I am soon to start teaching workshops on Viking poetry as part of a project called ‘Kennings in the Community’ . This is very exciting as it means I get to go to Cambridge to eat cake.
Skaldic poetry encompasses particular types of verse composed in Old Norse (medieval Scandinavian) from the ninth to fourteenth century. It is often characterised by its complex metrical structures, its riddling syntax, and the liberal application of a distinctive type of metaphor known as the kenning. The wonderful richness of wordplay, imagery, ambiguity and irony at play in skaldic poetry has a great deal to offer poets composing in other cultural contexts.
There is also a sister project called ‘Modern Poets on Viking Poetry’ which aims to cultivate contemporary poets’ awareness of the skaldic aesthetic. Participating poets will be encouraged to creatively interact with skaldic tradition through the collaborative, cultural translation of skaldic poetry. If you’d like some more information on how to get involved please email me and I’ll send you all the information. You would basically be working with Skaldic scholars to produce either a poem or a mulit-media art piece. I think it will be really fun and interesting.
“With bloody brand on-striding
My bird of bane hath followed;
My hurtling spear hath sounded
In the swift Vikings’ charge.
Raged wrathfully our battle,
Ran fire o’er foemen’s rooftrees;
Sound sleepeth many a warrior
Slain in the city gate.”
Here is a blog post with a bit more information.