Friday, September 15, 2006

Family Planning       [gnomic ditty]

Perhaps I should marry a völva
and abide in a dwelling of elm
    I could pluck at the lyre
    and nevermore tire
we'd wander beside the whelm

her sessions of sacrosanct dance
for remunerative gigs suffice
    if I pluck at the lyre
    I'll nevermore tire
to marry a völva?   nice!


I had been unaware of the word Völva till today.
Where have I been? Well here is

a Völva Song

Mingling moonbeams   mumbling maids!
          men are merely trinkets!
muttering madness   maundering shades
          moiling shadows meld

mellow moonbeams   misty mounds
          motherly cush of blankets
mollify lovers   lave the lads
          who pay in gold the geld

The image is in fact of a Hopi mother, not a Germanic sorcoress. You could call it a case of culture-hopping. The same website that affords the photo also offers some 1,400 American Indian legands. Here, for instance, is an Eskimo legend:
How Big The World Is

Two couples lived together. One day, the two men fell to talking, "The world is big," said the first.

"How big ?" said the second.

"Let's find out ," answered the first.

So they took their sleds and set off in opposite directions. Their wives cried at parting from each other, but each accompanied her husband, running beside his sled.

Year after year they traveled. The wives had babies, and the babies grew up. Then they had children, and so on, until there were two whole tribes traveling across the ice.

The original couples grew old and frail. The men could no longer drive their sleds; the women could no longer keep up the pace beside them. But still they traveled.

At last, each of them saw movement in the far distance. They kept on going, and, finally, they met, back where they had started.

"The world is big," said the first man.

"Even bigger than we thought," answered the second.

And then they died.


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