Háskólavísur 05: First Snow in Reykjavík

On October 20, the first snow accumulation of the season fell on Reykjavik. Then Eirik composed this verse:

Reykjavik’s snow rested on ground
an October morning autumnal delight.
Its fair flurries had fallen at night
on the sleeping city at sea-shore’s edge.
But the winter wonder, welcomed too soon,
had melted down in muddled drizzle,
with a likeness of memory left in waters
that the well of wyrd had away taken.

Snow In Reykjavík

Copyright © 2014 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.


Háskólavísur 04: Imagine Peace Tower

On October 9, I got to see the annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, an outdoor work of art by Yoko Ono, located on Viðey Island just off the coast of Reykjavík here in Iceland. Its name in Icelandic, Friðarsúlan (lit., ‘the pillar of peace’), immediately reminded me of the ancient heathen toast, “til árs ok friðar” (lit., ‘for abundance and peace’). From there, I wondered if perhaps a second tower is needed, a hypothetical Árssúlan (lit. ‘the pillar of year’ in Modern Icelandic, but in Old Norse, “ár” also has meanings of plenty, abundance, and fruitfulness). Thus I wrote this verse:

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Háskólavísur 03: My Heathen Hof

“Hof” is my room: a heathen temple
to higher learning, where a horn is raised
to the elder gods of the Medieval North.
Repeating paradigms, I practice Old Norse,
and runes are written for raising consciousness.
The tales of knights by Chrétien I read,
and grails are sought for gain in my soul.
Of a Corpus of Lit, I acquire knowledge,
and mead is made for many to enjoy.

Copyright © 2014 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.