How to Epic the Language

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So, as I continue to attempt to write about the Xenaverse, I keep coming across the problem of the different languages I need to show the things I think are happening across the episodes, from the mundane to the comic to the tragic, from the narrative of a story to the voice/character I choose to tell a story or part of it, to finding someway to convey just how epic all of this is. Thinking of such things, I let my fingers do the walking and I found two pretty disparate examples of language that is doing the sort of thing I want, the first from Tennyson (naturally) and the second from the fantasy world of Dragonlance.

Steep is the mountain, but you, you will

help me overcome it,

And stand with my head in the zenith, and

roll my voice from the summit.

Sounding for ever and ever thro’ Earth

and her listening nations,

And mixt with the great sphere-music of

stars and of constellations.

(Tennyson)

Return this man to Huma’s breast.
Beyond the wild, impartial skies.
Grant to him a warrior’s rest.
And set the last spark of his eyes.
Free from the smothering clouds of wars.
Upon the torches of the stars.


Let the last surge of his breath.
Take refuge in the cradling air.
Above the dreams of ravens where.
Only the hawk remembers death.
Then let his shade to Huma rise.
Beyond the wild, impartial skies.

(Funeral song for a Solamnic Knight by Michael Williams; Weiss & Hickman)

Now I just have to figure out how these two samples are doing what they are doing so that I can find a way to do it too. Thoughts?

Tennyson, Alfred Lord. “Parnassus.” The Poetical Works of Tennyson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974.

Weis, Margaret, and Tracy Hickman. Dragons of Winter Night. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1985.

2 comments on “How to Epic the Language

  1. PJS says:

    Two obvious things that come to mind are 1) inversion of the usual conversational syntax: not “The mountain is steep” but “Steep is the mountain” and 2) the imperative verbs (“Return,” “Let,” “Grant”).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shweet. Yep, I see it. Interesting.

    Like

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