Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Go to Hel

image from

Go to Hel

“I doubt not but Dyggvi’s corpse Hel does hold,
to whore with him.”--Snorri Sturluson.

Isn’t it fascinating that in Norse mythology, compiled in 
the 13th century, independent of or oblivious to the long 
established Christian concepts of Hades & Satan, they 
dogmatically clung to their own version of the Underworld, 
where Hel was the designated Goddess of Death. Thought 
to be the daughter of Loki, as a punishment for her father’s 
indiscretions, Odin appointed her as the ruler of this realm, 
the Halls of Hel, that was counterpoint to Valhalla.

Described as tall, gaunt and fierce, half of her visage was
like a blue skeleton, the other beautiful flesh. It certainly was
bold, even in mythology, to place a woman on the infamous
throne of Satan. For me, this kind of conflicts and detracts
from the sainted mother mythos that most of us subscribe to.

She lived beneath the
third root of Yggdrasil, and
was death below life.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Sanaa Rizvi said...

One word. WOW! This poem is top notch inspirational Glenn, and norse mythology is so intriguing I might check it out later on. Kudos to you for rocking this prompt :D

Lots of love,

brudberg said...

And imagine we still say her name every day... Hell, she have had some influence... So much more than her siblings (yet)... But maybe Fenrir will be unleashed on the world soon.

Kim M. Russell said...

A completely unexpected angle on the prompt, Glenn. Fascinating! said...

Great approach to the prompt! And then there's Helen, Heloise, and Hel hath nor furry like a woman scorned.
Fascinating mythology here.

Toni Spencer said...

Looks like you and Bjorn went the same route. Interesting micro poem at the end of the haibun. Excellent form on the haibun.

Walter J. Wojtanik said...

Great poem, my Brother! Love the direction you followed!

Grace said...

I will have to check her out Glenn and appreciate her journey. But it is interesting to place a woman in the infamous throne of satan.

Anonymous said...

Hel hath no fury
like a woman, horned.


I, too, thoroughly enjoyed reading about her this morning, particularly the bit you quoted at the top. I'm glad you've re-presented the material in haibun form.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I have just been reading a series of novels based in part on Norse mythology. I love the way you expressed this!

Sumana Roy said...

a very interesting and enjoyable read..." half of her visage was / like a blue skeleton, the other beautiful flesh" was really fascinated by this part....

Sara McNulty said...

Thanks for the legend, and the wonderful poem it inspired.