Monday, December 24, 2012

Sólmyrkvi: Lausavísur on the recent solar eclipse

I am often in search on inspiration and, as a recent pizza ad says, "the answer is in the stars" (or in this case, the skies over the Southern hemisphere). I wrote the following verse on the occasion of the solar eclipse this past autumn. In it I incorporated several Norse myths about the sun. The usual pattern here, two verses plus English poetic translations, followed by a key to the kennings and heiti used.

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Old Norse Verses Poetic Translation
Hyrrinn brenna heiðs
hnoðrum skýa á ǫski
en alskíra himins eltask
ártali skarptoski.

Skjaldar himna Skǫlli
skapthár flýgr frá bólginn.
Ljósgim fengit lastvarr
ljómandi hafði faststar.
Fire of the clear-sky
burns sky-fleece to ashes,
but year-counter sharp-toothed
chases heaven's all-bright.

The shaft-high heaven's shield
flees from Skǫll wrath-swollen.
Hard-eyed Gleamer captured
guileless light-jewel.

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Kennings and Heiti Used

Hyrrinn brenna heiðs > Fire of clear sky > SUN
hnoðrum skýa > sky-fleece > CLOUDS
alskíra himins > heaven's all-bright > SUN
ártali skarptoski > sharp-toothed year-counter > MOON
Skjaldar himna skapthár > Shaft-high heaven's shield > SUN AT DAWN
Skǫlli bólginn > Skulker swollen > MOON
Ljósgim lastvarr > guileless light-gem > SUN
ljómandi faststar > Hard-eyed Gleamer > MOON

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May the Jólabál burn brightly in your heart!

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