Kennings

The washing-face place in my
steamy refuge is besieged
by a patache-swarm of
petiots-noirs.
What can be done?
A drop or two of Nippon-antiantlure,
and they will be gone.
But that’s not eco-friendly.
Surely those creepy-crawlies
have  a raison d’être?
They’re custom-made
to clean up the excebish
of human squanderbugs.
Perhaps I should let them be.

*Patache = disorderly 
  petiots-noirs = little black things

Bjorn Rudberg is on an interesting tack today in the dVerse Poet’s Pub:  “… I thought we should learn about kennings. A kenning is a very brief metaphoric phrase or compound word and it means “to know” (derived from Icelandic, but exist in many other languages like Swedish and German). It was used extensively in Old Norse (later Icelandic) and Anglo Aaxon poetry as a mean of adding both color, and better meter to the skaldic songs. For instance “whale-road” was used as a kenning for the sea in Beowulf, and “wave-stead” replaced ship in Glymdrápa.

“It could be formed around a genitive or directly as a compound word in English we can use a hyphen, and it’s normally done by combination of nouns. In Nordic languages compound words are freely formed by writing them together. It’s actually still used in many languages to form new words. Consider for instance “fernseher” for television in German (meaning view from afar), or “couchpotato” for a lazy person watching too much TV. A language that evolves, constantly need new words.”

He wants us to create new kennings and use them in our poetry.  I found this incredibly difficult and somewhat pointless, as English is full of wonderful words for just about everything, but I had a go!

About https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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9 Responses to Kennings

  1. shanyns says:

    You did a great job! Love that you tackled this. 🙂

    Like

  2. Barry Dawson says:

    Applying other languages to your kennings must’ve ramped-up the challenge quite a bit. Your words flow quite nicely.

    Like

  3. Ah.. I can see spring is coming.. ants everywhere.. not yet here… your kennings are creative.. and I can agree that the need in English is so much less than in other languages.. but it’s a fun way to play with words…

    Like

  4. Lindy Lee says:

    You did a good-go…

    Like

  5. claudia says:

    oy…whatever little bugs those are… not sure if i would want to have them in the bathroom…oy… on the other hand…some are quite useful…so…

    Like

  6. kkkkaty1 says:

    I think this is fresh and pretty sounding with the kennings even though it must be bugs you are writing about 😉

    Like

  7. Brian Miller says:

    ha. ok needed to take a couple more gulps of coffee to get my eyes wide opne…smiles….your kennings flow very naturally out…excebish is a cool word….really some challenging kennings in this…but fun to learn

    Like

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