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A Silver Wheel for Harun

Harun's glass gaze reflects the beloved East,
Shows the Rose the beauty of her face,
Folding and unfolding, without surcease.
Such a jewel of service deserves Our Royal grace,
Crown awards in court; a Silver Wheel, released. 
Such a jewel of service deserves Our Royal grace,
folding and unfolding, without surcease.
Show the Rose the beauty of her face;
Harun's glass gaze reflects the beloved East.
Ryouko'jin, Demon King of the Three Heavens,  and Rani Indrakshi, award a Silver Wheel to Harun al-Najm al-Shirazi at Pennsic War in the year of the Blue Tyger, AS 57


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Harun al-Najm al-Shirazi for a Silver Wheel 

Harun is a photographer.  He is receiving his Silver wheel for service to the East in documenting our events, and in particular taking stunning portrait photography, especially of our current king and queen.

Writing a period style poem for a photographer is tricky, as it is not a thing that was done in period.  So I took some liberties with the imagery, and called it his “glass gaze”.

And then the theme of the poem became about reflecting the populace back to itself.  

And in the way of these things the poem format suddenly became clear:  a palindrome poem, a poem that is constructed the same backward and forward, like an image in a mirror. 

Palindrome poems were a type of poem that existed in Persia in period, but not necessarily in the format I have written this one.  See link below for details. 

In my research for palindrome poems, it was emphasized that the first line matters the most, because that is how you are going to end the poem.  In writing one I found that the central line, the pivot line, was the thing that fought me and fought me.  I wanted to make it rhyme ab, ab, ab, ab, a, and that left me scrambling for options.  

I could have made it ab, ab, c, ba, ba, but that felt like a modern rhyme, so I changed my mind. 

About 12 times. 

By the time I sent the poem to Ellesbeth, I hated it.  I finally just let it go.  In re-reading it now, I know that it is a strong piece but at the time I became too wrapped up in getting it perfect, and had to release it into the calligrapher's hands to stop obsessing about it's flaws. 


Various middle lines chosen and discarded.

The Crown awards a Silver Wheel this day.

A Silver Wheel awarded at the Tyger's feast. 

Crown awards in court; a Silver Wheel, released. 


The line folding and unfolding was taken from a period Persian poem. 

I used it to call out the folding and unfolding of the poem itself.

Pgs 40 - 46

Palindrome Poems as written today, with variations



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