Three Times Three Times Three – April Ekphrastic Challenge

Jane Cornwell

She was hung upon the tree
Three times three times three
So her mother didn’t have to her unwanted child see
So the other children could hurl spear insults with glee
So men could do as they pleased while she couldn’t flee

She was hung upon the tree
Three times three times three
For the crime of not stifling her curiosity
For the crime of speaking out against bigotry
For the crime of being different as all could see

She was hung upon the tree
Three times three times three
For the sin of searching creativity
For the sin of reading witchery
For the sin of speaking knowledgeably

When the God of the Hanged saw a woman tested on the tree
Three times three times three
Fjolnir sang one of the magic song to set her free
The One Eyed taught her how to truly see
Wayfinder showed all the ways on land and at sea
Forni taught her the world’s history
Ygg showed her the secrets of the tree
Glapsvid taught her spells to once more happy and healthy
Odin showed her the runes to unravel every mystery
The All Father gave her mead to awaken her poetry

©RedCat

This painting gives me shivers. Has every time I look at it. So today’s choice was a foregone conclusion. 

And for some reason it led me to thinking about the very debated part of the Edda poem Hávamál (line 138-145), where Odin sacrificed himself to himself, wounded by a spear, hanging on the world tree Yggdrasil for nine nights to be able to gain greater mystic knowledge from the magic runes.

So I read about Odin in my Poetic Edda copy, and read through what I could find online including a scholastic article from 2014. (You can find it here, but it’s in Swedish.)

Then, as I tend to do I made the story my own!

The last stanza contains nine different names for Odin.


To see all art and read all poems for today go to The Wombwell Rainbow.

This is also the poem I plan to read at tonight’s dVerse Open Link Live. The price of admission is a poem written by you. But if you rather not read and just listen that’s fine too.

See you there!


Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash
Jane Cornwell


likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of Scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

April Ekphrastic Challenge – GloPoWriMo 2021

10 thoughts on “Three Times Three Times Three – April Ekphrastic Challenge

Add yours

  1. Being a little familiar with mythology I jumped at the mention of Odin! Incredibly powerful write, Helene 💖 and such a pleasure to hear you read at the LIVE Event.

  2. I love love love this poem three times three times three. The living hells are noticed by the almighty and balanced out. I knew what hindu gods number in the thousands but I did not know Odin had so many names. Great to hear you read this tonight also, Helene. It gave the poem that much more power.

  3. That painting gives me the shivers, too, Helene, and it’s an excellent choice to accompany your exploration of mythology and crimes against women, particularly those who refuse to conform. You too seem to have been influenced by Silverstein’s rhyming, but it gives this poem a sinister ring.

  4. This is wondrous and mythical — fascinating Helene. The repetition pulls one in deeper and deeper, just as relentlessness can lead to success. Enjoyed your reading yesterday, thank you for contributing, wish dverybody would. Of course it would stretch well beyond an hour. I love the international flavor of OLN Live!

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