Friday, 28 February 2014

Dreams of Naglfar

My obsession with non-Skaldic Old Norse verse continues apace. I am currently working my way through the Poetic Edda which opens with a terrifying prophecy of the end of the world:

"...the serpent churns the waves, the eagle shrieks in anticipation,
pale-beaked he tears the corpse, Naglfar breaks loose..."

Naglfar? I turn to the glossary. Naglfar is a ship made out of the fingernails of the dead. 

Just thought I'd share that image with you, so I'm not alone in my nightmares tonight. (I am assuming 90s cartoon Potsworth and Company is broadly correct in their metaphysics of dreaming.)

Marginally related interesting fact (and explicatory note for my American readers): Potsworth and Company was called Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dreamzone when originally broadcast in the United States, but the BBC insisted on changing the name because executives felt that it inappropriately suggested that children might be awake after Midnight.

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