April is the time of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), an annual event for encouraging poets to write a poem a day for each of the 30 days of the month. It was modeled after the more famous National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). (See the site of NaPoWriMo’s creator or the Wikipedia page for more details.)
This year, I decided to join in the fun for the first time and take up the challenge myself. I’ve resolved to write a poem each day of the month and chose to write the thirty poems with a common theme and structure. Each is a prayer to one of the gods or goddesses of Asatru, and each is exactly nine lines in the style of Anglo-Saxon continuous verse that is not broken into stanzas. (I first featured this meter over a month ago in my “Beer in Midgard” poem, and it is like my usual fornyrðislag except for the changes in line and stanza breaks.) The prayers are written in plural form, and like the Calls to the Gods on this blog, they (usually) can be changed to singular without damaging the meter or the sense. It should be noted that prayer is not a requirement in Asatru, and many (most?) Asatruar don’t pray. I think it is something that individual Asatruar can experiment with if they feel so inclined. However, beyond such brief remarks, this blog is not the place to enter into the debate on the matter.
As I prepared this post, I was halfway finished with NaPoWriMo, having written 15 poems, one on each of the first 15 days of the month. Today I present three prayers from those written so far. They are prayers to Iðunn, Thor, and Eir.
April 02 — Iðunn
O youthful Iðunn, we yearn for your apples,
the luscious fruit that is life to the gods.
Old age always in the end will win;
may you stave her off, for our striving’s sake
in lust for life, as long as you can.
Wax our vitality for work in Midgard,
this realm of action and rightful duty,
for our lives are short. So lift our spirits;
make young our souls; put youth in our hearts.
April 06 — Thor
O thunderous Thor, our thanks we give
for your mighty defense of Midgard’s Folk
by destroying the etins that would strangle life.
Your virtues we value: vigorous action,
strength, fearlessness, straightforwardness,
and a lusty appetite for life’s pleasures.
Help us to grow and gain in these virtues,
that we with worth can wear your hammer,
and work our wills in the world today.
April 09 – Eir
O excellent Eir, the Æsir’s healer,
we praise your skills in that precious craft.
From the hill of healing, high in Asgard,
offer us aid and answer our prayer.
Rebuild the bodies of broken heathens,
in minds and memories, mend the fractures,
and succor the souls that have sorrow and woe.
Help us to heal our heathen families
and all the ills of our honored communities.
My next post on April 30 will feature another three prayers from the second fifteen that I write.
Copyright © 2014 Eirik Westcoat.
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