The Mead Quest

Here is one of my favorite early poems, based on the tale of Odin’s winning of the poetic mead from Snorri’s Edda. A version of the tale exists in the Havamal, but it clearly has some differences. I have written it as a lore poem in eight stanzas of ljóðaháttr. In this one, the spelling has been completely anglicized. Since mead is strongly identified with poetry in the Old Norse tradition, this tale allowed for a tight interweaving of the two concepts, especially in the first and last stanzas. (As a change, I have now put the first stanza prior to the break.)

The poem is called “The Mead Quest.”

Honor I Odin
by eagerly pouring
that precious and potent mead.
How he won
that wynnful draught:
that spell I speak in verse.

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Iðunn’s Abduction, Part 1

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that the types of poems I write include short ritual dramas that could potentially be performed in front of an audience. Now it’s time for an example of one of those. Here I present the abduction of Iðunn, based on the version of the tale in Snorri’s Edda. There are a total of nine parts in various meters. The narrator’s part is in fornyrðislag. The parts of the eight other characters are in ljóðaháttr, with some pieces in galdralag where appropriate. Only the words to be spoken are included; matters of costume, stage directions, sets, and so on have been left to those more talented at such things than I am. I present it here in three parts. Part one is below, and parts two and three will follow in the next two weeks.

The various roles and their stanza lengths are as follows:

Narrator: 15 stanzas
Óðinn: 5 stanzas
Þjazi: 3 stanzas
Loki: 6.5 stanzas
Hœnir: 1.5 stanzas
Iðunn: 1.5 stanzas
Skaði: 2 stanzas
Njörðr: 0.5 stanzas
Freyja: 1 stanza

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