tu pater es, rerum inventor, tu patria nobis suppeditas praecepta, tuisque ex, inclute, chartis, floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant, omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta…Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Bk. 3, ll. 9-12
You are our father, the discoverer of truths, you supply us with a father's precepts, from your pages, illustrious man, as bees in the flowery glades sip all the sweets, so we likewise feed on all your golden words
So much depends on the bees. I was working in the yard Monday and they were right there beside me, hitting up the wild flowers. We blissfully ignored one another, being careful to keep our respective distances: the bees, from my hoe; me, from their stings. As I watched them, my mind wandered and this poem was born.
|Engis gulla augar
óð-rærs hæna smyrill;
sæta mjölk-blóms læ-víss.
Vængar með höggvanda
vínsvelgr fljóta til býhus
Þer hunangs ymr-þjuða
þrek-liga stemma lækr-gull
bekkr dam-stæð leka
yndi-ligr bekkr vinds-gnýr.
Hrannir út hann dynjað
Hárs á saltunnu skáldit
siglað Óðinns segjað
skald-skipit ok öl-hrönn
wisdom-raiser attract hawk;
sweet milk-bloom liquor-wise.
Wings with staggering
drunkard floats to beehouse;
there honey buzzing-tribe
strongly stems stream-gold.
brook dam-yard leaks
Charming brook squalling.
waves out of which poured
Hárs onto hall-barrel the skald
sails Odin´s speaks
skald´s ship and ale-wave.
The meadow's golden eyes
attract the hawk of wisdom-raiser;
sweet intoxicating flower´s milk.
With staggering wings
drunkard floats to beehive
The buzzing tribe there honey
golden streams stems strongly.
Dam-yard leaks a brook
of bright-gold bee-tears;
charming brook yields
to squally yeast-wave
which pours into the waves
of Hárs hall-barrel [and] into the skald
[who] sails the skald's ship
and speaks Odin´s ale-wave
engis augar > eyes of the meadow > wildflowers
óðörærs smyrill > hawk of the wisdom raiser > hawk of nectar > bee
mjölk-bloms > milk of the flowers > nectar
bý-tár > bee's tears > honey
dam-stæði > dam-yard > honey-comb
bara-jastars > yeast-wave > mead
hrannir Hárs saltunnu > waves of Hár´s (Óðinn´s) hall-barrel > mead
skald-skipit > the skald-ship > dreams
Óðinns öl-hrönn > Ódinn's ale-wave > poetry
Please, now that you've read the poem, leave me a comment on it. Here are the three questions:
1. What did you like about this poem?Finally, a shout out to Dr Beverliey Braune, whose excellent blog, Musings on skáldic poetry is a constant inspiration to me. Thank you, Dr. Braune.
2. What would you change about this poem?
3. What else would you like to learn?