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Bardic Arts

Love Verses
Torvald Torgarson

Love Verse 1
March 25, 2003 (AS XXXVII)

Warm the hands that hold me,
hearts that beat together.
Lips that kiss and linger,
lasting mem'ries treasure.
Feel the pulse that pounds with
passion in a breast that
rises. Red will be the
rose so sweetly given.

Love Verse 2
March 7, 2003 (AS XXXVII)

Petals soft and pleasing
passion’s color marks it.
Lov'ly spirits lifting
laid in hand so dearly.
Watch the thorns that with a
will can draw a price for
love. Yet linger not to
leave this symbol warmly.

Love Verse 3
March 2, 2003 (AS XXXVII)

Wind of wonder, listen
while in heated bliss of
passion. Pleasing thoughts and
pulse of happiness will
twine and tease. With hopeful
touch of hand and lips that
care at last in keeping
close the moment's pleasure.

Love Verse 4
February 17, 2003 (AS XXXVII)

While the wind sings I am
wishing for my angel.
Thoughts that carry close and
caring of the wings that
shelter, Sharing love and
shielding from the storms of
life, that batter leaving
lost and empty hollows.

Love Verse 5
January 22, 2003 (AS XXXVII)

Can you hear my heart beat
hopeful of your touching?
Words of love that wing their
way across the miles so
distant. Let us dream of
dancing while the world still
lies in slumber. Sweet to
savor in the morning.

Love Verse 6
December 19, 2002 (AS XXXVII)

Angel on my shoulder
open wide the heavens.
With your wings enfold me,
wash away all darkness.
Lift me with your love and
leave me not with wanting.
Hearts will hear with gladness
hope of joy eternal.

Love Verse 7
December 5, 2002 (AS XXXVII)

Rose of winter raise thy
regal hand to mine, and
let the sun not languish
lost to clouds and raindrops.
Just a smile can sweep the
sky by vision clear if
only in the hearts that
open to the laughter.

Love Verse 8
November 21, 2002 (AS XXXVII)

Longing for the lovely
Lips to speak and whisper.
Wind as soft as wings to
Wear the heart that's beating,
Carry soft caresses
Keeping heartfelt dreaming.
Hope to hear the voice of
Heaven drifting softly.

Love verses may seem to be out of character for the Norse. But quite the contrary. Kormak Ogmundarson, Hallfred Ottarson, and Gunnlaug Illugson were a few of the skalds who were noted for their work in this type of verse. I will give some examples of their work, and some others at the end of this booklet.

One of the most valuable and respected skills of the skalds of Scandinavia was the ability to extemporize verses on short notice. One skald, Sigvat Thordarson was noted for being able to compose poetry as fast as normal people could talk. Imagine, holding a conversation entirely in skaldic verse! The Occasional Verse was used whenever the skald was inspired, wished to make a point, or to draw attention to a situation.

Most of the examples of Occasional Verse I have been able to find have been in Dravkaet form, and in my work I follow that example. The structure of drakvaet consists of a pair of six syllable lines each with three stresses. There will be three alliterations in each pair of lines. In the first line there will be two alliterations that can fall on any stressed syllable. In the second line there will be one alliteration that must fall on the first stressed syllable. Then four pairs of lines will make a stanza. In traditional drakvaet there will also be two internal rhymes in each pair of lines. If these internal rhymes are imperfect rhymes such as ham and back, or pill and well, this would be known as a skothending, or glancing hit. If it was a perfect rhyme it is called adalhending, or a full hit. In addition the glancing hit must be in the odd numbered line, and the full hit in the even line. Moreover, the rhyme must fall on the second and last syllables of the line.

In my work I do not make use of the internal rhyming for the same reasons that Prof. Lee M. Hollander states in his book, The Skalds, A Selection of Their Poems, on the first page of the preface. “I did not, frankly, because I found myself unequal to the task, but also because experience has shown that internal rhyme now falls on deaf ears.” With all of the other strict parameters of the drakvaet this one area has proven to be beyond me, and with rest of the structure intact I believe I have still kept within the spirit of the form. -- Torvald

(This is from Torvald's collection of verse: Occasional Verses, and used with his permission.)

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