A Voyage of Discovery

January 8th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized

Sailing Barges

To start off 2013, I would like to introduce a Viking Rune. It may be my own ancestry which prompts me to pull words out of the waves of the ocean – I am told I am descended from pirates.

First, you may find it helpful to listen to this short video, to see how Poetry Stir presents the ‘precious mead’ of Old Norse culture: http://tinyurl.com/runics

Now, please take a look at a transliteration of Egill Skallagrimsson’s lament for Arinbjorn the hersir, when he learnt of the deaths of Norwegians including Harald Greycloak at the Battle by Hals in Limfjord, in about 974 A.D. This is followed by a translation by Gwyn Jones, in his definitive book ‘TheVikings’, introduced by Magnus Magnusson and published by Oxford University Press in 1968:

pverra nú, peirs pverrðu,
pingbirtingar Ingva,
hvar skalk manna mildra,
mjaðveitar dag, leita,
peiras hauks fyr handan
háfjöll digulsnjávi
jarðar gjörð við orðum
eyneglda mér hegldu.


Minish they now who diminished

Dawnfire of meadfoaming horn;

Now vanish the heroes, time-vanquished,

War’s flaunters, the thingmen of Ingvi.

Who now shower limbeck’s snowsilver

As guerdon past earth’s sea-isled girdle?

Or fill high hawkfell of my hand

With skalk’s reward for skilled word?


You may note that words have shifted to different lines. Anyone who has experience of translating or transliterating poetry will be particularly welcome to comment. You may even like to try writing your own interpretation of this rune.

Personally I find it enriching to see words in my own language, which may be in danger of extinction  . . . Take that word, ‘limbeck’, which reminds me of Lady MacBeth . . .

but before this becomes solipsistic, let me hand it over to you . . .



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  1. Jony
    12. April 2013

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  2. Katrina
    30. December 2014

    Dear Rochie

    Thank you for your kind comments about my blog. In answer to your question, the easiest way yo sign up to my newsletter is by going to the box in the top right-hand corner of the Welcome page and inserting your details. Thereafter, regular newsletters and a free anthology of my poetry will be dispatched to you.

    I hope this reaches you successfully and that you have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve celebration and a wonderful 2015.

    If it is alright with you, I may delete some of these comments on the thread, to keep discussion more relevant to other readers, but if you have anything to mention about Viking Runes, please go ahead.

    Best wishes

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