Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Poetry Friday: Three Swedish Spells

Spell Against Predatory Animals

I read for wolftooth and bearclaw
that they won't touch my sheep, my cow,
neither large nor small.

I pray them away, past the very last crag
where the swan darkens
and the raven whitens.

A Spell

When meeting a bear, say:

You are bear and I am human.
You were not baptized in the same baptismal as I.
Run in the woods and bite a tree.
Not me.

Spell Against Twisting an Ankle

Dave rode across a bridge.
When he came to Tive Wood,
his horse tripped over a root,
twisted a foot.
Odin came by:
"I will cure the twist
of bone, flesh and limb.
Your foot will not ache
and never more break.

Anonymous, c. 800-900, Translated by Siv Cedering Fox

Found in World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time, ed. Katharine Washburn et al.