to an end,

Sinestra sighed and looked at the floor.

"There is more to be told, my dear friends.

I'll return when i have something more.

(I hope that quoting format works lol)
There's something about this part that I really like. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I think it has to do with showing characterization. This, to me, shows this particular side of Sinestra's character well, the guardian, guider, sort of nurturing role that she often plays. These few lines just do a nice job of showing that part of her tangibly and concisely.

For the Tale of Souls is sorrow-filled,

an epic that never ceases, nor ends.

I also like that this repeats, in the beginning and then at the end. It ties the two ends of the poem together nicely and also seems to play on the "never ending" theme to give the poem a bit of depth.

Well done! c:

Riverlight says...

Spoiler! :
Well, of course I have to have that ellipse! Sinestra demanded it, it was the only revision she made XDD

Yeah, the quoting worked alright. I was going to post this before the Prologue and CH 1, but as you know stuff came up! XDD

Thanks for your critique! Not sure why its got you as an author, too, but... it works!

Riverlight says...

Spoiler! :
Also, the "dear children" bit is meant to be like that

Stringbean says...

She edits well XDD
Spoiler! :
Yeah I noticed that lol. Idk
Ohhhh, okay. Ignore me then xD

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22 Reviews

Points: 2378
Reviews: 22

Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:10 am
deleted18 wrote a review...

Greetings, felow author!

I'm here to review this wondrous poem that, judging by your publishing history, is part of another universe. The very first thing that struck me was the lack of musicality that remains pervasive throughout the entire poem. Poetry is more than just rhymes, even if it's an epic. It's important to keep a rhythm to the verses as well. Usually you can ascertain it by reading it out loud, the stressed syllables come out and they're pretty much all there is to the rhythmic foot.

Also, constant verse length goes a long way, and your poem really lacks it. Let me give you an example:

For the Tale of Souls is sorrow-filled,

and epic that never ceases, never ends.

Indeed, we are all apart of that Tale,

and never again shall these old bones rest,

9-11-10-10. If it had good rhythm, this could be completely disregarded, but anyhow let's fix it up a little.

For the Tale of Souls is sorrow-filled,
and epics never cease nor end.
Indeed we're all part of that Tale,
And never shall these old bones rest.

Now it's 9-8-8-8, and the next verse is also 9, so there you have a typical quintet.

At the same time, whilst some expressions are a little too wordy, as evidenced above, others are simply...odd and possibly mistaken? Take a look at these:

the gleam of the night lights were in her hair,

Started was the Tale by a kindly old witch

until I last I find the histories of the West.

'Gleam' is the subject so it should be 'was,' the inversion is correct, but just sounds weird and the 'I last' should probably be an 'at last.'

As for the message, there isn't much to be said, since in an epic the form is more important than the content, as its meaning is to be transmitted through word of mouth. Old wives' tale were often in verse in order to be easily remembered and retold. That's why we have nursery rhymes today that date from Medieval or even Ancient eras!

I hope that this review didn't come across as overly harsh, that wasn't my intention, and if you need any further explanation, don't hesitate to ask.


Riverlight says...

Thanks for our review!

I made a few minor edits (including the stuff you mentioned). Really, this is just an intro for something@Stringbean and I are writing together that I hadn't quote finished yet.

You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind