Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Hidden Histories"

This poem came out of the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] callibr8, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

"Hidden Histories"

War warms itself . . . at Surtr's heinous hearth;
ignorant interlopers . . . burn books by the bundle.

Hypatia's handmaids . . . come to keep them safe,
favored of Odin Fathergod . . . praiser of poets.

Liminal libraries . . . house hidden histories
covertly curated . . . by counter-culture custodians.

When Surtr's sending . . . finally falls into ash,
we will be waiting . . . to recover what they cultured.

* * *


Surtr is a fire giant in Norse mythology, a being of creation and destruction.

Hypatia of Alexandria was a Pagan librarian and scholar.  In Terramagne, the Order of Hypatia rescues threatened manuscripts during troubled times, and later returns them.  This is why they have many volumes that did not survive here. In this poem, a Viking nerd is composing poetry to the act of defiance entailed in smuggling books to safety before they can be destroyed.

Odin is the god of wisdom in Norse Mythology.

Old Norse poetry relies on alliteration.  It uses colorful language in kennings (like "Hypatia's handmaids" for "librarians") and heiti (like "liminal" for "edgy").  Lines often feature a caesura, or break, in the middle.

Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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