Eirik’s Hymn and Some Updates

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.” 🙂

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Prayers to the Gods, Part 2

Woot! I’ve finished NaPoWriMo on schedule, having written a poem a day for each day of the month. As mentioned in my last post, I chose to write these 30 poems as prayers to various gods, goddesses, and wights of Asatru, each exactly nine-lines in the style of Anglo-Saxon continuous verse. Today I present another three prayers from the fifteen that I wrote in the second half of the month. They are prayers to Forseti, Jörð, and the Ancestors.

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Prayers to the Gods, Part 1

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.
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