Thursday, November 21, 2013

RAVENS (again)!

And, this time, in English!

Wow! I guess I haven't posted anything in a very very long time. My apologies for the silence, but the muse has not been hanging around very much recently.

I have been writing, but I've more involved in music. At the Pennsic War this year (that being a two-week camping event in the SCA), I purchased a replica Sutton Hoo lyre. I've been slowly learning more about the music that would have heard in 12th-13th century Iceland and attempting to write some tunes to accompany my poetry. That has become my excuse for not writing new poetry.

However, recently I've been working in English, transforming my ON poetry into English. In this, I attempt to write good dróttkvætt while keeping or improving the meaning of the ON original. I'm also working on my knowledge of ON grammar, in order to improve my poetry in the original tongue. That will take some time, but I hope to publish some revised poetry during the winter months.

So, here is the first of two poems I have reworked. It is about ravens.


Gaze on sword storm's glory
gore geese black-eyed soaring.
Hear in harshest whispers
horrid tales of corpse-talk.
Bandying secrets baleful
Baldr's blood-hawks huddle -
Hoar's minions lone hear
harm trees Hel-bound quelléd

Silent fly the soul hawks
Swans drink wine from wound fjord
to gold-tongued sword pierced gallants
goslings sharp-beaked harken.
Tales from fallen telling
Tyr's grace brings to hersir
Offer gifts most awe-filled
arm-rings fit for Herjans.

Home fly swarms of Hugin
(Hanged-gods coal black henchmen - )
Guide the noble guardsmen
(glory sing of war-folk)
Maids of Viðris mighty
(mind hoard keep you kindly)
Savour souls of sword trees
(and sagas sing of ring-gods)


There are many kennings there. A couple might need expelling. First, in verse in verse one, Hoar is an Óðinn name. Also, in verse two, the last line refers to Herjan, another Óðinn name, as is Viðris in verse three. "Hoar's minions" is a raven-kenning; and "Maids of Viðris" is a kenning for valkyries.

The other word that may jar slightly is "quelléd" at the close of verse one. I chose the word based on the ON kvelja "to torment". Thus, for my purposes, "quelled" means "tormented, tortured."

Please let me know your questions, thoughts, and ideas. And, I'll be back very soon with another new blogpost. Promise!