minstrel: Fwd: Opinions on Skaldic

Baker, Mike mbaker at rapp.com
Wed Jan 15 10:23:00 PST 1997


Thoron, I will defer to Mikal Hrapsfa for most of the technical competence 
of your construct.

I *will* note that the combination you have used is not unpleasing to the 
ear or eye.

> I am in the process of finishing an epic poem, and I would like some 
comments
> on it.  I want to re-create the feel of Viking poetry in English, which is
> usually difficult due to the intricate rules of most Norse verse forms 
(which
> were apparently easier to do in Old Norse than they are in English).  What
> I've come up with is sort of a mix of anglo-saxon  (alliterative) form 
with a
> rhyme scheme.  I'm interested to know what people think of the form, how
> close it is in "feel" to old norse verse, etc.  The epic is called "Doom 
of
> the Draugr" and revolves around the norse legends of  Draugr-- people who
> come back from the dead.  Here is the first section (please remember it's 
a
> rough draft!).  Thanks for any comments you might have!
>      Thoron Ravenoak, Caid

<begin block quote>
          Trogr?s Fall
     Thunder rolled over      Towering mountains.
     Sky-ships releasing      Shadowy fountains.
     Walking the hill road         Washed by the cloud-tears
     Strode ugly Trogr        Shaper of fears.
     Crafter of ill-wyrd      Called by cursed names.
     Many suspected           Murder his passion
     Always unproven               After the fashion.
     Now was he grumbling          North of the Hoy fells
     Plotting his evil,            Planning his spells.
     Then as he came to       Edge of Tor Ness cliff
     Where the rocks moaned        And winds were stiff,
     Sudden a dark hand       From shadows stabbing
     Red Trogr flailing       Futily grabbing--
     Terror he screamed,      Thrashing, he fell
     Driven at long last      Down to cold Hel!
<end block quote>

I think you might do well to include more deliberate kennings, or even some 
straight metaphoricals.
E.G.: consider "Thor's cart rolled over", as the sound of the thunder-god's 
chariot wheels was believed to be the source of thunder.

You might also work for more alliteration by phrase:
"Then as he came to Tor Ness' edged cliff"
"Foul Trogr flailing     Futilely grabbing "

I'd suggest "Winds were corpse-stiff" to eliminate the intrusive "And" in 
addition to further driving home the sense of doom & destruction.

spelling quibble: Futilely (although your form makes the pronunciation 
clearer )

Kihe Blackeagle (the Dreamsinger Bard)  s.k.a. Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri 
al-Amra
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at rapp.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 
otherwise!

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