The Court of Kings


Seventy Sonnets of Love & Tribute by Brand McLiam

  --To go to the Index (the poems by general subject with jump points to the poems themselves)
  Foreward by Cym VanFaulker Smith (formerly: Kimberly Early-Griffith).

Gentle Reader, prepare yourself for a journey. One, I trust, you will want to make again and again. As you read these words by Brand McLiam you shall discover places and senses within your own self you did not know existed. Is it difficult to believe that a collection of poetic verses could do such a thing? After all, a sonnet only contains one hundred and forty syllables. That usually equals less than one hundred words. How could such a revelation occur simply from reading a brief bit of wording?

The answer to that question comes from my mentor and teacher, Brand McLiam, of whose works and words you are about to partake. The sonnet form itself forces writers to distill the very essence of what they want to say from a "lump of words" into the purest, truest sense their talent can derive.

Brand McLiam's talent is evident in this book. Through his words he transports you to the Halls of Asgard or an Irish street market or the mind of a would-be lover who contemplates his lady's many virtues. All of his images seem richer than a silken tapestry with a quality of depth that gives them a life of their own.

When I was asked to assist as editor for this project I was somewhat daunted by the number of sonnets I was to read. That was true only until I started to read them. Then my only thoughts were `this isn't work' ...`this is not a chore' ...`this is a joy!'

So, Gentle Reader, prepare yourself. You have a journey before you and I wish you well upon it.

Cymbric of the Isles...... Kimberly Early-Griffith (Now Cym VanFaulker-Smith) Barony of Madrone.......................................................... Seattle, Washington AS 25 .............................................................. 1991

  Introduction: By GregRobin Smith

Reality: This is a book of Sonnets and it is 1991 (1996 for the electronic version). It may help your understanding of these works, however, if you view them as being written by an Irish poet who is in attendance at an English Court in the, oh, late 1500's. Recall that war is an everyday event, courtly manners and affectionate language in formal, poetic compliment are to be expected. Men practice war, courtiers scheme, Ladies love and inspire, priests plot, actors entertain and bards worry the ruling class with what they may retell. Here, I but retell what might have been. These poems do not belong in this time, but you can choose to ignore that. I wish you luck and a good journey, there and back.

For whom and for what were these sonnets writ? For the most part, except for commissions and prizes, I have omitted each sonnet's `target'. A sonnet should be able to apply to many people and situations. It must be up to the reader to interpret and ultimately choose the "whom's" and "what's".

What is a Sonnet? Usually, a 14 line poem, with 10 syllables per line. There are many variations according to the type of sonnet,

and I have used them all.

Why 70 Sonnets? 50 didn't seem enough. 100 was too many to ask even the best of friends to read through. Sonnets are usually 140 syllables long. 70 is half of 140 and seemed like a good number. That's why. How to read Sonnets:
1) Read them out loud.
2) Do not stop at the end of each line but read till the end of a sentence.
3) Try and sound like you are just talking, not doing Hamlet. Make sure each line has 10 syllables in it. You may have to stretch a word (`love-ed' instead of `loved'), but its o.k, Shakespeare did it, alot.

How to understand a Sonnet:
1) Read them over and over.
2) Ask someone else what they think.
3) Ask the author.
4) Pretend you know what you're doing and fake it ;-)

  Now please continue to the Index!