Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – Saraswati mân Ikkam’s Evergreen

THL Saraswati is a wonderful scribe doing absolutely amazing work.  When I found out that she was going to be inducted into the Order of the Evergreen, first I said “Wait, she doesn’t have an Evergreen?”, and then I said “oooh, I’ma write this for her!”

Because Indian poetry was written in a variety of different languages and alphabets, there’s a dizzying number of options available to write a custom text for someone who has a Indian-subcontinent persona.  However, it’s hard to determine what’s period, and how to really write the poem.

In Saraswati’s case, I choose to tackle Sanskrit poetry, which is what the Bhagav-gita was written in.  I found something called the Kakuhb form, which is written in a sequence of unrhymed, tercets, or three line stanzas.  The lines are written with 8 syllables in the first line, 12 in the second and 7 in the third.

I think it’s period.  And the examples I found seemed fairly haiku-like, so I followed that vibe for the Evergreen text, found below.  I used some repeated concepts from stanza to stanza to try and tie the poem together and really like the way it turned out in the end.

the calligrapher works in ink
blood or oak or walnut soaking in the paper
it makes the words permanent.

the teacher works in student’s minds
questions and insights soaking in the firmament
it makes the wit permanent

the feathered quill works in the hand
flickering against the paper, scratching softly
it makes the thoughts permanent

the dragon throne works through people
telling the Crown of their joy in Saraswati
it makes spirit permanent

the MidRealm works through distinction
reknown for Saraswati in Evergreen
our hands and seal here are set


I don’t have a picture of the scroll, alas.  Hopefully Saraswati will be able to get me one!  🙂