Loki Poems

copyright 2001 by Carol Robe

Who Was it Who?
Untitled #6
Praising Loki Properly
Untitled #7
Untitled #8
Untitled #9
What More Can I Say?

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Who Was it Who?

Who was it who urged on Asgard's walls?
Who was it who blocked the builder's work?
Who was it who broke Freya's betroathal?
You, Loki, and for what?

At the price of your foal, Sleipnir,
Asgard gained a stronghold,
Freya was freed from the deal,
And Ošin obtained his steed.

Who was it who gave Sif her hair?
Who was it who gave Odhin his spear?
Who was it who gave Frey Skišblašnir?
You, Loki, and for what?

You played a trick on Sif and cut her hair,
And brought her back some better,
Further fetching other treasures to the Aesir:
Your mischief made more for them all!

Who was it who had Mjolnir made?
Who was it who had Draupnir made?
Who was it who had Frey's boar made?
You, Loki, and for what?

You bet your head, but not your neck---
You paid without paying the penalty
The dark elves thought they earned:
Your subtle wits circumvented them!

Who was it who travelled with Thor?
Who was it who warded from behind?
Who was it who raced Fire for food?
You, Loki, and for what?

You went with Thor for friendship,
For curiosity and care. In cunning,
You took and twisted a trial
To get you wanted as well.

Who was it who faced Thjazi in eagle-form?
Who was it who rent Išun from the Aesir?
Who was it who rescued her?
You, Loki, and for what?

Despite duress, you gave a vow,
And kept it carefully til it was complete,
Afterwards acting to annul it. Without your aid,
Skaši wouldn't have sought out the Aesir!

Who was it who flew to Thrym for Thor's hammer?
Who was it who brought Thor as a bride to Thrym?
Who was it who there warded him with words?
You, Loki, and for what?

For freindship's sake, you flew and searched,
Found and fared back with word of where it was;
You escorted Thor in similar disguise, smoothing
Over his brash bearing till he bore Mjolnir anew!

Who was it who demanded a draught of mead?
Who was it who flyted the Aesir for fun?
Who was it who sought a senna with them all?
You, Loki, and for what?

Mocking, you made mischeif at their feast,
Delivered strife for their desert,
Sweeping aside their masks of morals,
Revealing what they really were.

So, who is it who we should praise for his tricks?
Who is it who we should applaud for his wit?
Who is it who we should prize for his quips?
Why, you, Loki, you, Loki, you!

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Another Poem, but a Nameless one (#6)

It's hard to know how to praise you:
There's so much to say,
So many ways:
I could start with your wit or your cunning;
I could start with your looks or your charm;
I could start with your tricks or your shifts;
I could start with your games or your gifts,
But you're much more than any or all of this!

Whatever I say will fall short:
You're far more than I can ever list,
But how can I resist?
You, Vulture-way, venture where others dare not!
You, Thief from the Ettins, take what others dare not!
You, Maker of Mischeif, say what others dare not!
You, Traveller with Thor, care where others care not!
But you do so much more than all this!

I could dwell on legends from the lore,
Recite once and again,
Any you're in:
The time you helped Thor recover his hammer,
The time you helped Sif by harming her hair,
The time you helped Odin by gaining the gold,
The time you helped Freya avoid wedlock,
But you merit more praise than this incomplete list!

So, how should I start, and what should I say?
I'll wager it will take an age
Just to gauge
How to glorify your wit,
How to trumpet your charms,
How to extol your tricks,
How to exalt your gifts.
But you deserve more regard than this!

And so, I'll keep on trying,
Until I get it right,
Or light upon the way
To show everyone your wonders,
To show everyone your whiles,
To show everyone your splendor,
To show everyone your skill
And set my words aflame with your marvels and your name.

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Praising Loki Properly

Hail, Loki! Or wait, would you rather snow?
Or is an earthquake more to your taste?
Hallow, Loki. Um, do I mean halloo?
But doesn't hello make more sense?

How can I write when I don't know the terms?
How can I praise when I laugh at the words?

Let's try again: Loki, I call thee!
Ack! Should it be thou?
Loki, bring us your weal...oh, dear.
Do I mean wheel? or is it a wheal...
But that sounds rather painful,
And why would I wish you hurt?

How can I write when I don't know the terms?
How can I praise when I laugh at the words?

Ah, once more, into the breach:
Loki, favor us...no, that sounds as if
I were asking for some kind of party favor,
Perhaps those crackers that pull with a bang,
Revealing the surprises hidden inside
Or like asking for a token of love,
The way knights once requested trifles
From the ladies they openly adored.

How can I write when I don't know the terms?
How can I praise when I laugh at the words?

Um, Loki, he who hight the hawk's offspring...
Ah, at last, I'm almost making sense!
Naturally, a hawk should be higher as it flies
Through the skies. Or should it be height?
Whoops! What about hite?
Let's try again: Loki, Hero of the Flyte!
Oh, rats! Much as I think a senna is
Fun, are they battles to be lost and won?
Can one gain herohood through a flight?
Gack! That's going back the hight of the hawk!

How can I write when I don't know the terms?
How can I praise when I laugh at the words?

Loki, forgive me. I cannot resist. These words
Are traditional, but look at how they twist!
They may have meant much once, but now?
My attempts to praise you properly
Just lead to the sheerest mockery!
Let me try again later, with words that are mine,
Instead of aiming for the highest, most honorable,
Most elevated and expected diction I can find!

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Another Nameless poem (#7)

Your wit flies forth, fierce and bright as a fire,
Your words spark suprises, Sly One,
And incite as much trouble as fun
Vulture way, they call you, Lopt,
And for reason: your subtlety slides as lightly,
As smoothly as a feather through the air,
Only your skills sparkle far more than a feather,
Shining like lighting in the night sky:
A flash, a sudden twist, a sudden burn, then gone,
And the darkness looks blacker than before
By comparison to your shining shifts.
Your obsidian sharp wits, keen as frozen fire,
Let you preserve your word even
When troubles strike and sieze
Like Thjazi, with eagle's talons,
Forcing an oath from you. And what do you do?
Disavow the vow? No, instead, you use your skills,
Do and undo, freeing Idun whom you pledged,
Teasing Skadhi to laugh--and by your undoing
Gain far more than was ever lost!
Some may say that you give up
When disasters seize you, but they don't see
How freely you escape in the end:
You bet your head for three treasures, and yet
When your first plan fell through,
When biting flies would not do,
You still tore a triumph out of ruin,
For you hadn't promised your neck!
Oh, many are the marvels you have wrought!
Your strategems have many levels,
More than enough to confuse and bemuse
Any who would think to outdo you!
Who can surpass your flashing wits?
Who cannot admire the way your words dazzle
Or not delight in the laser of your logic?

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Another Nameless Poem (#8)

How shall I praise you? There must be a way!
Ah, yes, here's a form from days when
Praise poems were done often!

Let's see: ah, an invocation to start,
Calling upon your art and your names.
Excuse me while I begin again!

O Loki, o cunning one, o raven-god's friend!
(O's, I know, always go in formal address )
Loki, maker of mischief, trier of the Aesir,

Hear, if you would, and listen well,
How you excell, how you surpass
Those whom you mock and laugh at!

Listen, as I tell of your spendors,
As I dwell on your fire-bright wits,
Your sharp logic and your tricks!

(Hmm, now, what should I do?
What's next to go in when praising an Aesir?
A list of his doings? More to catch his ear? )

Listen, as I speak of your beauty,
Your attention to duty and vows,
The way that you start rows and carouse!

Fair as flame, and as twisting,
Ever-shifting, you strike at your will
Fulfil your word, and gain your way still!

For when you wagered your head,
Knowing what you'd said, you won
Three treasures when you were done

Though the dark elves thought to kill you,
And did sue you, they could not take your neck:
Thus did your logic completely wreck

Their plans! While they thought you held,
You quelled, your fly form a trick to bite,
To prevent them from working with all their might,

It stopped them from watching what you'd said,
Where those words led, and the treasures
Were yours to give at your pleasure.

(Yes, I think this is it! Praise, point out the truth,
Show how it wasn't a goof, and go on...
But which of his deeds should next be drawn?)

Friendship and duty led you to soar swiftly
Through the air to see where Mjolinir
Vanished to, where it did appear!

You found it at Thrym's and what he sought
For its return: Freya brought as his bride,
But she refused to be tied

To an etin, and so, when Heimdall
Did call that Thor should hide himself
Under a veil as a bride, you yourself

Went beside him, disguised as a maid,
To stand his aid, watch for anything strange
That Thor did, to feast and exchange

Any words with your subtle wits and cover
Any other surprises, like Thor's reddened eyes,
Until he siezed upon his hammer, his prize!

(Now, should I say more? Oh, yes, three
Is the number usually used. So what
Would can't I possibly cut?

Ah, yes, I know! How could I go
And not show something of Skadhi--
There's so much there to see! )

Your tricks do more than keep your word,
And ward the Aesir: while you amuse
You also manage to defuse

Troubles which appear. For when Skadhi
Came with her claim, she agreed to be content
With a husband if an Aesir could dent

Her mourning for her father and make her laugh.
On their behalf, you, Loki, with goat and a rope,
Did what no one could hope,

Bounded back and forth with the goat,
(Note: the goat's beard was tied)
As you each pulled from your side

Until you both squeaked, and then
At the end, you staggered and tripped,
Miming disaster as you skipped

And fell into Skadhi's lap. She couldn't resist;
She laughed at your antics, and who but you
Would have dared to pursue

Such a course, not just making merry,
But at himself! Your glee, wild and free,
Paid the last of the fee

For Thjazi's death! You held the results
Above possible insults, above your dignity,
And won through with hilarity!

(Now, without ambiguity, I've certainly
Shown some of Loki's wonders,
How even what look like blunders

May be more than they seem!
What marvelous schemes! But now,
I must close, yet how?

Let me look at my model again--
Ah, yes, right in here, it's clear,
I end by showing how he is dear!)

Loki, though I could name off far more than three
Events like these, you see, these days
People's eyes glaze

From too much poetry. So while you are wonderful,
Never dull, and adorable for your wit,
Your cunning, your tricks,

Your swift shifts and your logic, I only list
The gist of what you are, just a few examples
To give people samples

Of how amazing you are, your actions bright as a flame,
To eventual gain, not only with cunning,
But also humor and game.

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Yet Another Nameless Poem (#9)

Loki, how I love your logic,
The quick and supple twists
You give to your premises,
To end up with an unexpected trick!

You flout expectations,
Work them out and go beyond,
Take implications and interpretations
In ways that don't correspond

With what people thought you said!
You listen and you watch and find
Subtle ways within your mind
That many seem to dread.

Take my favorite story, if you would--
How you bet your head for treasures,
(The dark elves thought they had your measure,
As if they ever could)

And yet, when they succeeded, you fled,
They chased and then, brought you for the decree,
Certain that they would see you dead,
Until you pointed out that could not be

For while they could have your head,
You never, ever had bet your neck!
Careless, they didn't bother to check
Where your wording led.

O foolish elves, to make such a bet with you,
When even your losses lead to gain!
It's surprising they hadn't a clue
And thought your wager plain!

Nor is this the only example of your logic,
The heights of your reason,
The wonderful way you season
The syllogysms you pick

For any argument with careful attention
To any conclusions you care to draw,
To any inferences you can construe.
How I stand in awe of you!

Of you and your wonderful reasoning
Which turns disaster into marvels
And so easily impells
Others to eagerly swing

Right where you want them!
But how can I forget your paradoxes,
Where you do things which seem
To lead you into boxes

That you can't ever escape from,
But which you switch and twist
Until they suddenly become
Wins as you helpfully assist

Them along lines no one else imagined!
Remember when you advised
That Freya might be part of the prize
For the giant who who thought he'd win

Her and the sun and the moon
For building Valhalla's mighty walls
Without anyone's aid, night or noon,
Except for his horse. And what squalls

Did Freya and the other Aesir raise
When it seemed he would succeed!
And who did they need
To cause the builder delays?

Why, who but you! And what did you do?
What none would have considered or dared!
Avoiding the mason who was prepared,
You made yourself a mare and drew

His horse away with delight:
Helped the horse to hinder his master,
Without any kind of fight,
And though the giant worked faster,

He couldn't complete his work as promised,
And so raged at his loss,
While you, with an enjoyable cost
Could cheerfuly resist--

And once more, you changed the game,
Using your wonderful logic
To devastate the work, as was you aim!
What targets you pick!

Who else can use his logic to assist
And take a danger about to fall
And so swiftly twist it
Into something rather small?

Ah, Loki, how I love your logic,
The casual ease you use
To take advantage of whatever brews
And turn with ways others missed!

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What More Can I Say?

I've praised your beauty;
I've praised your thought:
What else is it you want?
I simply can't see
What more I can say
For my mind is blank today...

Ah, wait, there are things I haven't said,
For I hesitate to speak too much
Without relying on the crutch
Of lore, since I rather dread
Exposing how often I see you,
Since much could be untrue

Merely a product of my imagination.
Logic and caution combine to demand
That I watch carefully, try to understand,
Whatever the frustration or temptation
Of declaring that because I see it it is so--
When I really can't know.

My perceptions are faulty.
My I/O stream has glitches.
I know that it switches:
Without any guarentee
That what I see is there--
I scarcely dare

To trust what I percieve,
Much less to discuss it
When it may be legit
And may merely decieve,
For how can I believe
Without evidence to weave

And to examine carefully,
To reality-check with friends,
To observe any trends
So I can speak freely
And with some assurance,
A much better chance

Of seeing you instead of a mirage,
Made of a medly of my dreams,
Of things that subconsciously seem
To be right, but are a collage
Of what I'd like to be.
For the problem, you see, Loki,

Is actually that I care--
I wouldn't misrepresent you
By failing to work through
The least little flare
Of your presence:
For me, that's just sense.

And yet, now I find,
As I seek to praise you
As I'd promised to do
That I must unwind
Some of what I secretly see,
Some of what you've done with me

For while I would take the lore
As my guide
And have tried
To show how you soar,
I've repeated all my favorite stories
Without coming close to revealing all your glories!

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