Life in the Fast-Swim Lane

S02 — Session 11

1626, Earth Season, Stasis Week, Windsday to Wildday Eve

Dramatis Personae


Nala and Tiwr


Venlar Silorsson
Some people who did not think Mellia would marry a barbarian
Yamia Silorsdottir
Some people who suddenly realise why one might wish to marry a barbarian
Grandmother Saiciea
Some servants
Some guards
Some gossips
Garin Merelt, finally
Lenta Hulta, maybe for the final time
Serzeen Saiciae, Babeester Gor
A fisherman
A hand bigger than a troll’s


This week, we are pleased to introduce Doktor Forrest Oldman, noted expert on Xenofos, as our guest lecturer. @@[[@@His commentary will be denoted thus.@@]]@@

@@[[@@Euh, thank you. We start with … ‘Extract from Berran Jarangintyttären runo’. This extract of “Berran Jarangintyttären runo” is stylistically slightly different from some other fragments that have survived. The narrative is introduces a narrative of revenge at any cost, even truth it is hinted. Motive of the actor remains unclear but she is referred to as orphan.@@]]@@

Verkkaan virkkoi Berra, sommitteli sotarauta
kuinka julkihuudan julman surman
kaadan kuraan kieron katraan kunnian?
luki lakia lukenut, kohtuuteen kehotti kirjuri,
Kysy en totuutta tahi seikkoja sanoi soturi
kostoa, ei kohtuutta kuulutan kalmosta
Orpo orjan kohtalon omakseen omi.

@@[[@@And ‘Nala Tiwr saga – Yksisarvisnoidan runo’.@@]]@@

Noita nurisi noita yksisarvisten, saneli emon tyär
Kutsuu aavikko autio, virta verkkainen viekottelee
Kolkko on koti kivinen, poloinen palatsi potrakin vieraan
Akka anna mulle se koria poika ja anna se sovinnolla
otan minä sen kuitenkin enkä anna poikana olla.

@@[[Yksisarvisnoidan runo is interesting because it seems to combine elements of epic form to clearly dance inspired song fragments. It is plausible that separate traditions have been combined to compose the surviving version. It is clear that the protagonist is not happy in her current enviroment, in house of stone and wishes to return to the desert. The almost mocking stanza adressing the crone and demanding a boy however, is not in line with reputation Unicorn riders have in other poems. So, on to @@Rajarin kuolo…@@]]@@

Löylyä lissää,
löylyä lissää, eihän se
entinen tunnu missään

@@[[@@For understanding the larger picture this ditty is pretty useless, it is almost as someone had just written down a bathing song with no context whatsoever. A problem common to any student of fragmentary sources.@@]]@@

@@[[@@ Moving on, ‘Tuulentytön laulu’ probably refers to a famous Vingan Varanis though it does not name her explicitly. Again sources are lamentably brief but refer to conflicts arising from a wooing situation. In this context such ambiguity is much more typical than in case of Unicorn riders – compare for example to collection of ribald songs on Kallyr.@@]]@@

Pyörteenä pyöri punatukka, yöt päivät ylinnä
suikkasi suuta neitoselle, sulhon sorean torjui
Ompeluksen orvokkisen permannolta noukki
neidon nuoren lämpöisen, jäljiltä torjutun sulhon
koolle kutsui soturit, purteen punaiseen puikahti
sorsana soudatti meriorhin ulapalle usvaiselle.

@@[[@@The basic song is probably only a part and follows the epic trochaic meter to some extent.@@]]@@

@@[[@@The song of White maiden, ‘Valkoisen neidon runo ‘ is dated to same period but seems to divert from the epic tradition totally. Both subject matter and the way it is treated veer towards lyric, almost pastoral themes. The poet may clearly be suspected of being of romantic persuasion and less interested on actually telling us events of the time. [In this he might be compared to Garin – no… not related to your Prof Garin – who has left a corpus of rather striking erotic poetry interestingly enough partly dedicated to Varanis.@@]]@@

Silmiin katsoi hetken, katsoi toisen
unohtui ympäriltä muu maailma
kaksin olivat Mellia ja Venlar
keskellä suuren joukon
Salin lattialla tanssivat
kuin lehdoissa Sartarin
käyneet he olisivat
vehreällä nurmella
varjoissa omenapuiden.

@@[[@@Finally we have some hexameters of my old favorite Xenofos. Not really useful in clearing the narrative but declaring intent of casting aside passive and reflective mood. You might notice the reference to shining of the moon. In this context that may refer to approaching madness or be a premonition of some kind of doom or a crisis.@@]]@@

Astuos ylös Xenofos, aseisiin tartu
aika kirjoittaa oli, nyt aika on töiden
Kupeilles vyöttäös kalpasi vaskinen
kun loistavi kuu, meren yllä punainen.

@@[[@@Now grading of this part. I will probably not be here at the end of the term. And Dr Tomm is not expert on this specific corpus of matter. So your old friend Garin will be grading the papers you will write on these specific poems. I wish you all luck in your continuing studies of this most fascinating of topics.@@]]@@

[‘Thank you indeed, Doktor Oldman. We are all grateful to you for your kind attendance, and your fascinating lecture. Everyone else, you know the drill – five hundred words each on any two poems, including the Rajar, on my desk next week.’]

What Really Happened

Berra and Nala converse about justice

Session Quotes