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Poem: Lokis Lied / Loki's Song

This has been one of my first longer poems.It features Loki, the God of fire and lies in the Nordic Edda, and offers a different interpretation of his character and function.

I wrote this poem (that is, the German original version) in 1983, inspired by a Comic: „Der Ring des Nibelungen“, a Comic-Adaption of Richard Wagners Ring-Cycle, by Numa Sadoul and France Renoncé. The first tome of this comic was published 1982 by Dargaud in Paris, and 1983 a German edition was published by the editor “Schreiber und Leser”. In the Nordic Edda, Loki is the God of fire and lies, always sowing discord; he is also the „Tricksters“, the deciever and mischief-maker, known by many cultures and religions in one form or another. Of all the Gods of the Edda, I was most impressed by him and his guile and complexity, always interchangeable and never of just one mind. The Interpretation of Loki as God of the manifold truth originates in the modern Interpretation of Wagner's Ring-Cycle in the regie of Patrick Chereau. It made sense to me as explanation of Loki's character.

Warnings: none. Maybe non-christianity.

Aislynn Crowdaughter

Lokis Lied

by Aislynn, 1983

Ich bin der Gott der vielgestaltigen Wahrheit;
So wie die Flamme ändre ich meine Gestalt.
Und wie die Flamme erst ein Ding erkennt,
Indem sie es verzehrt,
So muß ich stets zerstören, was ich finde.
Das Feuer ist mein Element,
Und vielgestaltig wie die Flamme ist mein Spiel.

Ihr Menschen!
Wenn ihr mich auch hasst,
So ehrt mich doch;
Denn wie kein anderes der Götter hat mein Werk
Einfluss auf euer Tun;
Und eure Seele ist der Stoff
An dem ich forme!

Der ewige Zweifler bin ich, und nie
Kann ich vollendet finden, was ich suchte.
In meinen Spiegel halt ich jedes Ding,
Und finde es vielfach und wundersam darin gespiegelt:
Verzerrt, gedrungen, und auch rein und klar.
So, wie die Wahrheit mir zur Lüge wird,
So wird die Lüge mir zur Wahrheit.
Schönheit ertränke ich in Hohn,
Und finde doch
Im Hohn selbst neue Schönheit.

Liebe ertränke ich in Haß.
Und doch kann auf dem wüsten Boden,
Den ich schuf,
Stets neue Schönheit grünen...

Die Weisen brauchen mich für eine Zeit.
Doch erst, wenn sie aus ihrem Herzen mich verbannt,
Heißt man sie weise:
Wenn ihren frieden sie mit mir geschlossen...
Ich aber eile suchend fort,
Denn Neues zu entdecken treibt‘s mich an.

Denn dieses ist mein Fluch:
Dass ich über der Vielfalt eines jeden Dinges
sein wahres Wesen nicht erkennen kann,
Dass ich es nicht erkenne, wenn ich’s fand,
Dass, wo ich es erkannt, ich es sogleich zerstöre.

So kann ich niemals Ruhe finden,
Denn ewig bindet mich mein eignes Band.

Ich bin der Gott, der ewig sucht,
Nie findet,
Denn alles, was ich fand,
Verlier‘ ich stets;

Nichts hat Bestand vor mir.
Alles vergeht.

Hinweis der Autorin und Disclaimer:
Dieses Gedicht schrieb ich 1983, inspiriert von einem Comic: „Der Ring des Nibelungen“, eine Comic-Adaption von Richard Wagners Ring-Zyklus, von Numa Sadoul und France Renoncé, deren erster Band 1982 im Dargaud Verlag in Paris erschien, 1983 auf deutsch im Verlag Schreiber und Leser. Sehr Empfehlenswert!!! Loki ist in der nordischen Edda der Gott des Feuers und der Lüge, und er hat auch den Aspekt des „Tricksters“, des Streiche spielenden Betrügers, den viele Kulturen und Religionen in der einen oder anderen Form kennen. Von den Göttern der Edda beeindruckte seine Wechselhaftigkeit und Hinterlist mich stets am stärksten. Die Interpretation von Loki als dem Gott der vielgestaltigen Wahrheit. stammt hingegen aus einer modernen Interpretation von Wagners Ring des Regisseurs Patrick Chereaus. Sie macht für mich weitaus mehr Sinn zur Erklärung dieses Charakters.

Aislynn Crowdaughter

And here is my own poor and clumsy, as of yet unbeta'd attempt at creating an English translation (may still be subject of future editing):

Loki's Song

by Aislynn, 1983, newly translated 2006

I am the God of the manifold truth,
Always changing my shape akin the flame.
And as the flame will only know a thing ,
By burning it to ashes
So, too, I have to destroy everything I find.
For fire is my element,
And manyshaped as the flames is my game.

Men! Even while you hate me,
Honor me still;
For as none of the doings of the other Gods,
My work has impact
On your deeds and plans;
And your souls are the very matter
I am forming!

The everlasting doubter I am called
And never can I find complete what I am seeking.
Within my mirror I regard each thing,
And manifold and wondrous I find it reflected:
Distorted an fractured, as well as clear and pure.
And as often as the truth for me will change to lies,
As often lies will change to become truth.
All grace and beauty I will drown in scorn,
And still I find
Within the scorn itself beauty anew.
Love I will drown in hate. And yet
On the very barren ground which I create,
May always grow new beauty...

Those who are called the wise will need me for a time.
But only after they have banned me from their hearts,
They have found wisdom:
When they at last have made their peace with me...
But I move on, leave them behind, to seek anew,
Because always I feel the need to seek for more.

For this is my true ban:
That over the many shapes I find within a thing
I never can discern its true essence and core;
And should not understand it even if I'd found it,
And if I would discern it, I'd rip it apart.

So Peace and rest forever eludes me,
And I am bound forever by my very ban.

I am the God who's always seeking,
never finding,
For everything I found,
I rip apart;
Nothing may last for me,
Everything falls to shards.


Loki is a God of the Nordic Edda. The interpretation of Loki, the God of fire and lies, as god of the manyfold truth belongs to the interpretation of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle by Patrice Chereaus in the early eighties, which was very modern and alltogether breathtaking!

-- Aislynn



Jun. 26th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Hello there! Just want to say that I find your site enough interesting for me. Usefull information and all is good arranged. Thank you for your work. I will visit your site more ofter from now and I bookmarked it.
Jun. 29th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Re: hello
Yes, well, thank you for the praise. I suppose you have nothing to say to the poem, though? I'd really like to hear if you liked it!

Jun. 29th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Just found your home page its great, it looks like you folks do great service keep up the good work.
Sep. 11th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
Nicht übel :)
Hi !

I'll post this here in english so everyone knows what I'm speaking about....I've read the german version of this one as well as the english one and I like them both a lot ! In this poem you've displayed the ambivalent and hot-tempered character of this nordic god very well. I especially like the last few lines letting me think about the finality and slight bitterness in them. Very well done....:)
Hope to read more stuff of you soon !

Greetings Eva
(Oh, and please forgive my english...I hope it's at least understandable
what I wanted to say :o))
Sep. 17th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Nicht übel :)
Hi, Eva!

Sorry it took me so long to answer to your delightful review of my poem! It is rare that I get any feedback for it -probably because the original is in German and so much better than my poor attempt at an English translation. :)

As I mentioned in my note, the poem was born after I watched Patrick Chereau's immortal interpretation of the Ring-Cycle and then saw the comic interpretation by Numa Sadoul and France Renonce. I have always had a great liking for Loki when I read the Edda; the other Nordic God's seemed somewhat boring to me in comparsion. And the interpretation of Loki as 'God of the Manifold Truth' just fit perfectly to my mind. However, seeing too many facets of the truth and looking at everything with a too cynical attitude also means the inability to settle on one of them. And so, the poem was born.

I am very glad you liked it!

(Deleted comment)
Mar. 20th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you did that meme, or I would never have read this!

I SO agree with you - I've commented on this poem from Aislynn before but I've returned because of the meme and I like it still :)

I've always been fascinated by ambivalent figures in stories and poems which cannot be categorized as totally "good" or "evil". In my opinion, Loki is such a figure, not entirely evil and surely not a "good" god. I think this character is so popular in the northern mythology because many people could easily identify themselves with the combination of strength AND weaknesses existing in him as well.

Aislynn, your poem captures this so well ! :)

Greetings Eva
May. 7th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, I very much like that! I can't comment on the German, of course, but the translation is very powerful as it stands, so the original must be all of that and more. Beautiful!

*stands with you as a Loki-lover*
Jun. 9th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am glad you like it, and that you think it works and is strong. I mean to rewrite some of the English translation at some point, because by now I have some ideas how to get the point of a few parts better, but I did not manage to do it, yet; maybe, once I do, I can abuse you as a beta? ;P

I always thought Loki the most interesting of the Nordic gods. When I was a child and read the German recounting of these Sagas, Loki was the one I sympathized with. Oh, and Brynhild,of course. ;PPPP
Jun. 10th, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
I'd be delighted to beta! No need for abuse as well. ;)



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