Spent time today polishing up a bit of Book 2 of Song of the Arkafina.  I wrote a mock Icelandic edda to give one particular chapter a little more atmosphere.  Now I keep fiddling with it, changing a word here or there.  It was an enjoyable exercise.  I started by doing a little research.  I downloaded a book from Project Gutenberg (I should add that to the helpfulsites.com post) on the writings of Snorri Sturlasen, who was a 12th century Icelandic politician and historian.  He wrote a lot of eddas.  I read some of them to get an idea of the style, and then I made up my own, using the pantheon of gods I created.

Did you know that a lot of the lays  in Tolkien are actually copied from Anglo-Saxon mythology?  He was a professor at Oxford and very knowledgeable about Icelandic and old English sagas.

But I didn’t want to copy something.  I wanted it to be original.  Here is a sample…

The beast didst roar, and growl in vain,

The Mariner would not quail,

He strode bravely forth to meet the bane,

Crying, “Either you or I must fail!”

The beast reared high its hornèd head,

And wide stretched its chilling maw,

With lolling tongue stained bloody red,

And dripping fangs to snap and gnaw.

Still he came, and the beast didst rise,

Its flashing teeth as pale as death,

The Mariner falls, in agony cries,

And prepares to draw his final breath.

But even as the beast crows, in victory taunting,

With the Mariner’s leg caught fast in its jaws

His foe fights on, his courage unstinting,

Ancarnen shines, ice-locked light from the stars.

Its hideous body unhingèd, the beast’s head falls,

On the bridge stained red, with blood and fire,

Forward and onward the Mariner crawls,

And once more throws wide the gates of Skyre.

Each warrior finds his carven throne,

Round the groaning table, full and free,

But the one-legged Mariner sails on alone,

In the dreary dark of the frozen sea.

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