The Six Treasures

It’s way past time for a new poem. My aim now is to update this blog at least weekly, and this may be chaotic at first, but here goes…

In the Prose Edda, there are many fine stories that unfortunately have no poetic counterparts in the Poetic Edda or other ancient sources. One of these is the tale of the creation of the treasures of the gods. Thus I have made a modern English poetic version of it in the ljóðaháttr style that goes to the point where the gods judge the treasures — it does not include Brokk’s attempt to collect on the wager. (Generally, Old Norse names in the poem are rendered in Old Norse, but not always — you’ll probably notice the strange characters.)

I presented this poem at the East Coast Thing’s Skaldic Competition in 2011, where it won first place in the spoken word category. It has also been a favorite of the kindred I’m in.

The poem is called “The Six Treasures”

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Nine Noble Virtues

It’s time for another poem.

In the Poetic Edda, there are some examples of numbered lists, where the speak counts out the items. In Hávamál, the speaker relates 18 magic spells he knows. In Sigrdrífumál, Sigrdrífa gives 11 pieces of advice to Sigurðr. In Grógaldr, the dead woman Gróa sings 9 magic spells to protect her son on a dangerous journey.

This poem was inspired by those counting list poems. It’s also in the fornyrðislag style, although in this one I use three syllable lines more often than usual. It is based on what is probably the most well-known list in modern American Asatru, with my own interpretations and descriptions for each of items, some of which make references to the mythology. There is a strange word in this poem that most will not be familiar with and for which a dictionary probably won’t help: ginn-holy. James Chisholm used this to represent the Old Norse ginnheilög (which means “most holy”) in his translation of the Poetic Edda (in Völuspá 6, for instance). That’s probably what inspired me to use it in a poem. (Actually, there’s probably a few more strange words in here… perhaps another time I’ll make a glossary post to this blog of such words and their meanings.)

The poem is called “Nine Noble Virtues”

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