Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter Solstice

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, December AS 50 (2015)

House bound hearth-herds[1]    huddled by Surt[2]-breath
To Jólner[3] turn they                 julblotet[4] offer
Asking for favour                   for Fenris[5] still captive
And Vetr[6] fallen                     Vanquished by Sumarr[7]

Written in málaháttr, an Eddic measure closely related to fornyrðislag. Each line of the 4-line stanza was divided into two half-lines by a caesura. The half-lines had two accented and three or four unaccented syllables. The two half-lines are linked together by alliteration, which in case of the first line could fall on one or the other of the stressed syllables, but in the second half-line had to fall on the first stressed syllables.

[1] Referring to the people and animals crowded together inside to share their warmth.
[2] Surt (or Surtr) is a Norse fire giant, thus this is a kenning for a fire.
[3] The god of Jul and one of the guises of Odin.
[4] A sacrifice.
[5] When the great wolf was freed, it was though he would bring about Ragnarok—the end of the world.
[6] Personification of Winter.
[7] Personification of Summer.

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