Cædmon’s Hymn is a nine-line piece of Old English Christian poetry that uses kenning-like phrases for its deity, such as heavenly kingdom’s warder, glory father, eternal drighten, and mankind’s warder. My thanks go to Mary Ellen Rowe, who pointed out that if you transpose these Old English kenning-like phrases into Old Norse, they sound a lot like kennings for certain Old Norse gods. Upon hearing that, I realized I could make an extremely loose “translation” of Cædmon’s Hymn that heathenized it completely. However, it has ended up as piece that should be considered “inspired by” Cædmon’s Hymn rather than as a translation of it. Also, I’ve named the gods directly in most cases. Like the original, it is in nine lines of continuous verse — which is also just like the sequence of prayers from my last two posts. Here is the result of that experiment, which I suppose could be called “Eirik’s Hymn.” 🙂
From time to time, I get to write longer poems that have a more central role in a ritual, as opposed to my poetic calls, which generally serve as part of the opening of a ritual. Today’s poem is one of those centerpieces — a longer praise poem to Freyr (a flokkr, since it does not have a refrain) in 12 stanzas of ljóðaháttr with a galdralag ending. I wrote it for the main ritual at Pittsburgh’s Pagan Pride Day 2013, which took place this past Saturday, September 14. The ritual was a harvest blessing primarily in honor of Freyr, performed by the Asatru kindred that I’m a member of: the Hearth of Yggdrasil.