Preview of a New Rúnatal

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Though I haven’t posted, I’ve still been writing poetry, and a lot of it, and I’ll share some draft pieces today. What I’ve been writing lately will ultimately be a 729-line poem in the Anglo-Saxon style (the style debuted here on my blog), a New Rune Tally (aka “Rúnatal en Nýja” if you prefer Old Norse), inspired by the Rúnatal þáttr Óðins, which is Hávamál stanzas 138-145. (My poetic translation of that traditional Rúnatal is here.) A sizeable chunk of it will consist of tallies of certain things, with nine lines devoted to each item in each tally.

The whole poem, when finished, will be too long to fit in a blog post. Nevertheless, it will make its way to the world eventually, when it has been sufficiently revised and edited. The portions I preview today from the various tallies should be thought of as draft versions that are subject to change.

From the Tally of Runes
Jēra is Year, the yearned-for harvest
in the annual cycle for earning wealth,
but proper planting comes prior to it.
Yeast will make yare the yield of malt
as the toil of time will turn the crops
till the stroke of a scythe stops the growing,
bringing the bounty back for the winter.
Natural ripening lets needed action
occur in the world at the cost of leisure.

From the Tally of Songs
The seventh of songs is seen in the air.
Önd is the breath that enters the body,
the gift of Woden that gives it life.
Divine and vital, it pervades existence:
an essential substance, unseen by fools.
Runic spirits, riding the air,
can enter through it to energize self.
To higher being it’s a helpful bridge,
from Midgard to Asgard for mighty ascent.

From the Tally of Worlds
Svartálfheim dark is deep in the soil,
a home for the rulers of the hyde’s power.
From the realms around, rivers are flowing,
channeled to forges for the choicest treasures.
Concealed from sun, it seeks to create,
but shining day makes shards of stone.
The unwary are trapped, wandering tunnels,
or slain for materials to assist its work,
and the serpent essence surges from it.

Copyright © 2014 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

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