There are many figures of speech used in Mygdållaðr, owing to the rich oral and written traditions. Styles of composition are usually headed by the esåledr, the court poets.
Folk poetry, or vaksåled are often simplistic and deal with the realities of life, like hard work and death. Common forms include acrostic poems and rhyming couplets.
This acrostic poem teachees interrogatives and the inevitability of death, and is often used as a nursery rhyme. vit topr munnengubød yhåb
For what man does the bell ring?
RESPONSE: ili dannegmi farólonror
Death is harvesting.
vattig suknun bymérþå
Who do you all run away from?
valur hallohunir anån
What does light walk avoiding?
lavon hapšigwodir ymad
With which of the pair does he play chess?
vaŋ mahållegrbo senben ysån
Which of many houses does the shadow pass through?
(The next lines of the poem are usually not included in the song)
vollip tag ydannegmi
Where does the death dwell?
hellab tag dannegmi
Death dwells everywhere.
voron tolo hinnermi
Whence does a corpse exist?
hofiŋ tolo dannegmi
Every source death exists.
vesuŋ suk vollóŋmi
Whither do dreams run?
tugon suk dannegmi
Every goal death runs.
valurvyŋ vo yvyŋmi
When does the time end?
fonnodvyŋ y dannegmi
Every time is death.
vob kapte vasiŋmi
How does a serf work?
hobot kapte dannegmi
Every way death works.
vored suguni mérmi
Why do you struggle?
fonnodbed suguni danneg
Every reason death toils.
Many idioms are taken from lines of poetry or fromed by allusion to myth.
Myg Mygvuŋ Junnær GevidmygjudEdit
Myg son of Myg, of the clan Junnær, Silvertonguelike, was an important esåled, popularizing many popular speech styles like the use of the kenning and the epic metre.
The follwing is an excerpt of part of a stanza from Hæronsåð, a famous saga about quarreling brothers based on historical figures during Myg's time. It is written in the epic metre, with a couplet and three quatrains making up a stanza. Stress alliteration is used in the quatrains, with A standing for stressed and B for unstressed. The initial couplet is rhymed and stress alliterated, often with heavy use of kennings.
asærlugr jonpallynanirjykke ykodmaŋlonaran
BABB BABBBAB BABBBB
The pair of fate-bound (siblings) intensely eyed (stared) over (their) sword-cliffs (shields)
ægugr jonpallynanirseggir ymygkiðlonaran
BABB BABBBAB BABBBB
The pair of mind-daggered (eyes) intensely eyed (stared) into (their) head-goblets (helmets)
jonsevóg hæron to hiðmanaran matønven asær
BAB AB B ABBB ABB BA
Hæron and Hiðman drew their sword(s)
jonbotó gøddodmir þorentora vyŋmir yalin
BAB ABB ABBB AB BBA
Twin lightnings of Gøddod caught the gaze of time
oturig hæronnóþe vodanæo topkådror afur
BAB ABB ABBB ABB BA
Hæron would pay a weregild to Vodan
alegæn døthug usannonr to kaþiþag ee
BAB AB BABB B ABB A
If the kin and domains of Alegæn were to be destroyed
The following is a short verse composed in the royal metre, with an alternating stress pattern of BABBABABB and BABABBABB.
vånkogód owenr bussagr
If a passerby were to observe a sight
akane midr egonnenr
He pays tribute to a standing stone
etågen ufygr koǧaðr
A name is apparent on stone
y nadr røgmir awagéŋnor
Jasper is worked stone's canyon
kanvedni asuŋr hurålon
A drawing must hearken to inspiration (like)
odeŋað kygr oþinnadr
A horse carries a jockey
bygau aledmir vattigr
What of old emerges?
vušårod mérr ybygritnor
You all behold the Bygrit!