Valhalla

It is time for another lore poem. This one is not a narrative like The Six Treasures or The Mead Quest. Instead, it is a synthesis of lore on Valhalla that appears in the Poetic Edda (mostly the Grímnismál) and Prose Edda (various places).

It is written as ten stanzas of fornyrðislag. (Only the first stanza is prior to the break.) It is not anglicized at all, except for the word Valhalla. (The proper Old Norse form would be Valhöll.) A short note on an aspect of composition: the semi-riddle nature of the poem is intentional. I use various bynames of Óðinn prior to the second-to-last line, and I avoid using the name Valhalla itself until the very last word of the poem.

A spell of the lore
I speak to you now
by pouring Hropt’s
powerful drink.
I sing of that hall
high on the Tree;
to warriors dead
‘tis a welcome sight.

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More Calls to the Gods and Others

It is time for some more calls to the gods and other wights; it was in late November that I last posted some. Like the previous ones, these calls are also two stanzas of ljóðaháttr. Today I’m presenting calls to Thor, the Elves, the Aesir, and the Vanir. (The astute and well-read may notice some Dumezilian trifunctional aspects adapted into the last two.)

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Freyr and Gerd

As may or may not be thought appropriate for a certain secular holiday, I present a short poem about the betrothal of Freyr and Gerd. It would not be wrong to think of it as a very short poetic summary of the Skírnismál from the Poetic Edda. Numerous interpretations of the Skírnismál are possible, and I won’t try to summarize any of them here. Suffice it to say that there is much going on in that poem.

My poem here is in ljóðaháttr. The spelling has been mostly anglicized here. Note that the Old Norse name “Freyr” is not so much a name as it is a title. It actually means “Lord.” Thus I can assure you that the last half stanza is still a reference to Freyr and not to a certain monotheism.

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An Ullr Poem

While it is still winter in the northern hemisphere, I present a poem in honor of Ullr, one of the gods most associated with winter. This is perhaps because he is associated with skis, a distinction he shares with Skaði, who is also connected with wintertime.

There is not much lore about Ullr, but I have worked most of it into this poem. In stanza one, the unusual surfing reference comes from the Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus (which is also the source of the variant name Ollerus). Stanza two is inspired by Atlakviða (stanza 30), which seems to connect Ullr to the swearing of oaths. Ull’s dwelling in Ýdalir is mentioned in Grímnismál 5, though I have added the idea of winter winds being there. The other half of stanza three is inspired by Ull’s connection to hunting via archery. The first half of stanza four is built from the attributes that Snorri ascribes to him (Gylfaginning 31). The poem is in fornyrðislag.

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