The Viking Spirit [Book Review]

This is the first of a new feature on this blog. I’ll be posting ocassional reviews of books that I am reading, poetry related or not. If you’d like to see more of these, please let me know in the comments.

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Title: The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion.

Author: Daniel McCoy

This book is intended as a introduction to Norse/Viking Mythology and culture for the layman. It is written in a fairly accessible style and contains a plethora of information and retells many of the best known tales from Norse Mythology. He also includes many footnotes and a large bibliography if one is inclined to read deeper about these topics. However, there are some pretty substantial flaws in the book that a potential reader should be aware of:

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Unfulfilled

40 years ago
16 flags unfurled o’er the fields
In the days after
The hard rain fell
And the thunder rolled.

Shepard and sheep
Soaked to the bone
Waiting for the warmth
Of the Sun to slide
Through dark clouds
And dry their wool.

Shuffling through the shadows
From the temple
To the marketplace
Without moving at all.

Merchants, thieves, and priests
Somehow sharing
The same space,
Thirsty for wealth, power, and praise.

Empty as a spent
Wine cask
That they desperately try
To refill with stale vinegar
Through cracked
Plastic straw.

4/27/18

My 21st poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Portrait of the Poet

 

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New York, Long Island, East Rockaway lived,
Oceanside born.
Oregon Trail traveled for opportunity, better education and family,
Through Baker City and over the Cascades, past the volcanoes,
Willamette Valley, Albany raised,
Liberty, Sunrise; Waverly Elementary, North and West Albany educated.
Army joined at 18 because no Circus in town.
Missouri, Indiana trained; Geissen, Germany assigned.
San Antonio, Alamo transferred; Honorably, Army Commendation Medal discharged.

Tampa, South Florida studies in religion (synagogue and university),
Hurricanes, hanging chads, holocaust museums and heartbreak,
Flew the coupe, Pennsylvania delayed, mistakes were made,
New York, Morningside Heights seminary studies,
Torah, Talmud, ukuleles and self reflection,
Roaming rambling, Exodus ending,
Old friends Albany, old traps escaping,
’round the bend in Redmond married, fatherhood purpose,
Poet voice searching, Notebook scribbles filling,
Keyboard keys editing, computer blog posting,
Audience friends finding, crazy head calming,
Poem now ending.

11/8/16

Rainbows (a tanka)

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Why so many songs
About rainbows in the sky?
Are they promises
Not to kill us all again,
Or roads to the homes of the gods?

11/7/16

Photo found on WikiMedia Commons and is © Andrew Dunn, 27 September 2005 (Website: http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/).

Thoughts, Dreams and Reflections (For Allen Ginsberg)

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I. Thoughts

I thought of you today, Allen Ginsberg,
As I often do when the howls from
Desolation Row enrapture my mind.
Rapid fired images stolen from
Dreams and nightmares of America.
Starving in the streets like
Hysterical angel headed hipsters
And raggedy vagabond doctors
Crouched in darkened doorways
Snarling, scratching at the
Constable’s carriage for
A scrap of bread.

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