Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Snow Thrall







The Snow Thrall


The north wind blows and writes a tale
on night black air, her ink ice-pale,
runes flowing from her pen of snow.
The storm’s her music made to blow
the story singing down the vale.

She cries the one-eyed god’s own tale:
nine days he hung and dared not fail
to learn the things a god must know
who lives in thrall to singing snow.
The north wind blows.

Thought and memory leave no trail
raven high on white winds’ tail,
raven black on books of snow
and helpless as the god below
to change the ending of the tale
the north wind blows.


January 2011





Posted for OneShotWednesday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry
now more inimitable than ever at their newly revamped site.


This poem is written in the rondel form.



Odin was the ruler of Asgard in Norse mythology, the god associated with wisdom, war, battle and death, as well as  magic, poetry, and  prophecy. He placed one of his eyes in the well beneath the world tree, Yggdrasil and also hung from the tree for nine days in order to learn the wisdom which would give him power in the nine worlds. He had two ravens named Huginn and Muninn(Thought and Memory.) He is destined to be slain by Fenrir, the father of wolves, at Ragnarok.

Image: Odin by dislodge, courtesy deviantArt

55 comments:

  1. ....mmm...nice tale...rather enchanting actually...

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  2. This has the feel of an epic; lovely cadence and images ("ink ice-pale").

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  3. Great imagery and so appropriate for winter's mid-point.

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  4. Bringing up the Norse...always a pleasure. And all too appropriate against the backdrop of the encroaching storm. Apparently I'm to be buried under up to 16 inches of snow sometime in the next 24 hours, or so I'm told. So believe me, I hear it when you speak about the north wind blowing...I'm living it. Lovely rondel - the references help to build the potency of the lonely winter imagery.

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  5. Beautiful write.... great tale :)

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  6. So much said between the lines, in pairings of imagery and innuendo. Smooth flow which comes full circle rather nicely. As always, you craft fine imagistic stanzas Think we are all about to be buried in snow soon, or at least winter seems that way this year. lol Fine poem.

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  7. Joy this is a beautiful tale. I love how easy you make using the form look. I love the line "thought and memory leave no trail" Nice!
    Pamela

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  8. Your rondel set me spinning - my mind skating to the edge of the galaxies seeking the nine worlds. And you gave me the source of Fenrir the werewolf in HP. You are my source, Hedgewitch and my friend. Thank you I am honored. Gay

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  9. I love the title and the second and third lines, particularly. A very apt piece indeed for such a stormswept day!

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  10. The form really suits the subject here, the north wind continuing to blow throughout this very evocative piece. Nice write.

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  11. This is almost lovely enough to make me forget how much I HATE snow!

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  12. Love the tale Joy, and your explanation of this Norse god - his one eye placed beneath the earth tree...this is a great poem for reading the images are spell binding...bkm

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  13. i love reading you - i get caught up in other places, my mind gets to work! YAY!

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  14. Gorgeous, the imagery is called up wonderfully by your words!

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  15. Your poetry always sets me going..my mind is so filled with your imagery, the perfection of your words that you make so seemingly easy or random...there is no struggle, but I know you must!

    Your historic and cultural imagination is so filling AND thrilling, Joy. What a Joy it is to read this very sophisticated poetry!

    Lady Nyo

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  16. Joy,

    The mythic delve of this, underscored by the rhyme, must have a power deeper than simple 'poetic expression'.

    It makes me want to hide from it! Hide within a button-down shirt collar and business agenda.

    Rationality! Help me!

    (Love it!)

    Trulyfool

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  17. What a wonderful poem! I love your mythology use in poetry, and I love how you use formal types of poems. This is so fitting as I sit surrounded by a blizzard.

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  18. Your words not only conjure wonderful images but sounds as well. It's wonderful to read you always.

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  19. what more can I say except your fine work's got me thinking of trying rondel form, one which I've not yet. and you've done it so well. enchanting verse

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  20. I'll have a tall Frosted mug of Mead please...
    And you better bring me a Mutton leg while your at it!!

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  21. Nicely done! Fluid and yes, enchanting! An accomplished undertaking!

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  22. I love this. I'm a bit cold and scared!

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  23. I'm awed no end with your poetry, Joy! Where the narratives come from, how you sieve images as if from enchanted air, how you breathe life into poetic lines that enthrall! I wouldn't have imagined snow as other-than-this world as you did in this poem. Thank you again for adding yet another dimension to my world!

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  24. very interesting. Never read rondel before.

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  25. I like the rhythm and the sense of being able to convey the blowing cold out of our control. The one eyed god will tell that tale regardless.

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  26. For such a short poem, this has the feel of an epic. Love the rhyme and rhythm! It certainly compliments the wintry winds blowing on my side of the world. Perhaps I should listen closer for the story being told. Fine writing!

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  27. As I read this, I kept thinking of Beowulf. And then I see it's about Odin. You captured something here, and captured it well.

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  28. Very nicely done. Gotta go with "helpless... to change the ending of the tale." as my favorite part.

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  29. Yes...it is exactly like that here today, hedgewitch...and this poem makes me feel very melancholy but in a good wintry way...

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  30. Absolutely beautiful. The rondel has such a lovely rhythm.........I especially loved the "pen of snow" and the repetition of "the north wind blows". Wonderful writing, as always! And delightful READING!!!!

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  31. A great Rondel!
    "her ink-ice pale" is brilliant.
    Always a pleasure to stop by.

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  32. I came back to read again :)
    Really loving the first three lines.
    Beautiful work xx

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  33. fascinating.. i love world here...

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  34. got very caught in the wonderful tale and i loved the flow and rhyme..cheers pete

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  35. Beautifully written. I enjoyed the lines

    "Thought and memory leave no trail
    Flying high on the white winds’ tail
    Raven black against clouds of snow"

    The deep contrast is startling and so vivid and as always, you take me to places I would otherwise have never seen.

    Beautifully planned out and writtien. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  36. Your poems reads like a song...beautiful... Thank you for mentioning the story behind the poem.

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  37. Many many thanks all, for your kind comments and input. This was a fun write; it was amazing how the very limiting form of 8 syllable lines, two rhymes and a four word refrain derived from the first words of the poem actually supported and helped shape the poem's content instead of restricting it.

    Everyone's time and insights are greatly appreciated, as always.

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  39. Second try:) - I really enjoyed this. Great imagery and flows perfectly, loved it. :)

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  40. oh - i hear the north wind blow through your poem...can feel it..

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  41. Epic was what came to mind for me too...and it flows beautifully.

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  42. Felt the chill in this one, Joy... and the howl of the north wind is all too audible too!!
    "Thought and memory leave no trail
    Flying high on the white winds’ tail" -- that was superbly written, lady!!

    And the song-like quality of the poem made it feel the the wind was happily slapping across my face... and I laughed as I cried...

    loved this read!

    **shivering**

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  43. I think the temperature in my house just dropped a few degrees. Nice write!

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  44. I loved this poem. What a beautiful form and a great job with it. It was simply enchanting. I always look forward to reading your poems, and you never disappoint. Thank you for sharing.

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  45. Solid rhyme-poem. Great story-telling.

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  46. Wow, this also brought a tear to my eye. Wonderful work, humble to think I had anything to do with this and ironic you write this as Ol' One Eye wonders for winter.

    Even made me put on King of Asgard to read this, makes even more sense! Thanks for the tip, you always do great honor to us by your words and I'm sure you, Saga and I will have a pint in our afterlife for these weavings!

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  47. Glad you liked in, LV and thank you for your own inspiring work. If there is an afterlife, I'd like it to include pouring you a tankard of mead in the golden halls and sharing the revelry with my own sword hilt banging along on the table.

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  48. Ah, yes! How beautifully the poet acknowledges Odin's self-sacrificing act of obtaining the runes. So many of the icons mentioned with subtlety: the ravens, Thought and Memory, the north wind, the hanging god. Masterful piece of Norse mythology.

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  49. Thanks, Kerry. I liked your take very much as well--thanks for taking the trouble to come by and read--your comment was in blogger limbo for four days, before it showed up today on my dashboard, so sorry for the late acknowledgment of your kind words.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg