Friday, August 11, 2017

Blóðhrafn: For Duchess Dagmar halvdan on her Elevation to the Order of the Pelican

By Maister Colyne Stewart, August AS 52 (2017)

Dagmar halvdan | Daughter of ravens
Walker of valleys | Vildar’s favoured
Yggdrasil trav’ler | dew treading wolf
Giver of rings | golden of name

Hertogakona | kin of high fame
Skalds sing her name | Sif, Sól, both love her
Garðhús chron’cler | Chosen of dyrgja
Lover of lanterns | Layer of lines

A sea of wounds | has stained Fjörgyn
Hrafn-fed ulfvins | elevate towns
Verǫld-folk heed me | Her name exalt
Raven-wine giver | Pelican víf

Written in fornyrðislag (pronounced fort-near-this-lagh; “meter of ancient words”), an Eddic verse form consisting of a 4-line stanza, each line divided by a caesura into two half-lines, which in turn have two accented syllables and two or three unaccented ones. There are six variations of half-lines that could be used. 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. The alliteration of the first half-line was called stuðlar (props), the one in the second half-line höfuðstafr (head-stave). The alliteration is actually an initial rhyme consisting of consonants alliterating with the same consonants, except sk, sp and st, which could be alliterated with themselves, and of a vowel alliterating with any other vowel, as well as with j.

A footnoted version of the poem follows, with alliteration bolded and stressed syllables shown in italics.

Dagmar halvdan | Daughter of ravens[1]
Walker of valleys[2] | Vildar’s favoured[3]
Yggdrasil trav’ler[4] | dew treading[5] wolf[6]
Giver of rings[7] | golden of name

Hertogakona[8] | kin of high fame[9]
Skalds sing her name | Sif[10], Sól[11], both love her
Garðhús[12] chron’cler[13] | Chosen of dyrgja[14]
Lover of lanterns[15] | Layer of lines[16]

A sea of wounds[17] | has stained Fjörgyn[18]
Hrafn-fed[19] ulfvins[20] | elevate towns[21]
Verǫld[22]-folk heed me | Her name exalt
Raven-wine giver | Pelican víf[23]

[1] Dagmar is a member of House Galbraith, whose charge is the raven.
[2] She is well known for her love of hiking.
[3] Vildar is the Norse god of the forst.
[4] Yggdrasil was the world-tree, and her symbolizes how Dagmr travels all over the knowne world.
[5] Hike start early, you know. She also rises early when working at Pennsic.
[6] Dagmar is Ealdormerean and therefore a wolf.
[7] Dagmar is known for her generosity.
[8] A Norwegian equivalent for the title Duchess.
[9] Many members of House Galbraith are Peers of one sort or another.
[10] Goddess of the harvest.
[11] Goddess of the sun.
[12] Old Norse for ‘yard house’ or an outhouse.
[13] Leading up to Pennsic 2017, Dagmar posted photos as port-a-potties appeared on sire as if they were part of a nature documentaring.
[14] A female dwarf. Dwarves were known for their skill at building. Dagmar helps build up not just Pennsic but the Society as a whole.
[15] Dagmar is up early and goes to bed late. Lanterns are a necessity. In fact, her Pelican scroll was incorporated into a stained glass lantern.
[16] One of the tasks Dagmar takes on at Pennsic is marking out camp sites.
[17] A kenning for blood.
[18] Another name for Jörð, goddess of the earth. Dagmar has blistered her hands and feet while working at Pennsic, feeding the soil with her blood.
[19] Hrafn is Old Norse for raven. Dagmar is the raven feeding the earth. On her Peerage coat the Pelicans have been fused with ravens.
[20] “wolf-wine”, a keening for blood.
[21] It is partly through her work that Pennsic War occurs.
[22] Old Norse for “world”.
[23] Old Norse for “woman”.