It will soon be here: my other book of poetry (with prose!), and most of its content has never appeared on my blog or anywhere else. Now available for preorder in hardcover only. The official publication date is April 30, 2019.
This is a book for initiates, magicians, occultists, esotericists, sages, heathen prophets, and other travelers of the hidden realms, one that will not be understood by others.
To find it, either this Amazon link or this Barnes & Noble link will take you to the casewrap hardcover edition. If you’re outside of the United States, your Amazon country-site of choice probably has it listed already.
For further details, including a brief table of contents, see my Press / Books page.
Today brings my tenth audio recording to this blog. This time, it is Gunnlaðarljóð, which was posted as text last November. My recitation uses the original Norse pronunciations of the names instead of the anglicized versions.
Today’s poem is a lore poem, but one rather different from others posted here. It is a retelling of Odin’s winning of the poetic mead, but instead of following Odin’s point of view (as my poem The Mead Quest did), my poem today follows Gunnlod’s point of view. However, any such tale must necessarily be somewhat speculative. All that Snorri’s Edda tells us about Gunnlod is that her father Suttung put her in charge of guarding the mead (after he got it from the dwarves), and that: “Bolverk went to where Gunnlod was and lay with her for three nights and then she let him drink three draughts of the mead.” (The quote is from the Anthony Faulkes translation.) The Hávamál scarcely tells us more, but there seems to be some implication that Gunnlod helped Odin escape. (See stanzas 13-14 and 104-110 for the somewhat cryptic talk about it all.) The modern day poet must necessarily invent some motivation or other for Gunnlod in this story. We can probably assume she’s unhappy with her father. (A possibly similar father-daughter antagonism seems to be at work in the Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen.) She may also have been spell-bound, figuratively or literally, by Odin. Probably other things must be invented as well to finish the story, but I won’t try to make an exhaustive list of it. Suffice it to say that my story here should *not* be thought of as authoritative or canonical. Other Asatruar will probably have different ideas about what Gunnlod’s motives were.
In January, I posted a special longer sumbel toast to Odin and said that it was part of a three round sequence of more-elaborate-than-usual sumbel toasts. Today I present the second toast from that sequence, intended for the second round of a typical sumbel, wherein one gives toasts to heroes and ancestors. Like that Odin toast, it is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttrdrápa, with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. As with the other toast, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words.
Now I turn
my needful praise
to the heroes in Odin’s hall;
With mead I toast
those mighty dead
who eternally fight and feast.
I now present an audio recording of my poem The Mead Quest, which is a short poetic rendering of Óðin’s winning of Óðrerir, the poetic mead. For aspiring skalds in modern Asatru, this tale is perhaps the most important part of the mythology.
It’s been nearly three months since I last posted sumbel toasts to this blog. The previous ones were short, two stanza toasts. This time, I present a longer, more formal toast in honor of Odin. It is the sort of thing that I write for the more elaborate sumbels that take place at large Asatru gatherings. It is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttrdrápa, with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. To make it more friendly to my readers, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words. I originally wrote it as part of a three round sequence of toasts; I may post the other two toasts at some point in the future. This is also a likely future audio recording.