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Poem: "A Few Words About Loki" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "A Few Words About Loki"

This poem came from the May 1, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from kitrona about the Norse god Loki, who often gets unfairly slighted both in canonical mythology and in modern retellings.  I share her sympathy for him, so what I write about Loki often tends toward a cautionary tale.  If you want the straightforward definitions of the words below, most of them are in the Asatru Glossary.  The poem has been sponsored by marina_bonomi.


A Few Words About Loki


Áss (noun)
1. One of the group of Norse heathen gods called Æsir.
2. A person's hind end.  Synonym for 1.

draugr (noun)
A ghost, generally requiring the services
of Loki or his daughter Hel to banish.

edda (noun)
A collection of stories and poems about the gods,
often making fun of Loki and then demanding his help.

flyting (verb)
The consequences of insulting someone
whose grasp of invective greatly exceeds your own.

fóstbróðir (noun)
Sworn brother; the relationship between Odin and Loki,
which all are bound to respect but few others ever do.

galdr (noun)
Magic, spell, or incantation,
which Loki brought into the world and can take out of the world.

glíma (verb)
Wrestling, with a strict set of rules
which are dispensed whenever someone wants to pound Loki.

níð (noun)
Libel, defamation, calumny, or curse;
those fond words with which the Æsir greet Loki.

ørlög (noun)
"That which is laid on" -- fate, destiny, or wyrd --
which only a Trickster may bend, and not even he may break.

Ragnarök (noun)
A practical demonstration of what happens
when most of a pantheon manages to alienate its Trickster.

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13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: May 2nd, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
*laughs*

That last stanza is priceless.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

It's a favorite example of mine. I mean, we have all these religions in the world, and the one that ends with all the gods dying? Is the one where they picked on the Trickster for ages until he finally got fed up with it. Kinda pointed reminder of where the real power lies.
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this, and so does My Angel!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 3rd, 2012 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you like it.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Loki himself would appreciate this. :)

>"That which is laid on" -- fate, destiny, or weird --<

I think you meant to write 'wyrd' here?

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 3rd, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>I think Loki himself would appreciate this.<<

It seems like his kind of humor, yes.

>>I think you meant to write 'wyrd' here?<<

Either can work in this context. However, the "y" version only refers to fate and not to strangeness, so I switched to that. The online glossary had "ei" so that's what I originally used.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: May 3rd, 2012 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Sorry my bad, I wasn't familiar with that meaning of 'weird'.
kitrona From: kitrona Date: May 5th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was just about to look for how to sponsor this; it's beautiful! It also gets the approval from Loki's high priestess. It's nice to have someone else who gets him. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 6th, 2012 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you like it.

The other Norse-flavored poem from this month, "Within the Wolf's Jaws," also turned out well, I think.

Some time ago, I wrote a piece of mythic erotica about Loki and Odin, "Brotherlust." If you'd like to see that, send me your email address.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: May 6th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Quite aside from anything else about Loki, he seems to have inspired undying devotion in his wife.

(That said, Baldur's death does seem a bit extreme for a joke and Sif had a point about her hair.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 6th, 2012 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>Quite aside from anything else about Loki, he seems to have inspired undying devotion in his wife.<<

I always liked that bit, yes.

>> (That said, Baldur's death does seem a bit extreme for a joke <<

Power tends to corrupt.
Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
Being invulnerable is quite a lot of power.

I suspect Loki simply did that math a lot faster than anyone else.

>> and Sif had a point about her hair.) <<

It's not like Loki cut the hair off a faithful wife.
aubergine_pilot From: aubergine_pilot Date: October 10th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
That last stanza - oh HEL that's beautiful!

My feelings on Loki are rather complex (and I'm rather intrigued by the Faroese remnants of a tradition where he was a protector of children), but this... yes, I enjoyed this very much. Thank you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 10th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> That last stanza - oh HEL that's beautiful! <<

Yay! It's basically what I think whenever I read the myths in which Loki gets the short end of the stick because the other Aesir are jerks.

>> My feelings on Loki are rather complex (and I'm rather intrigued by the Faroese remnants of a tradition where he was a protector of children), but this... yes, I enjoyed this very much. Thank you. <<

I very much like Loki as a protector of children. (Do not fuck with the mommy.) It's a motif with its own following.
13 comments or Leave a comment