Mistress Aife’s KOE scroll

AKA oh look! Bard stuff. Aife is my SCA aunt so when I got asked to do the words for her backlog KOE scroll I jumped on it. I’d never written a scroll before, but darn it she’s family so I was going to, given the chance.

Now writing the scroll itself is the “easy” part. Easy for me because I am a cheater cheater head and using the poem I already wrote for her as my base to build off of. Doing this for someone else? Would be a wee bit more difficult. Especially if it is a style that I am unfamiliar with. As a reminder here:

Hear me eastern lands / now behold!

Before you comes a / bard of note

Named voice of a king / known to all

Aife here stands

Given gift of verse / grand her words

works stand highly praised / welcomed songs

silver voiced poet / sung of war

Wordfame gained

Summon we now this / rousing smith

Reward her well for / wisdom great

Green leaves given to / great lady

Laurel earned

Is the original poem. That is my base. Note a few things on style here. The second half line is three beats with a pattern of Stressed unstressed Stressed. This is the most simplistic beat pattern you can get away with with this style of poetry. It ultimately can be any beat pattern you want for the second half line BUT every one has to be the same.  I am going to stick with this pattern because it is the most comfortable pattern for me to follow. I am keeping the style of three full lines plus half lines with a verse end of a single three beat line.

The beat count before the second half line must be 5 for a total of 8 beats per line. However these 5? Can be in any stressed/unstressed pattern I want, so long as it ends in such a way as to stress the first beat of the second half line.

Note also the wrapping alliteration, the last word of the line sets up the alliteration for the line that follows. This isn’t a requirement, but I feel it adds a nice touch so I treat it as one anyway.

Now the way my writing process works is once I have an outline I pick my alliterations, write out what I want the poem to accomplish, and treat it like Medieval Madlibs. Don’t laugh, it works. Doing it that way helps break alliterative poems into bite sized pieces that makes them easier to tackle. I don’t know how well this approach would work with rhyming poems or sonnets. But it works really well for alliterative (for me anyway, who doesn’t love Madlibs?)


Here is the rough draft:

Hear me Eastern lands / now Behold!

Laurel ringed brow of / lady fair

Fierce fili giver of / fame of words

Called by King.


Well he knows her worth / wisely calls

Clever woman for  / Kingly grant

Gives great praise of work /Grant of Ollam

Honor high


The King’s Order of  / Excellence

Enhances name of / Aife bright

Bringer of wisdom / Brought knowledge

Work is known.


I’ll have a picture of the final scroll posted once I see it. I wrote this about a year ago, realized I didn’t save my finished copy anywhere (be smarter than me kids) so I’ve just kinda been sitting on it until it went out.


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