Sunday, 19 June 2016

Smoke And Seagulls

"Smoke drifted savory toward the gulls which shrieked in a snowstorm of wings."
-Poul Anderson, Hrolf Kroki's Saga (New York, 1973), p. 77)

One sentence-

three senses: savory smoke, shrieking gulls, white wings;

alliteration: smoke, savory, snowstorm;

comparison: gulls with snow.

"Seagulls" instead of "gulls" would have given even more alliteration but maybe that would have overdone it? I think that the rule for alliterative verse is a maximum of three alliterative words in a line.

Queen Olof visits Denmark to wreak harm but her malice can wait while we appreciate Poul Anderson's prose and, if everyone could pause to appreciate "...a sky full of birds..." (p. 68), as Yrsa did on Als, then there would be less malice.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think one point which needs to be kept in mind is that both the original Icelandic/Scandinavian sagas and Poul Anderson's contributions, like THE SAGA OF HROLF KRAKI, are multi-generational family records. They focus not necessarily on one person but on several persons, spread out over generations.


Sean M. Brooks said...

I'm annoyed over how I misplaced the note I wrote above. It belongs more properly to Paul's "What Comes Next" piece.

Yes, I agree, the world would be a better place if more of us would calm down, SLOW down enough to appreciate beauty. We see the dying Thorin Oakenshield saying very similar things to Bilbo Baggins near the end of THE HOBBIT.