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October 2012

Danelaw Irish Poetry Contest

Poets, eve of November,
will versify as inclined;
The bards need to remember,
to witness and remind.
So, if you love poetics,
it's high time you should show it.
Demonstrate your aesthetics,
be you bards or be poets.

Dyfn Pencerdd is sponsoring an Irish poetry contest.  Poems must be original, and be presented in clearly legible format.  Poems in Gaelic will be impressive, but poems in  English will be read! Submissions should include the author’s SCA and mundane name, and contact information in case you can’t make it to the event.  They may be mailed or emailed to Dyfn, or handed in to Dyfn by 2:00 on the Saturday of Danelaw. 

But What Is Irish Poetry?
Glad you asked. A number of poetic forms can be found at this site on Medieval Irish Poetry. Additional information and modern examples can be found at The Poets Garret

Poems will be judged on form,  subject, style, and creativity. The winner will be announced at the baronial court.  Go here for the judging guide.


All poems will be judged, but if you have the courage to take on the period styles linked above, you will find yourself high in the judges' esteem. Note that limericks are not a medieval poetic form.  You may use it if you like, but be warned; any limerick containing the words "Venus" or "Nantucket" will be disqualified with extreme prejudice. 


Poetry from Medieval and earlier periods pertained to many subjects which work well for SCA topics.  Praise of heroes, daring battles (such as cattle raids), love (especially tragic love), epic journeys, genealogies/the lineage of kings, warriors, and the folk of a place.  


  Stylistic details
Some of the numerous stylistic elements appropriate to Irish verse include Triads, epic feats of skill, and the acknowledgement of the superiority of all things Irish.
A number of triads were compiled in Triads of Ireland.
The prize is still to be determined, but will include a CD of more modern bardic voices.  In addition, the winning poem will be performed in the evening at their Excellencies’ pleasure – by the author or by a stand-in with a suitably loud voice.  Finally, the winner will have a place of honor at the bardic circle that night.
For submissions, or if you have any questions, please contact Dyfn at
Email: bmarch5 “at” gmail.com
Post:  Buck Marchinton, 5123 Hwy 24 W, Waynesboro, GA 30830
Bring honor to your group and glory to your name by composing in the grand style of our forebears.  Or don’t and . . . don’t.