Later Period Poetry Styles

Period English Poetry Forms



A Ceremony to Celebrate the Bonds of Friendship

The symbel, a formal drinking ceremony, has been used several times in Bryn Madoc.  The warband of Madoc has gathered three times to celebrate deeds done in battle.  The Barony held a memorial service for Master Dylan using a symbel structure. Finally, we held a "high-church" bardic circle as a symbel (see the class handout below)

Symbel Structure as a Framework in the SCA

Proceedings of the 1st symbel of the Madoc warband

The Bard, in History and in the SCA

Handouts from various classes, and links from around the web.

What is Awen?

Bardic 101 and FAQ

What is a Bard?: The Myth & the Historyby al‑Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al‑Bakri al‑Amra (mka Mike C. Baker)

What is a Bard? by Kateryn Draper

So You Wish To Be A Bard... lyrics by Rathflaed DuNoir

On the Mechanics of the Bardic Arts within the SCA by Hector of the Black Height.

On Bards and Bardic Circles by Ioseph of Locksley

The Role of the Early Period Bard by Dyfn ap Meurig

Transcending Politics: The SCA Bard in the Social Crisis by Michael Alewright

Songwriting to Tell a Story by Eric Schrager

What is a Bard to Me?

In the SCA, bard is the default term for a singer, poet, musician or storyteller.  A bard is a performer, an entertainer.  In my experience, the default assumption for an SCA bard is someone who can sing or play an instrument.  

I have chosen to explore a more specific view with my bardic persona: reconstructing and adapting the bardic job description based upon the writings and legendry of early period bards, scops, and skalds.  These, too, entertained, but they were also historians, chroniclers, social commentators, and keepers of law and tradition. 

 I feel every bard who wishes to be more than a fireside minstrel should take as their duty these three things: to witness, to remember, and to remind.  In other words, note the goings-on in group -- the newcomer in his first tourney, the veteran acting with courtesy, the interplay between a baron and the court, or selfless member manning troll at midnight on Friday. Remember what you see and hear, and bring it out when the time is right; that time may be in a teasing poem, a rousing verse of praise, or a letter recommending an award. You have the power to reward good deeds as well as to give sluggards, rhinos and boors incentive to act with more dignity and chivalry.

As Pencerdd and Seated Bard, I endeavor to encourage the poetic arts in my barony, in hopes that happy and noble actions of our fine folk will be fixed in verse to remind ourselves, and those who come after, what we were about and why we spent our days in this game.

“Many brave men lived before Agamemnon, but all are weighed down in unending night, unwept and unknown, because they lacked a sacred bard”      --Horace

Stories by the Hearth

A place to explore the Bardic Arts

Style Guides

Handouts from various classes, and links from around the web.

Bardic Invocation

Calling forth inspiration