More Books for the Asatru Alliterative Poet

It is time for another booklist! To the first book list I posted in January, I have a few more gems to add, highly recommended to the modern would-be Asatru alliterative poet, with a short commentary on each.

1. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Fall of Arthur. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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In Praise of Summertime

Now that warmer days have finally arrived in earnest in the Northern Hemisphere (or at least the tiny part of it known as Pennsylvania), I present a poem in honor of Summertime. Like my previous poem in honor of Wintertime, it is a drápa of ten stanzas in fornyrðislag.

The poem is called “Sumartímadrápa.” (The name is in Old Norse, and simply means “Summertime drápa.)

This song I brewed
with sweetest honey
to celebrate summer
and sun’s bright light.
I made this mead
with mirth today,
to fill the folk
with frolic and joy.

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Staves for Daily Use, Part 2

Continuing from last week, here are four more staves. Each is one stanza of ljóðaháttr as before. The Moon Stave deserves a few remarks, however. The beginning of it, like last week’s Sun Stave, is actually based on lines from the Eddic poem Alvíssmál. There, in stanza 16, Alvíss says that the sun is called Sól among men and Sunna among the gods. Those two names are well-known among Asatruar. However, in the parallel line from stanza 14, Alvíss says that the moon is called Máni among men and Mylinn among the gods. The name Máni is well-known among Asatruar, but Mylinn does not have much currency, and will probably strike many as odd, at least at first. The pattern in both staves, of course, is that of honoring the divine being named in the first line through the physical manifestation named in the second line.

Food Stave

For the might and main
through this meal I gain,
my thanks I give to the gods.
Let their blessings bring
to my being the strength
that enables worthy works.

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Staves for Daily Use, Part 1

Poetry in elder times was sometimes referred to as “staves.” (As in, “I recite these staves.”) This week, I present three staves that Asatruar may find useful for reciting at need as a way to incorporate more ritual into their lives. Actually, many polytheists might find them useful as is, and I suppose any monotheists reading my blog could probably figure out how to modify certain lines if they wanted to. However, they are written from an Asatru perspective. Each is one stanza of ljóðaháttr. I’ll present a few more next week.

Waking Stave

This dawning day
brings deeds of might
for us the bold and brave.
For gifts from the gods,
I give my thanks,
may I wield them well today!

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