As the equinox passed and night began to overtake day in the ancient Viking land of Oslo, the Skald was well settled into his studies for the fall semester, which included ancient runes, the rhetoric of the elder skalds, and the tongue and poetry of the noble Anglo-Saxons. (Just like the last two semesters, he couldn’t resist signing up for four classes this time around.) Never content to leave anything to the last minute, the Skald’s thoughts also turned to the future and where he might next live the life of the mind, although that was still a long way off. Looking further forward to the winter break and writing a thesis in the next semester, he then composed this verse:
Dark drains daylight as I dare the Ascent:
for forty credits I further go, Continue reading →
The days passed and lengthened as the spring semester came to its final end, with the skald having won total victory over all the classes and exams. But it was time to head onward to future adventures. After a tearful goodbye, the Skald left Iceland, returning to his homeland just in time for the hot and humid summer and its bright and searing sun. After a long rest, the Skald reflected on his travels, the sun as a metaphor, and his upcoming journey to Norway and composed this verse:
In sorrow I left for southern lands,
alone to fly and from my lady parted,
to a sleep of a sort in a summer rest.
It readies my heart for the road ahead, Continue reading →
Now that warmer days have finally arrived in earnest in the Northern Hemisphere (or at least the tiny part of it known as Pennsylvania), I present a poem in honor of Summertime. Like my previous poem in honor of Wintertime, it is a drápa of ten stanzas in fornyrðislag.
The poem is called “Sumartímadrápa.” (The name is in Old Norse, and simply means “Summertime drápa.)
This song I brewed
with sweetest honey
to celebrate summer
and sun’s bright light.
I made this mead
with mirth today,
to fill the folk
with frolic and joy.