The Virtue of Perseverance in the Lore

It is one of the major themes of my blog that the lore should be made operative and used in modern heathen poetry. Such poetry can be put to a number of uses. In one kind of usage, it can inspire and instruct, and it should relate the lore to our modern needs. Today I present a poem that should help illustrate at least some aspects of what is meant by that.

Most American Asatruar are at least familiar with the Nine Noble Virtues, regardless of what they may think of them. (An earlier poem on this blog gives a complete list in poetic form.) It is common to say that the NNV were originally gleaned from a reading of the lore, primarily the Hávamál. At one point, I took a closer look into one of the nine, Perseverance, with the aim to discover if it was displayed in other parts of the lore, particularly the rest of the Poetic and Prose Eddas and the Rune Poems. Here is a poem I wrote based on what I found.

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A Special Sumbel Toast to Odin

It’s been nearly three months since I last posted sumbel toasts to this blog. The previous ones were short, two stanza toasts. This time, I present a longer, more formal toast in honor of Odin. It is the sort of thing that I write for the more elaborate sumbels that take place at large Asatru gatherings. It is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttr drápa, with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. To make it more friendly to my readers, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words. I originally wrote it as part of a three round sequence of toasts; I may post the other two toasts at some point in the future. This is also a likely future audio recording.

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Audio for Vetrartímadrápa

Winter is still very much here in the northern hemisphere, and in honor of it, I present an audio recording of my poem Vetrartímadrápa. Last week’s audio, The Six Treasures, was in the ljóðaháttr style. This one, however, is in the fornyrðislag style, so you’ll probably be able to notice a distinct difference in the rhythm between the two poems when recited out loud.

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Books for the Asatru Alliterative Poet

For a change of pace this time, I have a book list for you instead of a poem. These are some books that I would recommend to the modern would-be Asatru alliterative poet, with short commentary on each. Many have references to older languages such as Old Norse or Old English. This is generally unavoidable, as all the great exemplars of the form are in those languages.

1. Hollander, Lee M, trans. Old Norse Poems. London: Abela P, 2010.
2. —. The Poetic Edda. 2nd ed. Austin: U of Texas P, 1962.

Invaluable resources for the alliterative poet, as Hollander translates the old material into Modern English while retaining the original meters as he understood them. His language can be a bit archaic at times, and often sacrifices literal accuracy for the sake of the meter. But the latter is exactly why the alliterative poet should read them. He also includes a brief explanation of the meter in his Edda translation.

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