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. Continue reading →
Today brings three more short sumbel toasts, one each to Ægir, Óðinn, and Iðunn. All are in ljóðaháttr, and all are two stanzas each, and the stanza break has been removed to avoid confusion. The Óðinn toast features some of his other names. Also, the spellings have not been anglicized this time.
Several weeks ago, I mentioned that the types of poems I write include short ritual dramas that could potentially be performed in front of an audience. Now it’s time for an example of one of those. Here I present the abduction of Iðunn, based on the version of the tale in Snorri’s Edda. There are a total of nine parts in various meters. The narrator’s part is in fornyrðislag. The parts of the eight other characters are in ljóðaháttr, with some pieces in galdralag where appropriate. Only the words to be spoken are included; matters of costume, stage directions, sets, and so on have been left to those more talented at such things than I am. I present it here in three parts. Part one is below, and parts two and three will follow in the next two weeks.
The various roles and their stanza lengths are as follows: