Monday, August 3, 2015

Viking-style Poem

I wrote the following as part of a job application:

Extract from Ulf-Krakasaga

Seven went to swan-road                     seeking spear-din glory
Stalwart eagle-feeders all                     eager to win renown
Songs they sung loudly                        so All-Father could listen
When wave-cart stilled                        and voices waivered
Thor’s light thundered                         valkyries cried loudly
Sky-man came slowly                         Standing on shield-disc
The seven, brave, but silent                 held by mind-bonds
Sky-man beckoned quiet                     Ulf-kraka broke his bonds
Brave skald went before them             holding blood-worm ready
But Sky-man chose another                Grim magic bound skald
Poor Gnupa was chosen                      Taken on shield-disc
Taken then to heavens                         while Ulf-Kraka raged

Ulf-Krakasaga was written by Ulf-Kraka Dagson, an Icelandic skald who lived in the 9th century. This passage has been a topic of debate since the saga’s discovery in 1912 by Dr. Frederick Loeb of the University of Cairo. Recently, certain theorists began insisting it is an account of the poet’s interaction with an extra-terrestrial being. This translation is by Todd H. C. Fischer, a Canadian folklorist and historian.

As is usual with skaldic poetry, the poet made frequent use of kennings which were a poetic device used to describe simple word as a figurative phrase. The kennings employed by Ulf-Kraka were:

Swan-road: the sea
Spear-din: battle
Eagle-feeders: warriors
All-Father: Odin, the chief god
Wave-cart: ship
Thor’s light: lightening
Sky-man: the contentious kenning that some insist is referring to an alien visitor
Shield-disc: unknown kenning, though some believe it to be an alien venhicle
Mind-bonds: unknown, though likely referring to magic (which is mentioned later)

Blood-worm: sword 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Well that's a bit embarrassing.

I just went back and read some of my old poetry hosted on this site and boy, was that embarrassing to read! I had very little knowledge or handle on structure or meter back then. Really, considering most of those poems were written 20+ years ago, I guess they're juvenalia.

I thought about deleting them, but I think they'll stay for now; though I will be adding my newer poems to my poetry section to show how I've progressed. I haven't been adding them there up to now because they have all been written in medieval styles, and I have instead been adding them to my medieval poetry page.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Monograph Available!

As part of a living history group called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Todd has recently had a paper appear in the Compleat Anachronist monograph series.

"Composing SCA Award Texts," The Compleat Anachronist, Issue Number 167, First Quarter, 2015. (monograph)

Todd discusses many aspects of composing text for SCA scrolls based on period sources, including legal, religious and poetic documents, as well as tips on how to research the recipient and tailor the wording to fit the recipient's persona.

Yet another literary blog!

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All works on this page are (c) Todd H. C. Fischer, 1997-2020.

If interested in reprinting any of the articles, stories, poems or songs that appear on this page, please contact the author.