Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens 1/5’ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

13 Nov

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences


Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Asgard


Tom Murphy, Joanna Lee, James Knight, Nat Hall



by Tom Murphy


on the first night I was called by the jackdaw
tapping on the sill after the moon went dark
“fly” she said, and I was able to follow
a cold night but I soared
over the meadow
into the wood
across the bridge

I saw bodies hanging in the tree
the nine lives offered
the snake
the wolf
the elk
the hare
the frog
the cat
the fox
the calf

by the fire
the old man sat
a circle already prepared
so deep was his look
he saw my birth
through my left eye




All the world needs is another dumb princess

by Joanna Lee


Jpeg All the World by Joanna Lee


Click on the poem to enlarge. 



To find out more about the back-story to this poem click here.



by James Knight


Ymir used to be a big nothing;
Now he’s everything. 

His hair is the grass, the trees, the reeds
His scalp is the desert
His skull is the empty vault of space
His brain is telecommunications
His skin is a reality made of matter and mirages
His forehead is the Ten Commandments
His eyebrows are lethargy and a thousand easy lies
His eyelashes are the meshes of love
His eyes are stars, supernovas, lightbulbs, fireworks, napalm, nuclear war
His ears are the remains of imaginary animals 
His nose is a sad farewell
His nostrils are wormholes to another dimension where the Bird King reigns from his electric throne
His lips are a debate on the meaning of the word “jihad”
His teeth are Coca Cola
His tongue is mother of all languages 
His cheeks are zoology
His chin is Mount Olympus 
His neck is an execution at dawn
His shoulders are art installations attempting controversy through the juxtaposition of childhood and terrorism 
His arms are escape routes to Hell
His hands are bird cages or prison cells or holding bays or rooms without doors 
His chest is archaeology 
His ribcage is the phantom city at dusk
His heart is time
His lungs are the four winds, weather, disaster
His abdomen is sentiment
His digestive system is a labyrinth of corridors and offices 
His hips are cemeteries
His genitals are every whimsical thought anyone has ever had
His legs are mannequins staring murderously at passersby
His feet are oceans. 

The rest of Ymir remains uncatalogued
In boxes 
In a basement 
Under the ruins of a building
Forgotten by the story-tellers.




Title Jpeg


by Nat Hall


Feel flight feathers & falcon’s skin.

Now walk through clouds, realm of Æsir,
where ravens perch on primal
strand of the rainbow;
where rain falls red
and Mjollnir *
sleeps –
wears blue
will not be seen as the shaman,
but a rider extraordinaire –
Huginn & Muninn**
side by side,
birds of
battle wish for
Rumour rambles
inside gods’ dreams, he
who controls the many moods of
heavens’ eyes, fruits of
the Earth and fights
giants, can be
called in the name of law,
farming men frown to his chariot…
Skygods in mighty citadel,
home inside halls, walls built by a tricked
gigantic mason,
there is a sly one among them –
he might just be a half-brother, metamorphic,
so fair of face, unafraid to turn a
stallion, hides black inside.
And if you doubt
wait for the slain,
flames, ferryman – hear
valkyries*** run on
other side of
the shore.

Now let gods gaze at the cauldron.

Let them drink tides of golden
mead brewed for them in
the sea god’s hall.
From his high
seat at
He, mighty seer, surveys it all in the nine realms.

© Nat Hall 2014


1 * Mjollnir: Thor’s hammer;’** Huginn & Muninn: Odin’s ravens – Huginn (thought) & Muninn (Memory)
2 ***Valkyries: Odin’s twelve maidens who conducted the slain warriors of their choice from the battlefield to
Valhalla (Vikings’ paradise). Valaskjalf: Odin’s Hall



You can read the overview of Asgard here


Find out more about Tom, Joanna, James and Nat here:

Tom Murphy

Joanna Lee

James Knight

Nat Hall


Watch out for more Asgard poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 

4 Responses to “Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens 1/5’ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing”

  1. nordicblackbird November 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on nordicblackbird and commented:
    #theninerealms first round of Poems & prose for #Asgard, Realm No.1

  2. nannus November 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    I especially like the Ymir-poem. A nice idea.

    • ArtiPeeps November 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Dear Nannus, I did pass your comment about James’ Ymir poem on to him. 🙂 All good wishes, Nicky


  1. All the world needs is another blonde princess | the tenth muse - March 3, 2015

    […] A goal of this project is to embrace the orality and rhythm–the bardic nature– of Norse poetry. I am not sure how well I have achieved that. The piece is intended to be read both from left to right, verse by verse, and from one column to the next. You can hear me read it aloud over on the project page. […]

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