Háskólavísur 14: The End of the Degree

The cold Oslo winter persisted, and the Skald fortified himself for the long siege, working diligently on his master’s thesis. But after 15 weeks, as winter’s assault finally relented, the Skald finished his glorious text of 36,000 words about his ancient counterpart, the figure of the skald as found in the probable works of Snorri Sturluson: Edda, Heimskringla, and Egils saga. After a brief celebration and much relaxing that included plenty of sight-seeing, the Skald prepared to face the final contest in his master’s degree. With his lady from his time in Iceland by his side once more, he undertook the ordeal of a trial-by-lecture in a runology course and emerged victorious. It is said he celebrated the day with fine rum and a cigar in the afternoon, and by a sushi dinner and a bottle of mead with his lady in the evening. He rested the next day, composing this verse:

My wode had waxed through the winter’s dark
and opened my flow of artful words.
O’er pages of ink, I poured the Mead,
revealing the tales of valiant skalds
who lived and recited their lines to kings
in the ancient north. I ordered the work
with careful skill and accord to the skalds,
rightly arranged. The runes were last,
and in warmer weather my wisdom was shown
with a trial-by-lecture to test my knowledge
of these mighty mysteries. For the Master of Arts,
my work is accomplished. I’ve won the victory,
a noble triumph, for truly now
this Skald has done great scholarly deeds!

Copyright © 2016 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

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