August 12th, 2012

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Pennsic Report: Sometimes I Am That Good

As a general matter, I am constantly questioning myself as to whether I am really as good as I would like to think I am or as my occasional reputation makes me. Sometimes, however, I actually do something that makes me feel like maybe I do have some talent after all.

Such was the case the first Thursday of Pennsic when I was at Maguire's Marauders' circle. Owen had just done a piece I love, the story of Torvald Tree-Foot and Harald Hadrada. I heard that piece back at my first Pennsic at Caridoc's circle and it was a magic moment for me -- and remains so to this day. When told right, it takes me right back to the same sense of wonder and magic it did more than 20 years ago. Owen did an excellent job telling it.

The circle gradually wended its way to me, giving me some time to organize my thoughts. When it came time for me to perform, I dropped to one knee in front of Owen and proclaimed the following verse:

My brother bard/ A boon I beg you
For your word-weave/ Did wake within me
A memory of/ My first Pennsic
Your stout staves/ Of storytelling
Scourged away/ A score of years
Wherefore I plead/ Please take this token
Though it be a poor/ Repayment for
Memory of/ Moon and hearthfire

And pressed in his hand a ring that Mistress Morgana had given me a few years earlier for a performance that had delighted her.

This is not, perhaps, the finest example of Seiver-type Old English poetry ever composed. But I considered it rather good on about 10 minutes notice. And it felt right. I was sitting next to Cariodoc, who gave me a big bear hug afterwards.