Back in February, I mentioned I was experimenting in writing slam poetry in the alliterative meters. Today I present one of the results of that experiment, which I actually presented at the Steel City Slam on March 25. However, it appears that the world of slam is not yet ready for metered Viking poetry. (Indeed, presenting a poem in meter is virtually unheard of in the slam scene.) Nevertheless, I enjoyed writing in this particular style and tone and will probably do so again in the future. I may try something even more unusual in the future: writing an “MFA-style” poem, but in my own voice and using the ancient meters.
The poem is titled “Ancient and Modern Dragons” and it is written in 48 lines of the Anglo-Saxon continuous style that is not broken into stanzas (which first debuted here on my blog). Of the various alliterative forms I work with, I think it is the one best suited to slam poetry. The poem features famous dragons from ancient and modern literature, and more political commentary than is usual for my poems. It’s still heathen to the core, however. 🙂
Of ancient dragons, the elder poets
left us stories of their strength and size:
Of hungry Níðhögg, who gnaws at the roots
of the great green tree, a glorious ash
that nurtures the worlds, named Yggdrasil.