And now for something a bit different… sumbel toasts!
Followers of modern Germanic heathenry (Asatru, Odinism, Theodism, etc.) will undoubtedly be familiar with the traditional three round sumbel, in which the first round is dedicated to the gods, the second round to heroes and ancestors, and the third to boasts, toast, and oaths, or more generally, the participant’s choice. Poetry in the alliterative, eddic meters is indeed appropriate for such significant speech. Here, I present three short sumbel toasts. The first is to the gods and goddesses as a whole and the second is to the ancestors as a whole — both are in ljóðaháttr. The third toast is more specific, and is in honor of the Asatru kindred that I’m in — it is in galdralag.
It’s way past time for a new poem. My aim now is to update this blog at least weekly, and this may be chaotic at first, but here goes…
In the Prose Edda, there are many fine stories that unfortunately have no poetic counterparts in the Poetic Edda or other ancient sources. One of these is the tale of the creation of the treasures of the gods. Thus I have made a modern English poetic version of it in the ljóðaháttr style that goes to the point where the gods judge the treasures — it does not include Brokk’s attempt to collect on the wager. (Generally, Old Norse names in the poem are rendered in Old Norse, but not always — you’ll probably notice the strange characters.)
I presented this poem at the East Coast Thing’s Skaldic Competition in 2011, where it won first place in the spoken word category. It has also been a favorite of the kindred I’m in.
The poem is called “The Six Treasures”