Sunday, 13 April 2014

Day 13: Kennings - Or Not

Today's prompt is to use a 'kenning' - a sort of coded compound word used in Norse mythology - for example 'sky-candle' meaning sun, 'battle-sweat' meaning blood - to inspire a poem. Or, come up with your own kenning to use in/inspire a poem.

Feeling too lazy (it is a Sunday) to invent a kenning (and besides, my attempts so far have all sounded too Lord-ofthe-Rings-like to me...), I googled them instead and all that battle vocabulary, especially the prolific mention of swords, got me to thinking about, well...this poem. (I thought of using 'battle-sweat' in it, ah, but then didn't. I prefer the direct approach!)


Swallow your hurt
like a sword, with the trained indifference
of a showman sword swallower.
(He does it to entertain, you do it to survive.) 
Feel its sharp point
pierce your heart to your gut -
but don't flinch. (Silver stops tears.) 
This feat, will put an end to fear. 

(But when you talk, don't have your words show its blade.)
(And when you smile, don't let your smiles bleed.)

Your scars will remain only
on the inside 
one day, the sword 
will be a strength
a weapon to wield in the soft tissue
of weakness.

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