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Imalye Fotolyi   poem  
Creators: Elizabeth Barrette (Writer)
Compare two different views of the historic figure Imalye.
Posted: 08/03/12      [No comments yet] ~ 240 words.

Imalye Fotolyi

"Imalye the Savior"

When the world's walls fell
And at last we were free
To expand into wide new lands,
The Roluma met us with spears and spite.

From the south and the east
Their armies came, marching like ants,
Striking into the heart of the Empire
And trampling the thoroughfares of Faajaffug.

Then came Imalye the Savior,
A noblewoman who took up the sword,
Took over the army, and
Led her troops to a resounding victory.

If it weren't for her, all would have been lost;
There would be no Empire and no civilization.
In her honor, the Army reserves positions for women --
And the Savior's Seat for her alone, when she returns.

"Imalye the Invader"

When the bleak borders began
to bloom with life once more,
they left us open to the Empire
that sought to take our land for its own.

From the north and the west
they broached our sovereign territory,
so we fought them back, our boots
stern against the cobbles of their streets.

Then came Imalye the Invader,
a whore who became a soldier
and stripped the victory from our troops
just as we were about to win for all time.

If it weren't for her, we would have won
And there would be no Empire to oppress us.
Her name is written in the Rolls of Ignominy, hidden
Until it is time to read them when the world turns again.

Author's Notes

This poem came out of the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Ellen Million and sponsored by LJ user Laffingkat.

The verb olyi means "to vanquish" but can have either positive ("to prevail, to be victorious, to save") or negative ("to invade, to conquer") connotations. The prefix f- is the first person marker, and the prefix ot- is the agent marker like -er in English. So it means something like "Imalye the Invader" or "She (Who) Prevails."

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Referenced Articles:

Story collections:
All Empire Stories and Art
The Hues of His Days

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