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BarB

Member Since 31 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:45 PM

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In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

28 July 2014 - 07:32 PM

Hi everyone,

Just got back from San Diego. I didn't have my computer with me so I was limited to library hours. Here is this week's post....

 

The Word of the Week for July 28, 2014 is stave

 

http://www.rehupa.com/

 

 

In this week’s poem, “Destination” which was unpublished during REH’s lifetime, is about a traveler who is brought to the doors of hell without—at least consciously—knowing where he is headed. Unlike last week’s poem “Rebel” where the dissolute soul ended up where it expected to go and reveled in it.

 

From this following verse it seems the poem could also be called “Predestination:”

 

“Enter and follow where I lead. Haste, for the lurking midnight nears.

“Your coming aye has been decreed for thrice four hundred thousand years.”

About, the shadows seemed to glide like ghosts or were-wolves, taloned, fanged.

The stranger followed his strange guide, the massive door behind him clanged.

 

What is missing from the poem is any reason why the man deserves this fate. Perhaps the answer lies within another of his poems, “I Praise My Nativity.”

 

Oh, evil the day that I was born, like a tale that a witch has told;

I came to birth on a bitter morn, when the sky was dim and cold.

The god that girds the loins of Fate and sends the nighttime rain,

He diced my game on an iron plate with dice carved out of pain.

“This for the shadow of hope,” laughed he, as the numbers glinted up,

“This for a spell and this for Hell, and this for the bitter cup.”

A Shadow came out of the gloom of night and covered me with his cowl

That carried the curse of The Truer Sight and the blindness of the owl.

Oh, evil the day that I was born, triply I curse that day,

And I would to God I had died that morn and passed like the ocean spray.

 

"The curse of the Truer Sight and the blindness of the owl" is given as a reason but fate itself is evident in “The Twin Gates”:

 

The gates of Hades stand ajar;

Above the portals, blazing clear

Are words that may be read afar:

“Abandon hope, who enter here.”

 

Above life’s portals stands a screed

Where, through the mists approaching near,

The quivering, unborn soul may read:

“Abandon hope, who enter here.”

 

It would be so helpful to have a date for these poems and know what was happening in his life at that time....

 

[NOTE: DONJON was Word of the Week 5/30/2011: http://www.rehupa.com/?cat=13&paged=16 (about half way down the page.)

 

ANON was Word of the Week 4/30/2012: http://www.rehupa.com/?cat=13&paged=12 (about half way down the page)

 

Barb


In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

21 July 2014 - 07:19 AM

The Word of the Week for July 14, 2014 is Buri

 

http://www.rehupa.com/

 

The poem of the week “Niflheim” was not published during REH’s lifetime. It’s another of his image driven poems that is filled with references to Norse gods and myths:

 

Niflheim: The cold, dark, misty world of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel. In some accounts it was the last of nine worlds, a place into which evil men passed after reaching the region of death (Hel). Situated below one of the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasil, Niflheim contained a well, from which many rivers flowed. In the Norse creation story. Another version says it is the misty region north of the void in which the world was created--an underworld of eternal cold, darkness, and mist with nine frozen rivers. It is inhabited by those who died of old age or illness and is ruled over by Hel, a daughter of Loki and Angerboda.

 

Midgard: the abode of human beings in Norse mythology, specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology.

 

Audhumla: The primeval cow on whose milk the Giant Ymir fed. She was created from the melting ice at the beginning of time. She sustained herself by licking the salt and hoar frost from the ice of Niflheim eventually revealing the god Buri.

 

Ymir: The primordial giant and the progenitor of the race of frost giants. He was created from the melting ice of Niflheim, when it came in contact with the hot air from Muspell (Muspellheim). From Ymir's sleeping body the first giants sprang forth: one of his legs fathered a son on his other leg while from under his armpit a man and women grew out.

The frost kept melting and from the drops the divine cow Audumla was created. From her udder flowed four rivers of milk, on which Ymir fed. The cow itself got nourishment by licking hoar frost and salt from the ice. On the evening on the first day the hair of a man appeared, on the second day the whole head and on the third day it became a man, Buri, the first god. His grandchildren are Odin, Ve and Vili.

 

Two other verses of “Niflheim” give us more references:

 

Sound out the war-horn’s doom for Ragnarok!

Let man’s destroyers roar from Jotunnheimr

To rend the world and hurl the oceans down

Till in high Asgard wake the sleeping gods.

 

Then in the crashing combat of that day,

Let Midgard rise and roar and Ymir wake,

Till bergs of ice roar down to Muspellheim

And all becomes as thou art, Niflheim.

 

Ragnarok: The final destiny of the gods. The Vikings believed that the world one day would end as we know it, they called this day for Ragnarok, also spelled Ragnarök in old Norse. Ragnarok is the doom of the gods and the humans. It will be the final battle between the Aesir and Jotuns. The battle will take place on the plains called Vigrid.

 

Jotunnheimr: one of the Nine Worlds and the homeland of the Giants of Norse Mythology--the Rock Giants and Frost Giants. 

 

Asgard: In Norse religion, it is one of the Nine Worlds and home to the Æsir tribe of gods. One of Asgard's well known locations is Valhalla, in which Odin rules. [NOTE: Asgard was Word of the Week on January 21 2013 http://www.rehupa.com/?cat=13&paged=8]

 

Muspellheim: in Norse mythology, a hot, bright, glowing land in the south, guarded by Surt, the fire giant. In the beginning, according to one tradition, the warm air from this region melted the ice of the opposite region, Niflheim, thus giving form to Ymir, the father of the evil giants. Sparks from Muspelheim became the Sun, Moon, and stars. At the doom of the gods (Ragnarök), the sons of Muspelheim, led by Surt, will destroy the world by fire.


In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

14 July 2014 - 06:31 AM

Hi Everyone, I'm posting WotW a little early tonight (before it appears on the REHupa website which has automatic postings). My computer has already crashed once tonight and took a long time to come back up so just to be safe....

 

The Word of the Week for July 14, 2014 is Buri

 

http://www.rehupa.com/

 

The poem of the week “Niflheim” was not published during REH’s lifetime. It’s another of his image driven poems that is filled with references to Norse gods and myths:

 

Niflheim: The cold, dark, misty world of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel. In some accounts it was the last of nine worlds, a place into which evil men passed after reaching the region of death (Hel). Situated below one of the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasil, Niflheim contained a well, from which many rivers flowed. In the Norse creation story. Another version says it is the misty region north of the void in which the world was created--an underworld of eternal cold, darkness, and mist with nine frozen rivers. It is inhabited by those who died of old age or illness and is ruled over by Hel, a daughter of Loki and Angerboda.

 

Midgard: the abode of human beings in Norse mythology, specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology.

 

Audhumla: The primeval cow on whose milk the Giant Ymir fed. She was created from the melting ice at the beginning of time. She sustained herself by licking the salt and hoar frost from the ice of Niflheim eventually revealing the god Buri.

 

Ymir: The primordial giant and the progenitor of the race of frost giants. He was created from the melting ice of Niflheim, when it came in contact with the hot air from Muspell (Muspellheim). From Ymir's sleeping body the first giants sprang forth: one of his legs fathered a son on his other leg while from under his armpit a man and women grew out.

The frost kept melting and from the drops the divine cow Audumla was created. From her udder flowed four rivers of milk, on which Ymir fed. The cow itself got nourishment by licking hoar frost and salt from the ice. On the evening on the first day the hair of a man appeared, on the second day the whole head and on the third day it became a man, Buri, the first god. His grandchildren are Odin, Ve and Vili.

 

Two other verses of “Niflheim” give us more references:

 

Sound out the war-horn’s doom for Ragnarok!

Let man’s destroyers roar from Jotunnheimr

To rend the world and hurl the oceans down

Till in high Asgard wake the sleeping gods.

 

Then in the crashing combat of that day,

Let Midgard rise and roar and Ymir wake,

Till bergs of ice roar down to Muspellheim

And all becomes as thou art, Niflheim.

 

Ragnarok: The final destiny of the gods. The Vikings believed that the world one day would end as we know it, they called this day for Ragnarok, also spelled Ragnarök in old Norse. Ragnarok is the doom of the gods and the humans. It will be the final battle between the Aesir and Jotuns. The battle will take place on the plains called Vigrid.

 

Jotunnheimr: one of the Nine Worlds and the homeland of the Giants of Norse MythologyRock Giants and Frost Giants.

 

Asgard: In Norse religion, it is one of the Nine Worlds and home to the Æsir tribe of gods. One of Asgard's well known locations is Valhalla, in which Odin rules. [NOTE: Asgard was Word of the Week on January 21 2013 http://www.rehupa.com/?cat=13&paged=8]

 

Muspellheim: in Norse mythology, a hot, bright, glowing land in the south, guarded by Surt, the fire giant. In the beginning, according to one tradition, the warm air from this region melted the ice of the opposite region, Niflheim, thus giving form to Ymir, the father of the evil giants. Sparks from Muspelheim became the Sun, Moon, and stars. At the doom of the gods (Ragnarök), the sons of Muspelheim, led by Surt, will destroy the world by fire.

Barb


In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

13 July 2014 - 02:59 AM

VK,

Yet, I wonder if REH would have considered that what he wrote adequately described what he saw. It probably affected him more than he could express. 

 

Using the word "indescribable" and following it with a description (however inadequate) is something I've seen many writers do. I almost used it myself in my Howard Days trip report when I was talking about a lightning storm that was beyond anything I experienced before. I started to use the word "indescribable" -- despite the fact I knew with lots of words I could probably give you an idea of what occurred physically but when the whole is much more than its parts, words become inadequate. I finally ended up writing:

 

      We got to the gravesite about 8:15 or so and spent some quiet time with REH, took some photos and headed toward Cross Plains. It had started to sprinkle while we were at the cemetery and the sky opened up with rain for a little bit but then just as we passed Brownwood Lake and for most of the drive to CP, we were treated to a lightning display that defies adequate description. Lightning flashes lit up the ground like daylight with streaks that played tag and hide and seek across sky and clouds in an energy dance driven by some hidden orchestra. Very little thunder and just when I thought it couldn’t get much more impressive, it always did.

            I flashed back to the first time I went to Cross Plains, I saw a sunset painted across the sky from horizon to horizon in so many tints of rose and other colors, they reminded me of REH during his conversations with Novalyne. He *arranged* those for Novalyne and as I watched it light up both earth and sky, it became personal for me. Driving to Cross Plains this past June I had the same feeling as lightning flash after lightning flashed showed off -- with more beauty and power than I had ever experienced. 

 

Yet this does not convey what I saw or the excitement I felt. A scientific explanation might handle the definition of lightning but not the sensation of actually seeing it. The physical phenomenon can be described but not the feeling that it inspires?  

 

This conversation about descriptions reminds me of these two verses from REH's untitled poem ("There were three lads...")

 

They saw, they felt but could not put in words

The things of beauty that oft met their eyes,

Waving of blossoms and the flight of birds,

The tints of sun-set fading from the skies.

They dimly glimpsed the sky-kissed mountain crest

And felt chagrin of failure, dim unrest.

 

But I have got a lot of thoughts in me—

But what’s the use? There never was a school

Could teach a fellow to write poetry.

And yet it’s in my soul. I’d like to tell

The things I feel and see and sometimes think

Yet I can’t catch and put them into ink—

My thoughts are great—my speech so barren. Hell!”

 

Funk is not in the Collected Poetry. Great word and more history to it than I also would have thought. Thanks VK for your comments.

Barbara


In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

10 July 2014 - 12:44 PM

Hi Deuce,

Good to hear from you. I think you’re right, my definition was too broad. It should have been narrowed to “Roman Legion” since “A Song of the Legions” relates to the Rome and the breakdown given is based on that.

 

The difficulty with the word “legion” probably stems from its two definitions: (1) a unit of 3,000 to 6,000 men in the Roman army; and (2) a vast host, multitude, or number of people or things.

 

The quote from the story“ Lord of Samarcand” (Lord of Samarcand and Other Adventure Tales of the Old Orient. University of Nebraska Press. 2005. p. 140):

 

Time flowed on as it does whether men live or die. The bodies rotted on the plains of Nicropolis, and Bayazid drunk with power, trampled the scepters of the world. The Greeks, the Serbs and the Hungarians he ground beneath his iron legions; and into his spreading empire he molded the captive races.

 

I’m no expert on the art of war so it’s possible that Bayazid’s army was based on something similar to the principles of Rome’s legions. The main power of Bayazid’s Turkish forces was 65,000 strong, which would break down to about seven legions; or the reference to *iron legions* could alternately mean multitudes or army.

 

At any rate, I appreciate the post Deuce. I did a little research on Bayazid and found the following VERY interesting information which differs only slightly from REH’s more thrilling and dramatic account. The main difference is this version is more sympathetic to Bayazid.

 

            In 1392, Sigismund, king of Hungary advanced against the Turks in Bulgaria and though victorious at first was eventually forced to retreat. He appealed to other European princes. Philip the Bold of Burgundy sent his only son, the count de Nevers and the flower of French nobility accompanied him…The French knights boasted they would support the sky itself with their lances, if it fell upon them; no thought of defeat crossed their proud, impetuous minds and it seemed an easy matter to them not only to drive the Turks out of Europe but to advance into Asia and free the Holy Sepulchre. The campaign was opened by the siege of Nikopoli. Bayazid hurried to the assistance of the garrison….the day of this unhappy battle was the 28th of September 1396. To no purpose did Signsmund entreat the French not to waste their strength on the light Turkish cavalry but to await the advance of the janissaries and spahis. This regarded this as an insult to their honor and rushed madly and inconsiderately to battle. Thousands fell before them and the victory might have been gained had they not rashly dispersed in pursuit ere they came up with the nucleus of Bayazid’s army. When they perceived this phalanx their spirits sank. The majority fled in terror; a few only sought and found an honorable death, but even flight could not save the rest. The count de Nevers was taken prisoner with twenty-one of his most illustrious comrades-in-arms. In vain did Sigismund now lead up his Bavarian and Styrian knights and a body of his brave Hungarians. The fate of the day was decided by the Servians who were confederates of the Turks. Sigismund escaped with great difficult on board a boat on the Danube.

            When Bayazid on the next morning, surveyed the battlefield and saw sixty thousand of his soldiers lying dead, he wept for grief and swore to revenge the death of so many Turks upon the captives. After the French knights had been reserved for the sake of the heavy ransom, the sultan ordered a massacre and ten thousand of the prisoners had been killed ere his magnates cast themselves at his feet and implored mercy for the rest, which he conceded. …Bayazid was only prevented by a severe attack of gout from pursuing his victorious career in the west, but his troops advanced far into Styria and burned Pettau.

            In the meanwhile the terrible Timur the Lame had subverted the most powerful thrones in Asia and advanced to the Euphrates on the appeal for assistance from the Greek court. In 1400 he conquered the Pontic town of Sebastia (now called Sivas) and executed Bayazid’s son, who fell into his hands on this occasion. Bayazid, who was then before the walls of Constantinople raised the siege and hurried to Asia Minor. Timur had in the meantime marched southwards and in a very short space of time Aleppo, Damascus and Baghdad fell before his powerful army. At last the Turkish and Mongolian army met for the decisive contest before Angora (1402). The two armies probably amounted to a million warriors and although the Mongolians were far superior in number, the Turks made up for this by the experience in war.

            Bayazid selected, in contradiction to the advice of his grand vizir, [ironically this follows REH’s story] a plain for the battlefield and as the Asiatics serving in his army deserted to Timur during the engagement, the Turks were defeated in spite of their usual bravery, and Bayazid was taken prisoner. Timur treated the captured monarch with respect and after his attempt to escape, had him carried from each encampment in a gilded litter, like those that Turkist ladies made use of. Thence arose the rumor of the iron cage in which he was said to be kept. Bayazid died in prison in 1403 and Timur retired to Samarkand where he also died in 1405.

            With Bayazid’s captivity and death the Turkish Empire seemed utterly annihilated, more especially as his sons carried on a war against each other… (The Historians' History of the World: Poland, The Balkans, Turkey, Minor ... edited by Henry Smith Williams)