Friday, March 2, 2012

Viking

A Viking Foray


Viking


When we go a-Viking
we leave the women back.
The sword becomes our lover
the wind our home and bed.

The sea becomes our roadway
that tosses men to Hel.
The sword becomes our lover;
all the Danelaw knows it well.

When we go a-Viking
the axe comes out to bite.
Bright blood runs wherever we come
to make the old gods’ fight.

Raven brothers, iron and flame,
wrapped in wolf's head grin,
we bring this night the red flesh feast
to feathered and four foot kin.
 

The blade is our sweetest lover, 
pitch torch our warming sun;
the liar has a thousand words
but the fire only one.


January 2012


Fireblossom hosts her Friday poetry event at real toads today, asking us this time to write of a man(or woman) in uniform. The uniform shown in the picture above and associated with the Vikings of horned or winged helmet and animal skins is historically inaccurate and a product of 19th and 20th century romanticizing, often for political ends. Vikings most likely wore a  conical helmet with nose guard, either of wood or iron, with chain mail or leather armor, depending on affluence and position. Either way, it's a uniform I find most attractive.



Image: Viking Foray, illustration from Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas, Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline) (1909). drawn by John Charles Dollman [Public domain] via wikimedia commons

27 comments:

  1. This is a little sing song rhyme that invaded my head a while back. Bear with me all, as I try to get my injured hands back up and running after a bad fall last week. I have switched from padded gauze all over the place to giant bandaids, but typing is still tedious. Will visit and comment as I can, and thanks to those who have reached out for their concern.

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  2. Just brilliant in rhythm and word choice, your poem rings out across the centuries as an ode to the warriors' way. I found it thrilling to read.

    So sorry to hear of your fall, such a thing gives one a shock that is not as easily healed as your poor injured hands. Take care.

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    1. Thanks Kerry. Glad you liked. I will try to get around tomorrow and do some commenting if the paws are a bit better.

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  3. Yeah, I can see the sweet tooth a Hedgewitch would have for Viking mail ... probably wear it around your neck, eh ... This has a crisp military cadence, no foolin' around, nuthin' too pretty out with the guys, breaking a mighty wind en route to carving fresh bloodeagles. (Yeah, pun intended.) The final stanza achieves the mark in spades. Me, I liked the stylized version of Vikings in "The Secret of Kells" -- tall angular bloodblack shadows that moved like jumps on a chessboard; inexorably forward, unassailable except by their kindred wolves. Glad to read you up and around (may your Viking boys hang out by the road and spirit that crazy driver off to Valhalla.) - Brendan

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    1. I have Olaf and Erik bodyguarding now at all times. ;-)Thanks for reading--and I like the shadow comparison.

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  4. I do like the sing-song rhythm, I find it very effective. I'm so sorry about your accident, Joy... sending healing thoughts your way.

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  5. I enjoyed both verse and artwork, having seen this year the Met's "Ring Cycle." Turning the noun into a verb is clever. The directness and brevity are just the characteristics you'd imagine these folks bringing to a song. Very nice.

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  6. When the Hedge and Fire go A-Viking
    With broadswords strapped upon their backs
    Even the Valkyries get the Shivers.....
    The G-Man gets the Axe!!!


    (Sorry...Get well soon...G)

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    1. Well, you axed for it. ;-) I'll be around to burn and pillage next week, promise.

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  7. nice verse hedge...i find the vikings and all those of the age of adventure rather fascinating....this does have a nice lilt to it...smiles...fits that history was captured much in song in days of old...

    i wish you continued healing and a speedy recovery....

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  8. Gorgeous.
    It feels like a song that they would have sung to inspire them into battle.
    I love the lyrical rhythm here.

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  9. A beautiful write. My son, who is a Viking throw-back, alive in the wrong century, would love it. SO sorry to hear about your fall and injured hands. I know, too, how the hands heal, but the system gets a shock that it takes a bit longer to recover from. Rest easy!

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  10. I appreciate you making the effort to be part of my FBF challenge, even though you are wounded, dear Witch. I loved this, it is so YOU.

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  11. A delight to read, I just flowed right along with them

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  12. Skoal!!!!
    Thanks for posting and many wishes for a speedy recovery!

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  13. you have to take excellent care of yourself, young lady! too many people would be bereft if you couldn't write! {me included}

    ah, those Vikings! kind of like firefighters ~ who ISN'T attracted to them?

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  14. Whoa. I am Swedish and Norwegian so anything Viking has a special interest. The blade is wonderful here (and axe.) The end is especially powerful, and, of course, rhythm well suits it. So very sorry to hear of your fall! I know I always feel beset and then something really terrible i.e. physical happens and I realize that my general state is not so bad. I'm so sorry. K.

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  15. Love the last two lines, a powerful finish to a powerful song.
    So sorry you've fallen and injured yourself. Nothing broken, or you'd have said so, right? But pain is pain, and hands are so, um, handy, on a keyboard.
    Be well.
    K

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  16. 'When we go a-Viking'....what a great phrase. It has the ring of war about it.

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  17. Beautiful verse Hedge! The Vikings going on their rampage but done in a romantic way. Sorry to hear of your hand. Hope everything's ok now.

    Hank

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  18. Almost a marching tune, and yet you capture them so well. Nicely done. I like this a lot!

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  19. I think the sing song rhyme makes it perfect!

    Although, I was kind of expecting some sort of ode to paramedics, maybe . . .

    Heal up soon, Hedge!

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  20. Hi ho, hi ho, a-Viking we will go...

    Definitely a marching tune. An amusing yet nevertheless all too appropriate one, from the use of Danelaw to the dark and gritty deeds to which it sings so musically. And you got to this from a prompt on a uniform? Fine work!

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  21. Definitely a battle song rhythm & rhyme so appropriate (hear the crunch, feel the earth-shake of the march). So sorry to read of your accident. Hope things are healing properly. Will be thinking of you.

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  22. It is a sing-song rhythm of warriors with nothing but battles on their mind...Love how you ended it.

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  23. This took my breath away! The rhythm is wonderful and the storytelling spectacular. I have been on a blog break (and still am for a few more days, but had to swing by and read a few as I miss the garden! I will have to go track back and see what happened to you. Don't bother commenting on my blog, just heal and get well!

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  24. I can just hear the menfolk singing this! I hope your wounds heal soon, dear. I know the agony of trying to type with bandaged hand(s)!

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