9 Sep 2015

Poem: The Darklands (Fallen Saga #6)

‘Alex!’ you say; ‘have you not promised us poetry, so long ago? Instead you give us the Machinations of a Writer!’

And you would be correct. But allow me to rectify this: in addition to my musings on the Ark, I am now armed with with a new addition to the increasingly substantial Fallen Saga—entitled, fittingly enough, the Darklands.

In many ways it is a simpler work than its predecessors: it does not concern itself so much with the mythopoeia behind poetry (and this particular concoction)—aside from a few passing references to the Elysian Fields—but instead with carrying forward the ‘plot’. I say plot, though of course a poetic saga like this is more a loosely interconnected series of narratives.

Such technicalities aside, the Darklands is at its heart a poem of darkness (it is not named in vain) concerning the plight of the underworld’s denizens. They are a doomed bunch. Many were struck down by God’s fickle wraith, or were condemned for minor acts of wickedness and sedition; others still are there because they were previously heroic, but are nevertheless... dead.

Before I continue, it is advisable to actually read the damn poem...

Read the Darklands

There are some intriguing portrayals within this. The Elysian Fields, though a place chosen for heroes and demigods, is nonetheless described:

Among the grey depths
Of Death’s cruel domain

It is strange, then, that even the favourites of the Fickle One are sent to spend eternity in a rather... unpleasant sort of place. One wonders what becomes of those sent to Hades—or to Hell. And what surprise, then, to see them rebel:

Their eyes blue—like the coldest Northern ice—their eyes
Black, like age-old malice; the Dead
Cry their final battle scream,
And call Lucifer
Their prophet.

But the Darklands most important contribution is in its message. Lucifer summons the Dead to his cause not only for the benefit of himself and his protégées, but also for the benefit of humans: for our benefit, in other words. The greatest of all rebellions must include all of God’s most fabulous creations; in that lies true rebellion.

‘But Alex! Our question is a simple one: why?’

To answer that, this stanza need be adduced:

‘You believe in Justice,’ says Merthiol.
‘Aye,’ says Lucifer. ‘For Justice
‘They rise. For all those struck as babes by vicious plague;
‘For all the virtuous ignored, for all the wicked harshly condemned.
‘They rise for the Justice of their kind, as we for ours.’

This poem’s parting words need no explanation. Lucifer, though possessed of selfish intentions and grand machinations, has good at heart. Even Merthiol is compelled to agree...

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