This stanza is about time. Some see it as a specific time, like harvest when the bright bleda (fruits) mentioned are ready for eating. Others translate this as springtime, when bleda, which also means blossoms and green shoots, appear on plants. Which bleda do we want? In Old English poetry, multiple meanings apply. What kind of temporality were the people of the Rune Poem working with? We can look closely anywhere in Old English and see it, but we ought to pay attention here in the Ger stanza to find out how they managed their solar time reckoning at least. The moon is another matter.
The name of this rune is ger, year. What is a year? A cycling of the seasons. There is a time when the sun is with us a lot, and then another time after that when it is not, and then when it is again. Time is … More
Is it that time? When did they die, has it been a year? If it’s their geárgemynd, their year’s mind, remember them. Put them in your mind. This kenning, geárgemynd, means it’s their day now, like a birthday but at the opposite end of the spectrum. Mynd means mind like it sounds, and also memory, gear means year and ge is a prefix to mynd, but never mind that. Your person who died had wyrþmynd (worth mind, worthy of remembering) and left you behind to commemorate their geargemynde. I know you don’t save up your grief for this day, like they aren’t always and forever walking around with you in your head year’s mind or no. Push them back (invite them back) they won’t go. There they are, laughing at you when you are being stupid, makes you laugh too. Unable (but kind of maybe not?) to hug you when you cry. You … More
You are coming out of it. It’s been a long time coming. What you’ve been missing, if you have been missing out, will return soon enough. This will be a rebirth of new life. The signs are already here that you will benefit from a rich kingdom awakening to plenitude. Fruits will dangle off of vines replete with abundance, but they won’t fall into your mouth just like that chickadee, you will have to take steps and get busy.
Ger is a little small. Look at it so teeny: ᛄ. You might not be able to see. It’s bigger now, it grew over time, but the poor thing was only half sized once. Sometimes Ger is carved to look like the rune for Beaver, Ior, ᛡ, making for redundancy and a real identity crisis for sweet little ᛄ, though ᛄ did stand up a little taller to claim a space in manuscripts at least. ᛄ’s got other problems too. It once made a J sound before shifting into a softer palatal G and then ultimately a Y sound represented by Ge, where it seems to have landed, unfortunately sharing the same initial sound of the ᛡ rune as well as its look sometimes. This does lend to a bit of an identity crisis. ᛄ was here first, I’ll have you know, and it’s hard for a small rune like ᛄ to … More
In Old English yr means only the name for this rune. A bow is a guess, a bow made out of yew. In Old Norse yr means the yew tree. The Icelandic Rune Poem says yr is “bent bow and brittle iron, and Farbauti (a giant) of the arrow.” Yew Bows from Britain were prized all over Europe, so I think a yew bow as an answer to this riddle makes the most sense from the minimal context we have. But in Old English yew is spelled eoh, so this rune could be describing something else. Some think this stanza describes a horn or a saddle bow or buckle. Whatever yr was, it was something to see. This is what this stanza is all about. Being something to see. Looking good on a horse. That’s sexy. Nobody wants to look bad on a horse.
Ye old. Ye olde. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Olde is an affected way to make the word old look old. Olde looks old but it’s really not.
Why add the E to the end of old? An E on the end of an Old English word makes it subjunctive: it might be old, maybe it’s old. Or it makes the word a plural adjective. Multiples of old. Olds. Old squared.
Ye Olds Curiosity Shop. In Old English “ye” which looked like “ðe” (there was no Y in Old English) used to be strictly nominative plural. Y’all with me? Then it morphed to personal pronoun: second person dative singular. To you. I say this to you, Olds Curiosity shop. Old2 Curiosity Shop, this is for you.
And. Also. Sometimes “ye” is a conjunction. You’d find it in pairs spelled with one of the letters that became g: Ȝ ȝ or Ᵹ ᵹ. Thats an upper … More
Say something. Go ahead, you heard me, say it and listen to yourself. Now say it about a hundred years ago. Hear it? You can hear it. Different. Speech sounds change. Accents change. You’ve changed. You think you sound the same but go back home after some distance and they’ll tell you different. And they’ll tell it to you differently. English has changed, big time, my God it’s different. It’s old. It’s medieval. Let’s think of a famous medieval person, to see how old. Somebody with a real mark of distinction. Dante. Dante Aligheri. He finished writing the Divine Comedy in 1320. He’s really really old, hundreds of years. Think of this, in this current moment we are closer in years to Dante than he was to the start of Old English. And from the Rune Poem to us he’s in the middle of the path of life. Not the runes, they’re even older, the … More