Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rigsthula : Not A Statement, But A Debate

Rigsthula is not a statement ;
it is an argument,
an argument that is still happening.
It is an unresolved archetype
that the centuries are still debating.
It's being debated here in America,
it was debated in Russia with Marx,
and the final round of that discussion has yet
to be concluded. Shall we have thralls?
Shall we have kings? Shall we have anything
but the good mass of free folk?
Shall we have prisons? Shall we have conscripted labor?
Shall we have aristocrats who think themselves better
than most? Shall we live Edmund Burke's dream
of aristocrats like strong oaks nourishing the soil
with their deep roots, and showering trickled-down
Reaganomics of heritage upon the folk, purified
through the upper branches? Or shall we dream Whitman's dream
of America unbounded?
Rigsthula is an unfinished poem,
literally. It fragments off,
as if perhaps, there was some ending
aristocrats did not wish
read in the long roll of time, or,
likely still, meant to be unfinished,
as if we
were the finishers
through history and time itself.
Now we know that Halfdan, "Kon", came to fight the Winter
in the dawn of that Wolf-and-Axe Age, which age
is still not yet passed from us,
and as king, to shelter the refugee folk upon the shores of Denmark.
Reading the runes that men in Midgard might fruitful live again
and foes fight off, and win through fretting blessed frith.
This poem : the folk rising grassroots-up
from servitude to nature's brawn,
impoverished apelings struggling in the night
upwards into freedom full, and folk and moot,
today called "republic", "rights", "nation" ;
and from that stock, full stock of freedom,
up rising noble the excellent,
who in their full fruiting found in tree's canopy
of the world's men,
look back down, and protection-prepare,
cherishing their folk,
nourishing the full stock of freedom.
There's still arguments to be had about this poem,
and they're worthy arguments to have ;
unresolved issues,
old tangles,
Marx and many others do battle.
Yet we may leave aside
the struggles of communists and anti-communists from the 20th century,
and let Whitman yeast this grand,
old poem of old
that it might yield a new insight
for the new age.


Post a Comment

<< Home