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  • Aurora


    In silence-wrapped blush, she softly steals
    Gliding wingless, gilding waves,
    And unshrouding steeples in her stirring wake
    The weaver of dreams withers away,
    Not daring to meet her mild gaze
    And the watcher of sand, restless, wakes
    At the gossamer caress of her fluttering garments
    Soundless, she dances over dewy dales,
    Dispersing the hoary mist of the murky earth-helm
    She loosens the fetters of the fading helm-jewels,
    Letting them depart to wander their domain
    And, solemn, as the middle earth shakes off slumber,
    She summons the sky-chariot to mount the stage,
    Stealing back softly the same as she came,
    Leaving her beauty to lace the shadow-casters
    And in a city beneath, in a bower alone,
    A word-smith smiles. In black she paints
    The dawn

    This poem was written in alliterative verse (at least, I tried to write it in a.v.), like that used by the Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse poets of the 'Dark Ages'. Following their example, I've included several 'kennings' within the poem (ones that I have invented myself), little 'word riddles' that were used extensively in AS and ON poetry. If you have trouble figuring them out, then I can post the answers to further their elucidation.

    Note: the original poem has a space splitting each line, with two stressed syllables in each half. However, this thing is not allowing me to post it with the gaps, so I apologise for any confusion it might cause.
    Last edited by N. Y. Sonnet; 03-09-2017, 05:39 AM.

  • #2
    Very skilfully paced, N Y Sonnet, and a great example of how devices can be used to make verse truly musical, without the help of end-of-line rhyme. I salute your interest in alliterative verse - the beautiful bones of our language.


    • N. Y. Sonnet
      N. Y. Sonnet commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, grant hayes! Your comments are truly encouraging, and I appreciate your visit. I've been reading a lot of AS and ON poetry lately (Beowulf, the Poetic Edda, AS fragments, &c.), and fell in love with the form. So finally I decided to write one of my own.

  • #3
    N. Y. Sonnet , I think you waited long enough to give everyone a chance at your riddles. Myself, I am clueless and would love if you could shed some light on this!

    I am still struggling to understand alliterative verse – grant hayes helps greatly, but I need more time. I am sure I can learn a lot from you too, if you break down this poem a little bit. Thanks!


    • #4
      Hello N.Y. Sonnet, Ethereal tenderness as if woven from the mists of Scandinavia by an elusive nymphet, a nymphet born of a poem and raised in verse. Architecturally sublime and engineered with might. A fine poem indeed. Regards, Tony.


      • N. Y. Sonnet
        N. Y. Sonnet commented
        Editing a comment
        Ah, your words are so beautiful! I am honoured! Thank you for your visit, and best regards!

    • #5
      AnatoliyS Ok, so here are the promised answers:

      'Weaver of dreams' is a kenning for 'Night'
      Watcher of sands' is a kenning for 'Time' (the sands of time, etc.)

      'Earth-helm' is a kenning for 'sky'

      so, 'helm-jewels' means 'stars'

      'middle earth' -- no doubt most know this from Tolkien, however Tolkien was not its inventor. It comes from Norse mythology, where there were nine worlds, the world of man being called 'middle earth'(mitgard)

      'Sky-chariot' is 'sun' (also echoing the sun chariot of the Greek Apollo)

      'Shadow-casters' are clouds

      'Word-smith' -- poet, or writer

      And as for the structure of the poem itself, I wrote it using the 'Fornyrthislag' ('Old Verse') form. Each line has four stressed syllables (and 4-6 unstressed; the number of unstressed syl. can vary). These are divided in half by a caesural pause, (unfortunately this didn't work to post it that way) with two stressed syllables in each half. At least one accented syllable from each half must alliterate. Which, if that sounds confusing, can be seen with this (bold are stressed):

      The Weaver of dreams--Withers away


      at the Gossamer caress--of her fluttering Garments

      There are multiple other forms, but this one was the most common.
      Hope this helps.


      • AnatoliyS
        AnatoliyS commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you, this is very interesting. I have just purchased Bewulf in two translations with Tolkien's commentary, I think it will be very educational to read. I have never been interested in such books (haven never read Tolkien either) until very recently. This is all new to me, but extremely fascinating.

      • N. Y. Sonnet
        N. Y. Sonnet commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, it is rather fascinating! If you want some Old Norse poetry as well, the Poetic Edda has a bunch of fascinating Norse poetry. Either way, Beowulf is an incredible poem, and hopefully you will like it. I have read it and reread it thousands of times, and still love it! Tolkien's commentary is also an interesting read.

    • #6
      N.Y. Sonnet, A most enchanting poem. I loved its flow and I was totally intoxicated with its beauty by the end. Your ability to deliver into different poetic styles is amazing, given your young age. I hope you write a volume of poetry that captures the Pulitzer Prize some day. Your skill set is headed that way.


      • N. Y. Sonnet
        N. Y. Sonnet commented
        Editing a comment
        Aww, thank you so much!!! What an incredibly kind comment!