In the Grail legend’s greatest telling,
chastity is not a needed choice.
The Lord of the Grail is allowed a woman,
whose name appears in numinous script,
in flames on its surface. Unfree he is
to have another. (Now, try he can,
but that course of action does not climax well.)
I quest for the Grail, that quickening hallow,
but by binding myself to that boldest endeavor,
It’s a world of hate, with war on all sides.
This eagle sorrows at the anger and hate,
pondering the problem from his perch in the tree.
What do you do, if you do not hate,
when manifest multitudes are mandating hate?
Each end’s extremes are stark-raving mad.
The ghost of McCarthy, that grim specter,
is haunting us still and hunting them out:
Since I noticed that a certain secular holiday was approaching this Friday, I decided I would write a short poem related to it. My poem, of course, has some of that Northern flavor that my readers have come to expect. It is four stanzas of ljóðaháttr. Its title is “A Short Valentine’s Day Poem.” A word of warning: there is word of vulgar language after the cut at the end of the poem.
Is it love lurking
or just lusty thoughts
in this frigid February?
From Roman roots
is the ritual day
of venturesome valentines.
As may or may not be thought appropriate for a certain secular holiday, I present a short poem about the betrothal of Freyr and Gerd. It would not be wrong to think of it as a very short poetic summary of the Skírnismál from the Poetic Edda. Numerous interpretations of the Skírnismál are possible, and I won’t try to summarize any of them here. Suffice it to say that there is much going on in that poem.
My poem here is in ljóðaháttr. The spelling has been mostly anglicized here. Note that the Old Norse name “Freyr” is not so much a name as it is a title. It actually means “Lord.” Thus I can assure you that the last half stanza is still a reference to Freyr and not to a certain monotheism.