Sunday, October 18, 2009


This is a poem that inadvertently got left out of my last published collection, so I decided to post it here, where I suppose it may remain electronically mummified for all eternity.
The poem deals with the perilous origins of literacy, from which Odin All-Father barely escaped alive. Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241) describes in the Edda how Odin travels to Yggdrasill, the world ash-tree, to gather the runes (alphabetic letters, thought in early Nordic mythology to contain magic powers) from its base, undergoing extreme pain in the process. On top of Sturluson’s narrative I impose some meta-linguistic, anti-Chomskyan musings of my own: the poem should be heard as two voices reciting simultaneously, like a radio tuned to two stations at once.

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