In preparation for the solstice sunrise
The Æsirs beat their biggest drums
Filling the nightless midsummer night
With a majestic boom-boom-hum
Heimdallr heralds dawn by blowing the mighty Gjallarhorn
By Thor the holy hammer Mjölnir is thrown
The air by lightning strikes is torn
The earth seeded with protective thunderstones
Freya dons her feather cloak to fly
Seeking girls born with seiðr powers
Sending dreamers her priestess cry
To ken, pick seven kinds of flowers
The first step on the Völvas path
To see the meaning of the magic runes
Only for those that fearless curiosity hath
The hearing of the Norns spinning tunes
From the clouds that Frigg has spun
A cleansing rain starts to fall
Nourishing this year’s harvest growth begun
Ensuring food for animals and folk all
Ask and Embla’s children rise©RedCat
Woken by the storm sounds
Hearing the Goddess falcon cries
Know it’s time to attend to holy grounds
The world cleansed, all peoples awake
Æsir, elfs, humans, vanirs and fauns
Sol her chariot to heaven take
Raising the sun to solstice dawn
This is the poem I began composing as I lay listening to the thunder on the shortest night of the year. I’ve managed to learn a trick that makes me able to remember short stanzas even after sleep. I compose a short stanza, or maybe only a couplet. Then while focusing on the sound, rhythm and feeling of what I want the poem to become, I say the lines over, and over, and over. Until they are firmly set in my mind. I do something similar when walking and having an idea, but not wanting to stop to write it down. This technique works most of the time, and gets more and more reliable the more I use it. I think this is relatively easy for me to do because when I sang as a child, all songs and melodies had to be learnt by heart.
I’ve read more than once that there’s absolutely no evidence for any pre-Christian Midsummer or Solstice celebrations in the North, even though most people here think so. And while I accept that fact. I refuse to believe that any people this far north would have celebrated only Midwinter, when night is nearly, or wholly depending on how far north, all day long. And not celebrate Midsummer when there is no true night, only day, dusk and dawn. Or Midnight Sun if you’re far enough north.
So while my poem is based on real Norse mythology – Æsir Gods and Goddesses, magical items and folklore. The story itself is wholly dreamt up by me listening to thunder rumble and boom.
Below you’ll find a list of internet sources where you can read more on each included God or Goddess, item or folkloric belief.
Shared to and read at Open Link Night #295 – Midsummer Live at dVerse.
Also shared to:
earthweal weekly challenge: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAMTIME.
Writers’ Pantry #76: Whatever the Weather over at Poets and Storytellers United.
Promote Yourself Monday, June 28, 2021 at Go Dog Go Café.
Æsir, Vanirs and Elves
Ask och Embla
To ken – Kenning
Seiðr – Magic
Völva – Seeress
Wow, the whole mythology of one single poem
Powerful flight of imagination – enjoyed the trip tonight! Thankyou…
My goodness this is good! 💝 You took my breath away when you read this tonight! Especially love; “The first step on the Völvas path/To see the meaning of the magic runes/Only for those that fearless curiosity hath/The hearing of the Norns spinning tunes.”
I loved hearing you read this–so full of sound, and a splendid poem of the solstice. I love all these mythological beings.
I’m impressed at your method of recalling night thoughts. No matter how I assure myself I will remember, when morning comes it’s gone. I keep a notebook at bedside, and also have been known to dictate an e-mail to myself to remember the words!! Lovely fantasy here, by the way.
Helene, I think you’re tapping into something that has existed with humans for a very long time. I don’t care what “they” say, you know by what is being expressed there is something more at work than those artificial barriers that have been set up to keep us from true knowledge. I love the magic of the ancients in your words.
I love this Helene, both the poem itself and the story of how you composed it! In composing in this way, you are echoing the oral traditions of old. I love the scene-setting done by the gods to make way for the solstice dawn: a perfect Midsummer poem!
Well worked and celebrated, Helene — you’ve resurrected the Norse pantheon into this thunderous celebration of the midsummer. Bangs a holy gong for a celestial event. I think if you keep scratching the surface of local tradition, you’ll find a buried country of celebration. – Brendan
this certainly reads like it could be original, from a thousand years ago – the pace and rhyme, the imagery and timelessness ~
This is a wonderful weaving.
This has quite the epic feel. In your reading, as well. Well done.
Luv the rhythm of this chant. A magical poem
This transported me back to the time and place of that mythology, with both the allusions and the slow rhythms.
When my children were little and I was very busy with them, I used your method to retain poems that began in my head, until I could get to pen and paper.
I think it’s wonderful. I especially like the last, the rising solstice dawn. Interesting to learn that there is no evidence it was celebrated, but your reasoning makes so much sense. Why one if not the other?
I too would love to hear it read (many names and words I don’t know how to pronounce). I can’t helping thinking that Tolkien would have liked your poem.
Wow! Love it.
I love the imagery throughout your words here!