The Poet’s Progress (from the Old English)


Word-whip went under world-hearth
Worm-pullers gave turf-warnings
Traveled he the truck-river
Till body-boats grew blistered
Yeast-sweat he yearned for
Work-markers sore missed.


Free translation:

The poet went out on a sunny day.
Birds were singing.
He walked down the street
Until his feet were sore.
He wanted a beer,
But had no money.

Blame, whence I was urged to write “a kenning poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas; basically, ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of off-kilter description.”

Image: Beer Cap, by Jim Titulaer,  published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

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