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I received a lot of Yuletide gifts this year — seven (7!), in three of my four requested fandoms, including one crossover and several in verse. I am stocked in Squee for the next several weeks.

The disconnected one first, fulfilling a prompt I’ve requested before:

The Way, being Tang Dynasty RPF with Li Bai and Du Fu as, well, not exactly the wandering swordsman of wuxia (there’s no martial-arts battles) but it plays quite nicely with many wuxia tropes. That is very Li Bai behavior. I am very pleased.

The other two fandoms are both poems, McGonagall’s “The Tay Bridge Disaster” and Housman’s “Hell Gate.” (They’re short. You have time to refresh your memory of canon.)

My Yulemouse was assigned the latter, and wrote an excellent backstory fic: A Life, a Death, on how the narrator got where to the literal gates of Hell. Well told, and dovetails neatly into canon.

Yulemouse then turned around and retold “Hell Gate” in the manner of William McGonagall: The Gate Of Hell, Or, On The Redemption Of Souls. It is glorious. Content warnings: period-typical moralizing, crashing rhymes. Has such classic lines as “And he was visible because he was on fire” and “Our soldier recognised her too / Because at one time they had lived in the same avenue.” This is my favorite gift of the season. Go — read it, and be amazed.

Something about requesting “The Tay Bridge Disaster” struck a chord, because the rest of my gifts are for it:

The most astonishing is De Tavi Pontis Clade Carminis Fragmenta: Newly Discovered Fragments, which provides the “original Latin” of the opening and closing lines, with the “traditional translation” and a more literal rendition for comparison. So, yes, it’s McGonagall in Virgilian hexameters. Sample is in the subject line, literally “of which we will be mindful through many centuries.”

(My Latin is not good enough to evaluate the verse style - can anyone comment on how McGonagallian it is?)

Seven Views of the Tay Bridge Disaster retells the events of the disaster as seen by seven, er, entities involved — in regular (i.e. not McGonagallian) verse. Excellent interpolations, ending on a stunning note.

Fifteen Ways to Die Horribly at Wormit Bay on 28 December, 1879, is another retelling, in the style of Daphne Gottlieb’s “Fifteen Ways to Stay Alive”. “Wear chapstick when kissing the Tay Bridge.”

Finally, William MacGonagall Was His Own Disaster is not directly a fic on the canon but rather, well, the main relationship tag is an accurate summary: William MacGonagall/the massacre of the English language. His life, told in McGonagallian verse.

Eeeeeeee! I say.

FWIW, I wrote one story, one that probably looks very like a My Kind Of Story, but since Yuletide is a large haystack I suspect few will actually find it before the reveal. Recipient squee’d well, which is the important thing.


Subject quote from De Tavi Pontis Clade, Gulielmus McGonagall.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/709430.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.