Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Three Poem Re-Drafts

The Lady of the Garden

Here we find her vestiges,
Our Lady of the Rains,
baptized from conception,
our Mary without a stain,
never without redeeming grace
from God made flesh and slain.

Rain is falling, praying tears
beneath the cross she cried:
as flowers in this garden
we are planted, you and I;
yea, roses grow in splendor here,
with blooms that never die.

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. They all 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.
A draught 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 from past the 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 the ages restless roam
from root to crown to Father's throne,
thought and memory turned to wing,
seeking out all truths unseen.
This he sees in town and wild:
strange is the fate of human child.


These words have brushed my lips, so take them as a kiss!
To get the flavor true and right it would not be amiss
to add a pinch of passion or a drop of quiet bliss.

A slight soupçon will do! You must never overspice,
just let it linger softly-slow. But if you find it nice,
do not hesitate, my love, to read this poem twice.


  1. Arsen Darnay10:31 AM

    Awesome, chthonic, that “All-Father’s Knowledge.” Don’t
    believe I saw its original, but this version—wondrous. Brigitte will wonder who
    or what those “eddas” are. She had a sister (long deceased) named Edda—and of
    course there are the Icelandic Eddas. And “scops”? Help.

  2. branemrys10:41 AM

    'Scops' are bards -- a scop is the Anglo-Saxon name for the poet who sang epics. (It has an interesting etymological history. It's still used itself, although rarely. It seems to be related to the English verb 'shape', and we get the word 'scoff' from it. -- Interestingly, we get the word 'scold' from 'skald', which is its exact synonym in Norse.) 'Bard' is the Celtic word for the same thing.

    The eddas are in fact the Icelandic Eddas, which are the major sources of information on Norse mythology; although here I'm using it more generically.

  3. branemrys10:55 AM

    I should add that the poem makes use of three images depicting the wisdom and knowledge of Odin, the All-Father: he hung from the World Ash Tree for nine days and nine nights until he understood the runes on its leaves; he drank from the well of the prophet Mimir, giving his eye in order to do so; and he sends forth his ravens, Thought and Memory, to fly to and fro throughout the worlds.

  4. Arsen Darnay6:15 AM



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