August 29th, 2010


A Peerage in Seven Sonnets

snailstichr  and I, along with my apprentice, traveled the long road up to Mag Mor this weekend for the Laureling of Suzanne de la Ferte. I had been asked to write the ceremony.

As she was being recognized for her devotion to the arts of Florence, it seemed fitting that I organize the ceremony around the Petrarchan Sonnet. What, you ask, is a Petrarchan sonnet, and how is it different than one by Shakespeare?

It is a fourteen line poem in iambic pentameter (though often in hendecasyllable in Italian). The rhyme pattern is abba abba cde cde. Typically the ninth line features a "volta" or turn, in tone or subject.

I used these features to build the ceremony, while keeping most of the standard parts of a Calontir peerage ceremony. I initially saw each speaker having a half-sonnet, in addition to the other speaking they were doing. Mistress Katrei convinced me that I should deliver most of the poetry, rather than those speaking otherwise, as reciting poetry is difficult to do without much preparation.

The sonnets:

The invocation:

Within all realms there stand great orders three
Whose members each in merit stand apart
Bestowing gifts to all from selfless heart
And deeds of which reflect Nobility.

The warriors brave, King’s Men, are Chivalry.
The Pelican good order doth impart
In our third year came Peerage tied to Art.
The Laurel crown known from Antiquity

Shall mark the brow that crafts such beauty fair
By seeking out the truth of ancient ways,
And teaching all who’d learn the hard-won skill.

To make such peer is right of Royal Pair
To bind to Art and Realm throughout all days.
Let Laurels now attend and hear Our Will.

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