Search results for 'Vanaheim poetry'

Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 4/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

22 Jan

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 Vanaheim

Featuring:

Ross Beattie, Lydia Allison and Karin Heyer

 

Vanaheim

by Ross Beattie

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I’m just like her, I need the wolves, the life of the mountain crawling through my veins. 
But he’ll never stay beside her this far from his precious sea.
Why can he only love at the waters edge? 
Can he not see the passion flowing through her in the hills ? She could love him like no other if he can only bring himself to touch her skin beneath the fire red moon among the wildness of the forest. 
She knows she’ll sink below the tide if she stays there beside him, so she must return alone to the trees, far from his precious Vanaheim.  
Back to her land of thunder. 

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MP3 TO COME

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Thrymheim

 by Lydia Allison

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In the mornings the rocks glisten
like the sick, the dying
soaked in the night. I rise early
run my hand along the moisture of giant walls –
swelled drops catching yellow light

I raise it to my mouth
taste the nothing taste
pure water
I expect salt,
the minerals of my world

but remind myself
this is not the way things are
here, the hard forms move slowly
over years. Mostly unreachable
almost untouchable.

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Thrymheim was the abode of Þjazi, a jötunn, located in Jötunheimr.

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Poem read by Nicky Mortlock

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Nóatún

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I don’t like the madness,
the movement makes me sick, my sweat,
nothing, salt in the air, my skin stings.
The taste – tears – dries my mouth to sand. He says it becomes me,
this light. I know. I feel it.

 

Nóatún is the home of the Njord

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Poem read by Nicky Mortlock

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Freedom of Speech

by Karin Heyer

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Just beyond the sound is

talk, talk, talk,

babble, humming,

buzzing like a persistent bee.

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The gods in Asgard

debate, they argue.

The gods in Vanaheim respond,

they buzz and hum.

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Let the precious mead of poetry flow,

ponder the sense of cruel fight,

which is nought

in most cases

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but not all…

continue the winged buzz

shun raging Ragnarök.

only a rainbow

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can connect

restore

the word

the talk and babble.

 

MP3 TO COME

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Ross, Lydia and Karin here

Ross Beattie

blackpoemblues.weebly.com

https://twitter.com/blackpoemblues

Lydia Allison

 lydiaallison.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Karin Heyer

Contact ArtiPeeps. 

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 3/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

14 Jan

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 Vanaheim

Featuring:

Lenka Monk, James Knight and Joanna Lee

 

In the name of…

by Lenka Monk

(Inspired by the story of Freyja and Thorgerda)

 

In the hour of need, every second stretches like a steel spring.
Do the years flash by?
Or is it simple moment of repentance.
Whispered prayers.
Does anyone really listen?
Absolution would taste so sweet.
Does it give you strength?
Does it fill you with hope?
Does the courage shine through one last time?
Do you upturn the alter to stop the requiem?
Or is it an offering of a blackened heart on the cold marble.
Whose name touches your lips?
Breathe it in; bathe in the way it sounds.
And it’s not just any name, it’s so much more.
It’s an antidote for poison.
It’s water caressing your dry lips.
It’s the scent of home deep within your lungs.
It’s an ecstasy tingling on your skin.
It touches forgotten places, revives senses,
And as blinded as you once were, you are no more.
For there’s no room for the transient madness,
When with each uttered syllable of the name,
The shade brightens.
The unexplained power that brought you north of that edge.
What once was in the haze has cleared.
Oh the view, the view is breathtaking.
Clarity, renewed, reshaped, reassembled,
Strums chords with sleight of hand.
And it resonates loudly in the name of your saviour.

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*Freyja is a goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death.

*Thorgerda, is a woman who threatens to commit suicide in the Egils Saga.

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Freyja

by James Knight

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Welcome to my pied-a-terre,
My dear.
Careful where you sit;
Yesterday one of my guests
Mistook my cats for cushions
And nearly sat on them,
The silly bugger.

Glass of Scotch?
Sherry, maybe?
Mine’s a white wine and soda;
It goes further.

It’s deathly cold in here,
Don’t you think?
Bloody storage heaters
Are worse than useless.
I could weep,
I really could.

Do you like the photos on my mantelpiece?
That one’s Eric and that one’s Steven and that one’s John.
All dead now, of course.
So are Keith, Clive and Chris.
They died heroes’ deaths,
Every one of them.
When I look at them
I know they’re in a better place.
I keep Ben in this locket,
So he’s always near my heart.

Death isn’t sad, you know.
No worse than going for your flu jab.

Drink up, dear.
You look as if you need it.
You might die tomorrow,
So you might as well enjoy today.
That’s what Ben used to say.
After he lost his arm I had to drive him around everywhere,
Bless him.
He called my little Ford a chariot.
We used to laugh!

By the way,
A man wrote me,
Which explains
My Monty Python falsetto.
Men can’t do women
(Haha!),
Though they’d like to think they can.
Just look at The Waste Land:
That was written by a man
(If that’s the right word for a bookworm in specs)
And is full of unconvincing female voices.

I’m so cold I’m shivering, look!
Another glass?

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Seeking Odhrærir at the corner coffeeshop

by Joanna Lee

a dragon sits in the sun, baking mythologies between his toenails.
eagle feathers drift on his nostril-ed breath.

he does not belong here among the cloud stria in almost-white,
the sky filled with the promise of emptiness, the wet-wool heavy.

behind the bar, Gunnlöð is humming to herself
with a song on the radio she hasn’t heard in years.

honey trickles over her dry lip, cracks on winter-sunned concrete.
hickory leaves flit dead across lanes of traffic.

some days it just won’t come,
no matter the spit and the blood.

i think i hear your name in the background,
and i almost turn. tendril-ed smoke

like tears down a dawn cheek that day
you woke wordless in darkness and left

curls along the floorboards just
enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

Gunnlöð looks up, wonders if she, too, could fly.

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*Odhraerir/Óðrerir,refers either to one of the vessels that contains the mead of poetry

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Lenka, James and Joanna:

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps. 

James Knight

thebirdking.com

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

Joanna Lee

the-tenth-muse.com

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 2/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

5 Jan

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 Vanaheim

Featuring:

Richard Biddle, Shirley Golden, Eleanor Perry

and Tom Murphy

 

Mjölnir*

by Richard Biddle

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I’m Blackjack, the splintering demon
I’m Crumble-Crunch, the shattering spirit
I’m Master-Batterer, the god spike
I’m The Convincer

I’m Bludgeon, the thump engine
I’m Bear-Down, the clobber bomb
I’m Nightstick, the pulveriser
I’m The Divine Beater

I’m Conk-Buster, the thrash contraption
I’m Fragmentize, the king of knock
I’m Quarterstaff, the wallop machine
I’m The Creator-Of-Dust

I’m Lord Cudgel, the blunt
I’m Boomerang, the whomper
I’m Father Pummel, the bang shape
I’m The Almighty Contraption

I’m Billy Battle, the whack gadget
I’m Cosh, the form persuader
I’m Finish-The-Job, the power pestle
I’m The Appliance-Of-Pain

I’m Hickory Wallop, the trouncing baton
I’m Break-Up, the holy apparatus
I’m Crush, the truncheon of defeat
I’m The Deity Mace

I’m Smash Being, the hammerer of all
I’m Gizmo Hit, the machine of strike
I’m Pounding Device, the fashioner of atoms
I’m The Demigod of Battering-Rams

I’m Tap-Tap-Tap, the all-knowing utensil
I’m Murder Mallet, the totem of kill
I’m Head Swatter, the staff of non-compliance
I’m The Absolute Club

I’m Drive-It-Home, the homicidal implementing machine
I’m Whatchamacallit, the idol of heavy
I’m Prime Mover, the omnipotent weapon of means
I’m Total Annihilation

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*Mjölnir is usually interpreted as meaning “That which smashes”, derived from the verb mölva “To smash” (cognate with English meal, mill); comparable derivations from the same root meaning “hammer” are Slavic molot and Latin malleus (whence English mallet).

An alternative suggestion compares the name to Russian молния (molniya) and the Welsh word mellt, both words are taken as meaning “lightning”. This second theory would make Mjölnir the weapon of the storm god identified with lightning, as in the lightning-bolt or vajra in other Indo-European mythologies.[4]

In the Old Norse texts, Mjölnir is identified as hamarr “a hammer”, a word that in Old Norse and some modern Norwegian dialects can mean “hammer” as well as “stone, rock, cliff”, ultimately derived from an Indo-European word for “stone, stone tool”, h₂éḱmō; as such it is cognate with Sanskrit aśman, meaning “stone, rock, stone tool; hammer” as well as “thunderbolt”.[5]

Mjøl in modern Norwegian (nynorsk) literally means “flour” or “powder”, so “Mjølner” (Norwegian spelling) can mean “Pulverizer” or “Grinder”.

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The Music-Speak of Kvasir

by Shirley Golden

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Born of Aesir and Vanir’s mouth-juices and truces, I am fashioned into this bone-cage, but no clothes quite fit. I’m sought far and wide, and I close my eyes and bear all burdens. I ponder predicaments, but only ever suggest and guide. For who am I to command another the best track to tread?

 The dwarfs invite me to their feast, and I accept in good faith. I sit at their tables of hammered gold. They mutter and lead me away from the merriment. They stab at my chest and heart; they collect three flagons of battle-sweat. They seal snug my mind-insight and take care not to brag of their prize. They stir in honey and make mead, creamy with music-speak, and they are so pleased with their hidden hoard. But such covetous pleasure is only ever short lived.

Now the giant, Suttung, keeps me, and his daughter, Gunnod, guards me. But she is seduced by Odin, and surrenders her secret stash. The wish-giver draws me into his food-cavern. And we take to the skies, soaring as an eagle over the mountains, and on to Asgard. Odin dives behind the stone-shield, but in his haste, a piece of me is expelled. He distributes my remains into assembled crocks.

The gods, aware of the spillage, deem it unworthy of retrieval: ‘the bad poets’ portion’ has no place in their realm. They discount the droplets as easily as a sprig of mistletoe, newly unfurled. They do not fret over the fate of the waste; for who would be foolish enough to use only the ill-conceived, unconsidered parts? But I yearn to draw the leakage back to my liquid heart.

It spreads, and stains, drips and trickles, flows and floods. With each age, it slops unchecked as ink spilled over page, print and screen. It streams into the lungs of new technologies where it is read, absorbed, given questionable gravitas. It seeps into the ether as dashed out titbits of text, words freely uploaded, dregs and haste; speak best not saved. The parts best served for poets’ growth. The parts best kept on the other side of the wall.

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slick theory

by Eleanor Perry

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wolfhusks mock the pines the
scaly parts ] scrape out their
grit and jewel ] and bleached
thread is all that the mineral
will sing tricks for ] still the
quotas of star and stone are
only known in metrics ] or in
shrines.

they calculate the skin ] more
wolves and axes ] needles: this,
the latest speculation in reeling
particles ] til song or something
shudders from the pile ] to print
the value of each question ] oh
but there was so much heart
though

in the margins ] clay blue shells
worn and crashed like rubble
] in a lottery of constellation ]
wow, just look at how the carbon
scares ] plucked shimmering
from the balance sheet ] the
rockery ] to still the heart ] but
then, the heart is awkward.

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MP3 to come

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Vanaheim

by Tom Murphy

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inside the fence
as I hang
I remember I am my own little ghost

there is the wound
stitched up for now

there is the flagstone
beneath which lies molten rock
thick and limitless and orange

then there is the small empty thing
formless and light
and when certain words are spoken
I cough it up
but it leaves behind its emptiness
and the emptiness is a tiny speck of infinite burden
containing time and all the feelings of lost
as a reminder

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Richard, Shirley, Eleanor and Tom:

Richard Biddle

writings43.blogspot.co.uk

https://twitter.com/littledeaths68

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 1/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

18 Dec

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

Featuring:

Jim C. Mackintosh, Rebecca Audra Smith,

Kate Garrett and Nat Hall

 

Vanaheim

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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Somewhere in the folds of dreams, Vanaheim
Floats on ribbons of imagination; in time
To swallow heavens with magical disregard
For vain complexities born of human chaos
Banishing greed and fury to the grub of Utangard
 
No need for pale weakness in shabby human form. 
Though widening hollows struck its walls, a storm
Sparked by Odin’s scheme, of vengeful desire 
To suck wisdom’s juice from blackened earth
The mulch of trampled souls lost in bloody mire.
 
Breathless rivers pooled, their exhausted course
Amongst the crumble of once proud walls; a source
Of peace, a reluctant path worn across the middle plains
By sated Gods; a deal planted in shifting, bartered sands
But memories itch, to blister up amidst fractured stains.

The salted lick of revenge on Vanir wounds never far
In embroidered days of counselled grace, the precious star
Of Mimir’s wisdom doomed to fade in a severed blast,
Tossed in the saddle bag of bitter scorn at Odin’s feet
But in his weeping embrace, nurtured – spells yet to be cast

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Kvasir’s blood

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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Mix your battle-sweat
with your speech-tool.
Let your air-catchers breath.
Blend a bee’s love-making juice
with many worn out shoes.

Dip your glass to the vat, poets.

 

MP3 to come

Kvasir

Mead of Poetry

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The throats of giants

by Rebecca Audra Smith

 

FRIGG FRIGG
FUSS FEREA FEEL
FREYJA FARE

Build a world with paper and pen
Eat among the grey halls
Hail the giants who stalk our minds

FAIR FREYJA FIND FIT
FAIN FIRSTLY FRIGG

I’ll take no food unless it is with you
In the grey halls and the darkness of a giant’s shadow we kiss
And fling the matches of our passion into the dark to momentarily flare
And fail your hair catches alight within the circles my hands make
I will take no sustenance no draft my throat will not be wet
Unless your lips have taken mine and kissed them into shining

COUNSEL ME

I long for counsel the giant wise
The giant vice our wisdom only comes
Twice a year when we sit and sup with Freyja
Drinking down the dwarves concoction
She told me I was so small

FATE FOLK FRIGG FRIGG FRIGG
FIND FOUND FLAIL

I will take no sustenance no draft my throat will not be wet
In the grey halls and the darkness of a giant’s shadow we kiss
I’ll take no food unless it is with you
And fail your hair catches alight within the circles my hands make
Unless your lips have taken mine and kissed them into shining
Fling the matches of our passion into the dark to momentarily flare

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Frigg

Freyja

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Inspiration

by Kate Garrett

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sweet at the source with
star-dusted honey –
magic through the mouth
made of wise blood.
 
pray, let me pour
poems between my
fingers; you forget
flight, hit the earth.

 

MP3 to come

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Njord and Skadi

by Nat Hall

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Still dream of Vernal Equinox

He who sees through
seer’s jet black 
eyes will
ascend as 
high as skylarks to
watch lush land beyond 
twilight;
pines’
many branches,
mysteries,
where
grey owls
whose yellow 
eyes flick without 
sound,
where spirits 
shine to show your
way.
Here,
where north 
sky heaves & fills with birds,
in between worlds
jeer messengers
feasting on
both sides of
old ice,
each morning 
brings new carrion…
Far* – he-father,
tamer of
salt, wind & world waves, in
Noatun**,
home of clinker***,
tar & rivets –
where 
ships gather
and black backs**** act as
alarm clocks;
Mor***** – she-mother,
the great huntress,
who favours
snowflakes on high ground,
sap’s scent from fir trees in her hair,
she came to
him from her mountains 
to bear new fruits for the Vanir.

© Nat Hall 2014

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Notes:

* Far – Norwegian for “father”
** Noatun – Njord’s dwelling place, that translates as “enclosure of ships”
*** clinker – Norse boat building technique, consisting of external planks overlapping & secured with clinched nails/rivets. 
**** Black backs – referring to a species of gulls, commonly known as Great Black-backed Gulls.
***** Mor – Norwegian for “mother”

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Jim, Rebecca, Kate and Nat:

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

Rebecca Audra Smith

beccaaudra.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

Kate Garrett

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

Nat Hall

 nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Realm 2: Vanaheim – Overview and writing prompts, The Nine Realms, an ArtiPeeps Writing, Art and Music Collaboration 2014-2015

4 Nov

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

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

Vanaheim

(the realm of the Vanir gods)

 

Vikings Ahoy!

Here we are at the beginning of November and with the deadline for the poetry and writing for the first realm Asgard coming up: Thursday 6th November 2014. I shall start to post out pieces created for Asgard next week onwards. This month we are outlining the realm of Vanaheim and the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for this realm is Monday 8th December.

These monthly posts will draw from a range of primary and secondary source materials and focus on selected gods, themes and stories that circle around the highlighted realm. They will not attempt to cover everything, and writers can embrace any other stories and characters within their writing which is not covered. Month by month we will be building our own magical, contemporary norse world whilst exploring the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION.  The project’s overall intention is to embrace orality, translation, storytelling and rhythm all of which are inspired by the origins of the oral tradition of the Norse Sagas.

I may well put out little mini-posts intermittently focusing on orality and poetic form as necessary.  

What is presented below is designed to inspire, present basic information and offer a starting point for individual creativity within the project inspired by the themes, characters and spirit of the myths and stories.

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Vanaheim

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1. A brief  Overview of Vanaheim

 

Vanaheim is home to the Vanir gods who are associated with magic, fertility and wisdom. It is the realm where Njord (the father of Freyr) was raised.  It is a realm which is  covered in forests and water, and is populated (amidst others) by nature spirits. There is only one mention of Vanaheim in the Poetic Edda (see below). It is also briefly covered in chapter 1 of  Heimskringla (the best known of the Old Norse Kings’ saga):  “Van Home or the Home of the Vanir”- described as located around the Don River.

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2. The Vanir 

The Vanir gods are not as easy to define as the Aesir. They are surrounded by mystery and are more elusive. The Vanir gods are also primarily linked with fertility. They presided over sunshine, crops, rain, and growth. Their season is spring. They are often portrayed in constant conflict with the Aesir. This conflict famously manifests in a hostile war centred around the treatment of a giantess called Gullveig. The Aesir try to kill her, but the Vanir protect her. The conflict comes to an impasse and the gods exchange hostages. Njord, Freyr and Freyja (see below) went to live with the Aesir and Mimir (‘the rememberer’, the wise one) joins the them. This is how Njord moves to Asgard.

‘She that remembers, the first on earth,
when Gullveig they with lances pierced,
and in the high one’s hall her burnt,
thrice burnt, thrice brought forth,
oft not seldom; yet she still lives.
Heidi they called her, whitherso’er she came,
the well-foreseeing Vala:
wolves she tamed, magic arts she knew, magic arts practiced;
ever she was the joy of evil people.’

[translation by Benjamin Thorpe from The Poetic EddaVöluspá]

nb. You can find the Völuspá  here (1936, tr. by Henry Adams Bellows)

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Interestingly, the Vanir gods embody many of the traits of fertility gods from other civilisations and regions of the world. As Ellis Davidson says:

‘the fertility pattern is a definite one, easy to recognise, and the northern myths which have to do with the Vanir fall into the accustomed forms’ (124). The Vanir did not distinguish between good and evil in order to bring about justice. Their power lay in the fact they could increase fecundity in nature: in crops, animals and at home. They could also bring about links between man and the unknown. There was an air of mystery connected to the Vanir gods and goddesses that bridges between the known and unknown.  Good luck could also be brought through fecundity.

 

freyr 2

Freyr

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Freyr

Freyr is Njord’s son and ended up moving from Vanaheim to Asgard as a hostage of war in the first conflict between the Aesir and the Vanir (see above). Freyr gives sunshine, wealth and rain and gives the gifts of peace and plenty. The literal meaning of Freyr is lord. He possesses a ship called the Skíðblaðnir which magically can not only hold all the gods, but can also fold into a pouch. He also has a boar with marvellous golden bristles, and Freyr is said to have come over the sea to rule over men. It is worth noting that there is a close connection between the symbols of boats and the energy governing fertility from the Bronze Age in Scandinavia onwards (Ellis Davidson: 132). Model ships were often given as offerings. There is also a connection between death, ships and the Vanir.

In The Prose Edda Freyr is described as ‘the most splendid of the gods. He controls the rain and the shining of the sun, and through them the bounty of the earth. It is good to invoke him for peace and abundance.’ (tr. Jesse Byock, Section 24, p35).

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Freyja

Freyja

Freyja

Freyja is Freyr’s twin sister. She is associated with love and had certain powers over the dead. She drives a chariot drawn by cats and is called the goddess or bride of the Vanir (Ellis Davidson: 125). Freyja has also been closely associated with the world of death. The story in  Egil’s Saga confirms her association with death as the hero’s daughter Thorgerda threatens to commit suicide after her brother is killed. ‘I shall take no food until I sup with Freyja’. She is often pictured as a weeping goddess. Her tears are said to be of gold. A necklace is also associated with Freyja: the Brisingamen.  A necklace is something that has been associated with the mother goddess from early times. Freyja is also said to take on the shape of a falcon. In such a form she traveled great distances. She is also linked to a particular sort of witchcraft called Seiðr which enabled practitioners to see into the future. She is said to be the first priestess to teach this form of  magic to the Aesir. Her magic is generally connected to the coming season and the destinies of those who wished to see into the future. She is fundamentally responsible for the destiny of her community. This form of witchcraft was taken on by various cults and you can see her influence on various sybils through the ages. (119)

 

Njord

 

Njord

Controlled the wind and seas. He dwells in Noatun ‘the enclosure of ships’, and is one of the few gods to survive Ragnarök. In the Lay of Vafþrúðnismál, section 39:

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“In Vanaheim the wise Powers made him

and gave him as hostage to the gods;

at the doom of men he will come back

home among the wise Vanir.”

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You can find the full Lay here.

Njord was married to Skadi (daughter of giant Thjazi) who came from the mountains to marry him, and then, when the marriage unsuccessful, went back to the hills (See story focus below).  He is the father of twins Frey and Freyja.

 

  Story Focus:

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The Mead of Poetry

 

1. The Mead of Poetry, from Chapter 5 the Skáldskaparmál  (‘the language of poetry’) of The Prose Edda

Consisting of a dialogue between Ægir, the Norse god of the sea, and Bragi, the god of poetry.

This story is seen to be a metaphor for poetic inspiration.

(See p83-87 of The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. by Jessie Byock)

‘Aegar continued, ‘What is the origin of the accomplishment you call poetry? ‘

 The Prose Edda indicates the mead was created when the Vanir and Aesir were at war. They agree to hold a peace meeting and both sides spit into a vat, and in so doing create a man called Kvasir (84). Kavisir travels the world imparting knowledge. He comes upon two dwarves called Fjaalar and Galar who kill Kvasir pouring his blood into vats called Sin and Bodn and into a kettle called Odrerir. The dwarves blend honey with the blood and from this was create the mead that  makes ‘whoever drinks it a poet or a scholar’. They  trick a giant Gilling into drowning, but before he dies Gilling’s  strands the dwarves on a rock. The dwarves offer the poetic mead to  his son Suttung by way of compensation. Suttung takes the poetic mead home with him and  sets his daughter Gunnlöð  to watch over it.

This is why poetry is called ‘Kvasir’s blood’… ‘the drink or intoxication of the dwarves’……’the ship of the dwarves’….’Suttung’s mead’ (84-85).

‘The Aegir said, ‘It seems to me that calling poetry by these names obscures the truth. But how did the Aesir get Suttung’s Mead?’ ‘

Odin eventually ends up with the poetic drink by asking for a drink of the mead in return for doing the work of nine slaves for a giant called Baugi. The story goes that Baugi and Odin (using the name Bolverk) go to Suttung to ask for the Mead and he refuses. They trick Gunnlöð and Odin drains all the mead. Before anyone can get to him he shape-shifts into an eagle. Suttung, changing into an eagle too, takes after him. The Aesir see Odin coming in the shape of an eagle and they put vats out to catch the liquid as Odin spits out the mead. Suttung still chases after him. Evading capture Odin blows some mead out of his rear (which is known as ‘the bad poets’ portion’ (86)) .

‘Odin gave Suttung’s mead to the Aesir and to those men who know how to make poetry. For this reason we call poetry Odin’s catch, find, drink or gift, as well as the drink of the Aesir.’

You can find more about Skáldskaparmál here.

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2. Njord and Skadi splitting where they live (from Section 23 of Gylfaginning), in The Prose Edda

(See p33-34 Njord and Skadi,  The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. by Jessie Byock)

Njord was brought up in Vanaheim and wanted to live near the sea, but his wife Skadi preferred the mountains. She wanted to live in Thrymheim [Thunder Home] the place which her father had owned. Compromising, they agreed to stay 9 nights in Thrymheim and 3 nights at Noatun

After the 9 nights in the mountains. Njord said:

‘Hateful for me are the mountains

I was not long there,

only nine nights.

The howling of wolves

sounded ugly to me

after the song of swans’

and Skadi said:

‘Sleep I could not

on the sea beds

for the screeching of the bird.

The gull wakes me

when from the wide sea

he comes each morning’

Skadi then decides to return home.

[See the Lay of Grimnir, 11]

http://www.germanicmythology.com/PoeticEdda/Grimnismal.html

http://www.vsnrweb-publications.org.uk/Edda-1.pdf

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 3. Skadi Choosing Njord as Her Husband

(See p 82-83 of Skáldskaparmál, The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. by Jessie Byock)

Marriage of Skadi and Njord

 

Skadi, setting out to avenge her father’s death (p82), takes all her weapons of war in order to confront the Aesir. However in order to facilitate a reconciliation they offer the choice of a husband to her, but she must only choose him by his feet. She chooses Njord (who is from Vanaheim) and this does not go down at all well with Baldr (a god of light and purity, son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg). So they settle upon another condition that the Aesir should also make her laugh. So Loki ties one end of a piece of rope to his testicles and the other he ties to a goat and they pull back and forth eventually making Skadi laugh. And finally Odin, takes Thjazi’s eyes and casts them into the heavens forming two stars.

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Themes, Relevance and Questions:

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Mystery and Magic: The gods and stories connected to Vanaheim and the Vanir seem to indicate that they operate between spaces and things and within nature. They are steeped in mystery and often embody a state of transition,  probably because of their links to fecundity (birth/death). In contrast to the Aesir, who seem to be powerful in a very obvious way (through force).  See Freyr and Freyja.

Poetic Origins:  As related in  Skáldskaparmál the origins of poetry were derived out of the war between the Vanir and the Aesir. Through the creation of a mead norse myth engages with the beginnings of poetic form and it’s importance.  ‘Good’ poetry is connected with the gods,  and poetry is ‘made’ (see Story Focus 1) which would seem to indicate an awareness of construction and the power behind storytelling.

Humour, Spirit and Power: There is a great cheeky spirit embedded into the stories outlined in this overview: a kind of life force which uses humour to make big decisions, to heal wounds. This seems to be an interesting way to confront notions of power and to destabalise them. Loki’s actions with the goat, for instance, deemphasise the fact that Skadi is in fact marrying a Vanir.  How do the norse sagas use humour to engage with difficult subject matter, and relieve tension?

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Things of Interest:

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Kenning:

A kenning (Modern Icelandic pronunciation: [cʰɛnːiŋk]; derived from Old Norse) is a type of circumlocution, in the form of a compound that employs figurative language in place of a more concrete single-word noun. Kennings are strongly associated with Old Norse and later Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Kennings and Alliteration for Beowulf (the same principle applies in the Norse Sagas. Top tip: turn the music on the video down)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenning

 

Contemporary writer Gerdur Kristny: Bloodhoof (modern re-inventing of an Edda poem which tells of the abduction of Gerour Gymisdottir from the land of the giants to the court of Freyr)

Scrobble to 2.43:

 

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodhoof-Kristny-Gerdur/dp/1908376112

 

National Gallery of Iceland

 

 

Carl Frederick From Salza (1858-1905)

an artist and illustrator who provided drawings for the 1893 edition of The Prose Edda. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Frederick_von_Saltza

Njord by Carl Frederick von Saltza

Njord by Carl Frederick von Saltza

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Optional Poetry and Writing Prompts:

If you wish you can use the following poetic form for your poem:

Fornyrðislag

This poetic form is  one of the most used in ancient German, Anglo-Saxon and Norse-Icelandic poetry. Verses have 4 syllables. It is known in England from 700 A.D. onwards (Beowulf is an example). It is also found in German poetry from the 8th century, and in Swedish runes from the 9th century. As the centuries rolled by the form became more rigid with each stanza having eight lines (in German and English poetry it has four lines).

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An e.g. from the Völuspá:

Hljóðs bið ek allar Silence I ask from all,
helgar kindir the holy offspring,
meiri ok minni greater and lesser
mögu Heimdallar sons of Heimdallr.
Vildu at ek Valföðr Do you wish, Valföðr (Odin)
vel fyr telja that I clearly rehearse
forn spjöll fira of living beings those ancient tales
þau fremst um man? which I remember from farthest back?

Two lines are connected by alliteration to form pairs. In the a-line two syllables may alliterate with one syllable in the b-line.  It can also be just one syllable in the a-line:

Hljóðs bið ek allar
helgar kindir

But in the b-line readers always find a second non-alliterating syllable to put stress on, matching the second stressed syllable (often alliterating) of the a-line.

See more here

Writing Word Prompts:  Gales, Stars, Trust, Transformation, Apples, Giant, Disturbance, Curses, Growth

To confirm, the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for the Vanaheim realm is Thursday 8th December.

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 Thanks so much for your interest.

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References

 Allan, T (2010) Vikings, The Battle at the End of Time, London: Watkins Publishing

Ellis Davidson, H.R. (1990) Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books

Hollander, L.M. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Austin: University of Texas Press

Larrington, C. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Oxford University Press

Sturluson, S. (2005) The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. Jesse L. Byock

 

Web Links

http://www.trobar.org/

The Nine Realms Campaign Conclusion/ Project Update #5

1 Jun

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19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat!

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Vikings Ahoy!

Campaign Conclusion and Update

I am delighted to say that our Indiegogo Campaign was a complete success and on the 19th May we met our goal of  £1, 111….and a bit more reaching £1288!  There was a final push and an epic collective effort and we got there!!!  MANY thanks to everyone who backed us and supported us. Here is the last backer’s  wordle, which will be made into  a 1 x 1 metre plaque to be publicly displayed within ‘The Gallery’ in Hanse House in September.

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Final Realm Cloud

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 In relation to following up on the rewards,  I am presently contacting all the backers, and by the end of June all the Viking creatives who are helping create the rewards will have all the backer requirements.  

#9realms Competitions Update

We will shortly be announcing the results of the micro poetry competition run by Jim C. Mackintosh. As soon as he has made a decision I will post out the Winner and the favourites.

Overall, the competitions were a great success and I am thrilled at how all the Norse material inspired everyone. Thank you for participating in ArtiPeeps’ first go at competitions. 

‘Live from the Workshop’: The Last Photos. 

As a record, here are the pictures that Mark left us with on the 3oth day of our campaign. I heard from him the day before yesterday and our boat is now all but finished, and the initials are going on! He is intending to send pictures so I’ll post them as soon as I have them! 

Day 30: 

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Other News:

Cambridge Festival of Ideas

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The Nine Realms & The Festival Of Ideas

I’m excited to announce that extra to the events at Hanse House and The Millennium Library in Norwich there will also be a little off-shoot Nine Realms event at The Festival of Ideas in Cambridge. Caitlin Ellis, our lovely Norse Expert from Gonville an Caius and the Department of Anglo Saxon and Norse Studies are going to be our hosts. About 13 of us will be there from across all the disciplines within the project and we hope to give them a taster of The Nine Realms poetry, art and music. There will also be a hosted Q&A session with the poets, artists and musicians where we will discuss the challenges (both positive and negative) of engaging with the subject matter of the Norse Sagas and The Prose and Poetic Eddas. We will also be having a session of ‘lets play’ with our Minecraft World and hopefully getting people involved in some reading of poetry.

We’re excited to take our project to new audiences. It’s a real opportunity. 

Here’s the link to the 2014 festival.

Future Radio First Take Editing Session:

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Future Studios

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Earlier last week at Future Radio we had the first editing session of the experience poetry with the sound technician.  We did a ‘first take’ edit of the Asgard and Vanaheim poetry and music. Putting the poetry and music from musician Simon Fox together was a match made in heaven! It was as if Simon had heard the poetry before. It was a moving experience to start to piece it all together. Next week we have another double session booked where we will continue the process and hopefully finish editing the other realms.

Please find below the two pieces Simon composed for Asgard. The Asgard  and Vanaheim. The Asgard artwork is by Deborah Sheehy and the Vanaheim artwork by Heather Burns.

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When I have a proper laid down track of a realm I’ll post it out. Watch this space….

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All the Realm Artwork: 

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The Nine Realms Soundcloud Playlist with all the poetry thus far:

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I shall be posting out the last 9th-realm-Alfheim-overview on  Monday 8th June. We seem to have galloped through the realms. Each of the realm overviews contains writer’s prompts these are not just for Viking participants. If you would like to get creating using the prompts by all means do. We could put your work out as a FreeSpace.  Do get in contact if this idea appeals. 

 

As ever, thank you for your interest.

Nicky

 

The Nine Realms Campaign and Project Update #3

8 May

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19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat!

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Vikings Ahoy!

Campaign Update

The latest news is that we are now 75% funded, with 31 backers and £920 of our £1222 goal.  All those involved in The Nine Realms are working hard together so that we can meet the commissioning costs of Mark’s boat. Thank you to everyone. It’s a real collective endeavour. 

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 #9realms Competitions Update

The kennings micropoetry competition and picture arts title competition closed earlier this week.  They were a great success.  Many congratulations goes to winners (@Alayanabeth) and  (@Sonja_Seear). Many thanks, indeed goes to everyone who took the time to submit an entry. You can find a list of the competition favourites on the Competitions page. A big thank you to Kate and Jamie for running them. Jim’s Norse-themed poetry competition is running across the next two weekends and Shirley’s competition is ongoing across this week.

Here are further details if you’d like to submit.

 

The Nine Realms Event Poem Selection (Up Until Helheim)

The Poetry for the The Nine Realms project up until the realm Helheim has now been chosen.  All the realm poets have been brilliant and the quality consistently there. Thank you Viking poets!!  I am also aware that the Norse Sagas are complex and very different from the material in last year’s project Transformations: lots to delve into in a different way from Ovid.  

Selection was also quite a tricky task because we had to bear in mind the educational element and the work with schools that is beginning to drive our large-scale projects. Here is the list of poems.

NB. There could be some changing around as we have to consult with Caitlin Ellis (our Norse expert). Poets coming will have the opportunity to read other poems from other realms at the poetry reading in Norwich.

 Asgard:

Asgard by Jim C. Mackintosh
Yggdrasil Groans by Shirley Golden
Northern Lights by Karin Heyer
Two Children by Rob De Born
Asgard by Tom Murphy

Vanaheim:

The Name Of…by Lenka Monk
Freyja by James Knight
The Throats of Giants by Rebecca Audra Smith
Mjolnir by Richard Biddle

Jotunheim:

Traditional Enemies by Lydia Allison
Killing Ymir by Greg Mackie
Legend by Nat Hall
Ymir by James Knight

Nidavellir:

The Mock of Alvis by Jim Mackintosh
Paste Nuptial by Eleanor Perry
Little They Know by Mina Polen
Fenrir by Kate Garrett

Nifelheim:

If All they Should Weep by Joanna Lee
Don’t Follow Me by Mina Polen
Nifelheim by John Mansell
Send Me To Hel by Ross Beattie 

Helheim:

Mist by Lydia Allison
Strata and Strata of Faults Through Time by Shirley Golden
The Sybil’s Lyric by Joanna Lee
My Helheim by Ross Beattie 
All Angels Go to Hel by Lenka Monk.

 

Live from the Workshop: the latest videos

Day 16: 

‘Making a flat surface for our figurehead today, shaving off the thinnest slivers so the wood sits flush. Long painstaking stuff…..’

Day 17: Drilling!


‘Far more satisfying than a black and decker!’

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Day 19: Carving the Figurehead: 

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Media Coverage:

We had some great media coverage in the King’s Lynn News last Friday with an article entitled ‘The Vikings are Coming’. It outlined our Indiegogo Campaign and our plans for The Nine Realms event in September, and the two workshops we will be running for the general public.

 Here is a link to the piece, with a great picture of Mark (Crowley) doing what he does best! http://goo.gl/3cHpJN

Mark Crowley 1

Mark Crowley 1

markcrowley.moonfruit.com

 

I also had a really great interview with Amber Love a writer and podcaster on her site amberunmasked.com where she hosts interesting talks with creatives that blend artistic, literary, graphic art and mental health issues. We had a good talk about The Nine Realms and the role creativity plays in ongoing  recovery from mental health challenges. It was really lovely to talk to Amber and the hour flew by. I’m really pleased to have made this connection! Here’s the podcast, and thank you Amber for asking such good questions!

http://www.amberunmasked.com/ep1518-artipeeps/

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Wordle

Here’s the latest backers’ wordle, for Day 19 that I created by way of a thank you.  A big thank you to the 31 people who have backed us thus far. A larger version of the  wordle will be publicly displayed within ‘The Gallery’ in Hanse House throughout The Nine Realms event in September.

 

Day 19

 

Viking Rewards

There are just 3 more spaces for anyone’s initials on our Viking boat. It’s a really unique opportunity to become part of a bespoke sculpture and a collaborative experience. 

There are some other great Viking related rewards in our campaign:

  • Get a 3 pack of realm poetry-art cards
  • Commission a Viking artist for a Norse themed painting
  • Have a Rune Poem written especially for you, or a song composed

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And more….

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

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Realm Art Thus Far: Even more  additions!

1 more paintings still to come…

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 Look out for new realm poetry next week. We’re in Muspelheim!

Here’s a bit of Jotunheim (realm of the giants) from poet Lenka Monk:

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Schools Involvement

I am also pleased to say that very shortly the pupils from Millfield School Somerset will be sending in their Norse inspired poetry and writing, which we will be posting out, and including in our event DVD and Minecraft world. It will be a pleasure to have their work on the site again. Their last work with us was Freshly Pressed here: A Sense of Place  

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Our Indiegogo Campaign is here:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

‘Magicking the Norse World to Life’

Thank you for your interest.

THE NINE REALMS: AN INTERACTIVE COMBINED ARTS EXPERIENCE

17 Apr

blog-logo-correctHanse House logo

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Arts Council Large for ArtiPeeps

 

New-NCC-logos- 4 ArtiPeeps larger

                                     ———————————-

19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking Boat

A large, global, interactive combined arts experience

‘Magicking the Norse World to Life’

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Indiegogo Campaign Link:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

 Help us place the final piece in our funding Jigsaw puzzle:

 

Campaign Media:

1.  Article in The King’s Lynn News:

http://goo.gl/3cHpJN

2.  Interview by amberunmasked.com 

http://www.amberunmasked.com/ep1518-artipeeps/

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Good News from today- Monday the 20th April- ArtiPeeps is launching an Indiegogo campaign for the final piece in our funding jigsaw: the commissioning costs of  a bespoke oak and ash hand carved Viking boat which will act as a centrepiece for our latetest largescale project!  From the 20th, on a daily basis,  Mark Crowley a woodcarver from Newcastle will be carving our boat. By the end of our campaign a fully formed boat will have emerged from two pieces of wood Mark has chosen for the project.

Not only will ArtiPeeps have a unique piece of art but we will have the centre piece for the  largescale combined arts experience we are hosting at Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and The Norfolk and Norwich Milleniuum Library between Friday 11th September-Tuesday 15th September 2015.  The event is the culmination of a  nine month online project inspired by Norse Mythology and The Prose and Poetic Eddas. Designed to bring the Norse myths and stories to life for the general public and schools through poetry, music, art, Minecraft and comics. As many of us as possible will be coming together at the event, so it is also a celebration of connectivity and trust.

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King’s Lynn

Tying in with the National Heritage Open Day on the Sunday we will be based in ‘The Gallery’ at Hanse House. See right. 

The 5-days will include a Schools’ Day (for two local schools), Poetry and Art Workshops and access to a bespoke Nine Realms Viking Minecraft World created by Adam Clarke who has worked on TateWorlds. Attendees will have access to a Viking Worksheet, Norse Expert from Gonville and Caius and a specially designed Ragnarök comic created by two artists from Washington and Florida, USA.  Minecraft play sessions will also be run.

The Nine Realms features the work of 45 talented poets, artists and musicians that have worked together for the last 9 months, exploring the 9 realms of Norse mythology and bringing the myths and stories to life. 34 new poems celebrating the 9 realms (from Asgard to Alfheim) will be displayed in ‘The Gallery’ space on bespoke realm boards, alongside 19 new artworks (with 2-3 artists taking a realm each). The 1000+ members of the general public plus schools will be invited to take part in and listen to regular poetry readings that will take attendees around the 9 realms. 9 new pieces of realm music have also been commissioned and will be premiered  introducing and enhancing the poetry at the experience. We will also be using lighting to create the Northern Lights and starry skies. Our aim is to create a magical, participatory experience which inspires and brings to life the power of the oral tradition. The Norse myths have played an important part in the way we tell stories today.

With the introduction of the elements of Minecraft and Music, The Nine Realms, represents the combined arts template we hope to use in all our future projects. With the belief that through a sensory mix of art forms a variety of access points can be formed to complex material.  One that moves people away from merely ‘attending’ to ‘participating’.

Norwich: Special Realm Poetry Reading and Open Mic Session

We are also hosting  a special realm poetry reading in the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium library, which is considered the most popular library in the UK.  Between 5.45pm and 7.30 pm a  group of the poets and artists involved in the project will gather to share our realm poetry with the general public. As part of a celebration of the oral tradition of the Norse Sagas. There will also be an open mic session for the general public, so Norfolk residents can share their own creativity with us. This reading will be recorded and broadcast by community radio station. Future Radio across their programming. Future Radio has a listenership of 25,000 a week, so our reach will be broad. We’re thrilled about both new partnerships with the library and with the radio station and we are excited to extend our reach to another part of Norfolk.

Participating Poets and Artists:

Poets   

Lydia Allison, Richard Biddle, Ross Beattie, Robert De Born, Kate Garrett, Shirley Golden, Nat Hall

Karin Heyer, James Knight, Greg Mackie, Jim C. Mackintosh, John Mansell, Lenka Monk, Tom Murphy

Eleanor Perry, Mina Polen, Carol Robson, Rebecca Audra Smith

The Nine Realms Poets and Writers Bios (Includes contact details)

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Soundcloud Playlist of The Nine Realms Poetry, thus far:

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Artists:

Deborah Sheehy & Diana Probst, Asgard; Heather Burns & Jen Thompson, Vanaheim; Jasmine Renold & Ieuan Edwards,Jotunheim; Tony Adams & Cliona Sheehan, Nidavellier; Ryan Atkins & Lili Morgan, Helheim; Robert Fitzmaurice & Charlie Redding, Nifelheim; Gill Offley, Chad Swanson & Mark Peverley, Muspelheim; James Mackenzie & Raymond Bentley Midgard; Elaine Offley & Ann Supan, Alfheim

 Comic Artists:  Elizabeth Fernandez and Koos Kleven

The Nine Realms Artists Biographies (Includes contact information)

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“Creativity generates well-being. Within nearly twelve months of collaborating with various writers & visual artists, ArtiPeeps has provided a formidable platform for allowing both inner spirit & work to explore new corners and connect with kindred spirits. So far, it has been both a challenging and highly enjoyable adventure!” 
Nat Hall, participating poet, on taking part in Transformations in 2014
‘Many thanks for your email. ArtiPeeps looks like a very impressive venture! I’ve had a good look at the website and am blown away by the variety and quality of the work on it. I’d love our pupils to be able to showcase some of their work on your site ‘
James Baddock, Millfield School, Somerset, Head of English, Drama & Media

 

Mark Crowley- Biography:

It all started with den building as a young boy…I graduated in 1999 specialising in woodwork and sculpture and moved into education where I spent 10 years delivering Sculpture workshops to a wide range of people of all ages and abilities. over this time, I started undertaking private sculpture commissions and gradually moved into self employment. I had an opportunity to mix my passion for teaching with my love for woodwork and sculpture and am very proud to say I truly love what I do.

An important aspect of my work is to collect, restore and give new life into old woodworking tools and use them in a traditional way to create my work. I do this when I collect my wood too. I love rescuing wood, saving a log from a fireplace for example, then turning into something that will last a lifetime is my motivation. @MarkCrowley_  markcrowley.moonfruit.com

 ArtiPeeps:

ArtiPeeps is a collaborative creativity and well-being not-for-profit organisation and website which was started in 2012. We specialise in the facilitation of large-scale projects which showcase global poets, artists and musicians, and introduce epic pieces of literature to new audiences and schools. Our purpose is to nurture creativity and well-being through collaboration. We also run a variety of individual online and collaborative showcasing initiatives. We also have an interest in mental health which underpins everything we do.

Contact information:  Director, Nicky Mortlock w. https: artipeeps.wordpress.com e. artipeeps@yahoo.co.uk t. https://twitter.com/ArtiPeeps

Hanse House: 

is a fifteenth century listed building sited on the South Quay in King’s Lynn. Originally one of two hanseatic warehouses, it was leased to the Hanseeatic society, and now is being sensitively re-developed in line with its rich heritage of international commerce and collaboration. Contact Information: Manager, Kirsty Gauntley w. http://www.hansehouse.co.uk/ e. kirsty@hansehouse.co.uk t. https://twitter.com/HanseHousekl

 

Future Radio:

Future Radio is the community radio station for Norwich. Future radio is part of Future Projects and  was one of the first community stations in the country to be awarded a five year full time community broadcast license in 2005.

Future Radio offers volunteers the unique opportunity to develop new skills by getting involved in radio presentation and production.

Mission Statement

Mission: To provide a diverse, accessible, and engaging community radio service which educates and supports the local and wider community, provides high quality output and promotes community development and cohesion.

Vision: Our vision is that of a community which has equality of opportunity and the education, skills and confidence to overcome its social or economic disadvantages and contribute fully to society.

Do checkout the Campaign link, and help us spread the word:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

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Nidavellir: ‘ Darkness and Gold’ 2/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

4 Mar

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The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 musicians, 1 Viking boat : a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Nidavellir (The Realm of the Dwarves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy, Shirley Golden and Jim C. Mackintosh

 

Part 4

Niðavellir

by Tom Murphy

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the times when it’s darkest
bear the most precious things
they shine
wrought from stones
and jewels
and rarer minerals
each design unique
each with qualities, refined

guard them
don’t let them fade
reflect on them often
in case they’re forgot

 

MP3 to come

 

The Smile of Gold and Dust

by Shirley Golden

 

The first ray hits and he comprehends. It scatters the rich expressions that intoxicated and clouded his judgment. His skin, tightens, blackens and starts to flake like ash. Pain screams through skin and vein but Alvis can’t help smile at his opponent, even as his limbs crumble to dust. Cheshire-cat-like, it is the smile that remains when all else has collapsed.

It’s difficult to see what this clever, gold minor could find so amusing at such a moment. You’d need to be as wise as a dwarf, or as all-knowing as a god. Or possess a time machine and travel back to hear the words Alvis crowed as he strutted into Thor’s hall and demanded the hand of his daughter.

‘…there’s nothing I do not know…’ Perhaps it was that. Or, ‘…I don’t mean to hang around here any longer than I have to.’ But that must have stung a tad. Could such a remark really be the source of his amusement?

How did Thor start each question? Ah, yes, that was it: ‘Tell me, Alvis! You’re the dwarf who knows everything about our fates and fortunes…’

Turns out he couldn’t guess at his own.

It’d be easy to suppose that Thor delayed Alvis with his strength or even with a trick. But Alvis understands exactly why he stayed and time passed without his knowing. He can feel the rhythms and the pauses, heartbeat and breath. He can sense the rise and fall of meanings, pulsing through his veins like a rush of blood to the head. And there’s the beauty of piecing it all together, and how it bound him, tighter than Fenrir’s binding. And how he was compelled to reply and sustain the narrative that spun its potent mix of lyrical knowledge. Because Thor, with all his command, could not have held him captive until the sun broke through the dripping hall.

So, yes, he smiles because the god of thunder will boast of this victory for aeons to come. But Alvis knows it was not a god’s might that undone him.

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The Mock of Alvis

by Jim C. Mackintosh

What sort of man are you? Your pallor
Of death’s disregard, your slumbered
Bend lifted from the mortal slab of Gods.

You creep from the depths below
The growing one’s burdened weight.

Your shoulders soaked under
The vaulted ceiling of the dripping hall.

You dare to follow the shiner
To seek my unbound promise.

You shun Dvalin’s Deluder,
Its nibbled edge at your grubby heels.

You seek the folded comfort of the concealing helmet
To stand before Thor with the trickery of your wisdom.

Your fear, I sense, pushed on stormer’s edge
Whipped by Mjollnir’s Thunder will set you.

You dare to stir the essence of day
With your vain plans of matrimony.

You defy the endless depths of oceans
To drown me with your words.

You will suffer the lick of the hurrier
Catching your eyes, boiling your brains.

You betray the kinship of the dream goddess
To uncork your bottled, hopeless greed.

You should quaff your mead slowly, All-Wise
The last amber beads picked out in the sun.

You will crack and groan and stiffen.
I will laugh and mock and listen –

As your pale bones gather moss,
Your wisdom spent.
The sea of words will score
its drag marks
across you forever.

All the fates of men
Know this to be true.

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This poem is based on the Lay of Alvis in which the dwarf Alvis (All-Wise) engages with Thor in a wisdom contest to claim what he feels is his right, the hand of Thor’s daughter, Thrud in marriage. This is my interpretation of Thor’s response at the end of the fated challenge.

Thor is deliberately mocking Alvis by using the Dwarf phrases that Alvis would know –

The Growing One is Earth
The Dripping Hall is Sky
The Hastener is the Moon
Dvalin’s Deluder* is the Sun
The Concealing Helmet are the Clouds
The Stormer is the Wind
The Deep Ocean* is the Sea
The Hurrier is Fire
The Dream Goddess is Night
The Mead is Ale, Beer

*Dvalin was a dwarf who suffered the same fate overtaking Alvis.
*also referred to as Lagasta

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 You can read the overview of Nidavellir hereand read some Vanaheim poems here

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Find out more about Tom, Shirley and Jim:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

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Nidavellir: ‘ Darkness and Gold’ 1/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

26 Feb

nine realms8

19 poets, 22 Artists, 3 musicians and a Viking Boat

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 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 Nidavellir (The Realm of the Dwarves)

Featuring:

Joanna Lee, John Mansell, Nat Hall

 

the secret and impalpable things of the world

by Joanna Lee

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strength has no purchase here,
in the dark places
where ribbons of the secret
and impalpable things of the world
are forged from stony,
sunless wrists
to catch a moon-
snatcher

by the heart, the chain.

he would slay the best of them,
she said, so slaver-
dripped fingers fish
for breath of cat moving,
the noise of mountain roots.
even a god will lose a hand
to feed a wolf
and bind him.

 

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Fenrir

 

 

Nidavellir

by John Mansell

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Sombre snarled in nascent clutch
the maggot-born unbound
from mire of decaying Ymir.

In sunless dwelling of slate hue wrath
Sindri’s bloodline wrought in nanistic voracity
the skilled gems and emblems of gods.

Moon-wane fields that emptied to the shuddering north.
The clout of smiths in melanic retreat,
to swirl to solid mist the aureate seal of their fame.

In red-gold sanctum magic Hreidmar wrecked in wealth
the family bonds to scream in shame his daughter’s names
as sanguine blade slept through his flesh.

Three chains that snapped, one in death,
unbridled Fafnir, serpent spawn slithered the morose realm.
His rancid pause of poison like lava.

And Regin fearful shied to shameless oblivion.
It is a dire place this home of dwarves,
this land of shade and patricide.

There had been valour here, the lofty battle flags unwrapped.
Their unfurling now a memory
of dust chastened in the quietening mines.

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Sindri

Hreidmar

Fafnir

Regin

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The Open One

by Nat Hall

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They wanted to tame prophecies,

the fen-dweller,
son of Loki,
fanged
beyond fears,
moon howler
Inside a troll’s skin;
feared by most gods,
shackled by silk
dwarves 
once
fashioned in
dark dwellings –
ribbon
woven
out of mere six impossibles:
a faint sound of feline footfall,
a woman’s beard,
a mountain’s roots,
a bear’s sinews,
breath of a fish 
and
bird’s spittle…

They say
Gleipnir, the open one,
will resist him.

© Nat Hall 2015

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Gleipnir

 

 You can read the overview of Jotunheim hereand read some Vanaheim poems here

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Find out more about Joanna, John and Nat:

Joanna Lee

the-tenth-muse.com

 https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

John Mansell

https://twitter.com/JohnMansell1

Nat Hall

nordicblackbird.weebly.com

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

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