Malazan Empire: Poems at the beginning of the Chapters - Malazan Empire

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#1 User is offline   Aertheron 

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

Hi All,

This is not just for DoD but for all of the Malazan series books.
It annoys me to no end, that there are Poems at the beginning of each Chapter.
For me they break up the flow of the story too much.

Like you are in a very interesting scene, and then at the end of the chapter you are dying to read the rest of it and BAM, another of those boring poems!

What do you guys and girls think about this?

#2 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:56 PM

The poems and excerpts are a bonus. Sure you can skim or skip them, but there are hints and clues buried in many of them, some of which only become clear on the reread.

By example there's one in DG that only has any meaning after you've read TB.

#3 User is offline   Wolfdrop 

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 04:53 PM

Some of them are great, I really liked the one at the beginning of TTH (Frail Age, Fisher Kel Tath), its the rhyming one about Darujhistan and the one the that hints at Toc/Whiskeyjack/Brukhalian. The one at the beginning of GoTM (Call to Shadow, Felisin) is my favourite

In general I prefer the excerpts from fictional historians giving us more information about the world, but as the series goes on he added less and less of them. I actually thought the poems got worse as the series went on, I couldn't work out the flow of most of them, in earlier ones it was easy to read as each line ended with a comma, but from RG onwards they were difficult to read smoothly and never seemed to be relevant to the malazan world barring the characters that wrote them.

Maybe its just me but I can't seem to "get" most of the later poetry. I've read in interviews that SE said if you read them out loud you'll get the flow for them. It didn't help me. I actually prefer ICE's chapter/book starters these days.

#4 User is offline   Rictus 

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 06:26 PM

i think that is a usual reaction. I myself only ever came to care about them on my first reread -- and thereafter. It was amusing to see all the glaring hints I'd prevoiusly been oblivious to.

#5 User is offline   nacht 

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:46 AM

They are there because nobody would publish SE's book of poems separately :-) (just kidding) but actually I would like to see a separate Malazan book of poems.

The real reason I think is that SE/ICE want to present the Malazan chronicles as a historical work (with mythology, confusion and even outright fabrication by the story tellers) and Poems, songs and plays are a big part of how history is documented.

This post has been edited by nacht: 18 July 2014 - 02:48 AM


#6 User is offline   Herrick The Younger 

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:09 AM

They don't bother me at all because I started skipping them after The Bonehunters. I only read the historical anecdotes. There's enough nonsense spouted by certain characters like Badale, and repetitive inner monologue to get through without bothering with the poems.

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