Vikings: Raiding while philosophizing?


Many moons ago,  my Icelandic friend game me a book of sayings. The book, The Sayings of the Vikings, consists of short poems (proverbs/wisdom) translated into English. Let’s see if there is anything we can sink our teeth into as we approach another holiday destined to bring family and friends together to eat and argue.

 

Advice to a visitor:

When passing

a door-post,

watch as you walk on,

inspect as you enter.

It is uncertain

where enemies lurk

or crouch in a dark corner.

Sounds like a good warning against an elder, who spends a lot of time in the hospital. You never know when they might pee in a cup and throw it on you as you pass. I have to say: I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable going to a home where I would have to be so cautious. Let me guess, the invite reads “Bring a covered dish and weapon of choice.”

 

Attending a feast:

No man should call

himself clever

but manage his mind.

A sage visitor

is a silent guest.

The cautious evades evil.

Never a friend

more faithful,

nor great wealth, than wisdom.

Again, these Vikings must have had some interesting gatherings. Pass the dinosaur sized turkey leg and then await your beat down. Though, I am quite partial to guests that let me do all the talking.

 

Drinking:

Ale

has too often

been praised by poets.

the longer you drink

the less sense

your mind makes of things.

Of course poets praise alcohol, it makes their work appear more brilliant. I hope the Vikings aren’t discouraging drinking here, because we all know, the best moments are from dumb asses who drink too much. I really can’t see cutting this out of the agenda. It’s a must have for free entertainment. Make sure it’s BYOB to keep it free.

 

Self-Discipline:

The glutton does not guard himself

eats till he’s ill.

Wiser men

only mock

a fool’s fat belly.

Yeah, it’s pretty gross watching a guest eat until they vomit all over the dinner plates. It seems the Vikings are all for calling people out on their fatness though. Seems a little cruel, but…if the Vikings said it…………..

 

The Nature of Hospitality:

I would be invited

everywhere

if I needn’t eat at all.

Or if I left two hams

at the house of a friend

where I’ve eaten only one.

This sounds about right. I  prefer inviting those who bring things to eat, but don’t eat themselves. It’s a great way to save on groceries.

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23 thoughts on “Vikings: Raiding while philosophizing?

  1. What a great read that was.

    A true story. On my first visit to Tokyo, I thought that I would take advantage and going sell my services to the Japanse advertising agencies. Don’t ask me how, but I talked my way into see the creative head of Dentsu the worlds’ largest agency. This was top Banana, corner office stuff.

    I was so pleased with myself, delighted at how clever I was and thought I had it in the bag. I showed samples of the work and gave him the whole sales spiel. It was indeed the corner office in a large office tower. We sat on two long sofas, he at the end of one, with me diagonaly opposite at the end of the other sofa. It was a great meeting and he was very enthusiastic about what I had showed him. He took my details and I left.

    Back at the residents I told my friend, who knew about Japan asked where I was sitting? I explain about the two sofas. Where, he asked was I in relaqtion to the door? I thought about it and said that it was just behind me. “You got nowhere” he replied.

    I was sitting nearest to the door. In the days of the Samurai, it was always the least important person who sat near the door. The novice, the house boy; he was the most expendable should there be an attack. My host sitting on the far side of the room enjoyed the greatest distance between him and danger.

    So like your marvelous Viking texts, not much has changed in the world over the past few hundred years.

    Happy Easter!

    Like

    1. Sorry you are only seeing me on one side for now. I know….beating a dead horse, but I can’t help it.

      Vikings do kind of rock. There are more sayings I will pull from at a later time.

      Like

  2. Don’t worry Lorre when I call round to your place I will bring lots of delicious treats and many gifts of wickedness, actually I might even bring you a nice big… Well smile actually, yes I do smile sometimes you know 🙂 Now where is that Ham?

    I always like some sweet pickle and a few pickled onions on Ham so while you are making me a lovely sandwich I will test your Champagne stash 🙂 Mmmm lovely 🙂 Hey I hope you had a superyummy Easter Lorre and if you were good, then you will be getting some later…

    Hey some Chocolate I meant cheeky 😉 lol

    Androgoth XXx

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    1. Clever and witty…oh yeah and naughtly.

      Easter was great and I hope yours was as well. Pickles on ham? I have never tried that, but maybe someday.

      Thanks for the drive by.

      Like

      1. Did you noticed my new spelling for naughty? I think naughtly sounds really grown up and British, but you would have to confirm that for me. The mistake is pretty cool though, since naughtly means wrong. It can fit into my comment quite nicely.

        Like

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