Monday, February 11, 2019

Poem Retrospective XI

This is drawn, of course, from Odin's obsessive attempts in Norse mythology to learn as much as he can about the fate of the world, and particularly the fate of the gods: hanging for nine days and nine nights upon the World Ash until he saw the runes on the leaves of it, giving up an eye to drink from Mimir's well, sending his ravens Thought and Memory throughout the realms to bring him intelligence.

All-Father's Knowledge

Weird is the wyrd of man,
and wild,
writ on stars with sacred stile,
carved on ash of ages blessed,
carved on leaves.
The bracts confess truth to those who hang for nine --
nine days,
nine nights,
in death sublime.
Eye then opens --
source of awe --
wise becomes the Hanging God:
wise with lore of ancient runes,
wise in ways of birth and doom.
Draughts,
fresh-drawn from prophet's well
(poets there will drink their fill,
the scops who,
with their eddas,
dream of things to come and things unseen),
will wake from slumber sleeping thoughts --
wise becomes the prophet-God,
who gives an eye to be made wise,
who on the ash of ages dies.
Ravens soar from rainbow-bridge
with piercing eye for all things hid,
go back and forth through all the lands --
of death,
of elf,
of god,
of man;
through all ages restless roam from root to crown to Father's throne,
thought and memory turned to wing,
seeking out all truths unseen.
Nothing is found in town and wild
more strange of fate than human child.

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