Lagertha…

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Her Shieldmaidens
flank her every step
as she surges to the front

Each challenger
is met
with the edge of her blade

She cuts cleanly
severs limb from body
flesh from bone

Blood like hot
warpaint stains
her face and hands

like the
black around her eyes
taken from pyre ashes of the fallen

a sacred oath
raised to the heavens
will shatter shields and skulls

she’ll summon
The Gods with
the tip of her blade

she has forged
her way through
a world of chaos and destruction

with a warrior’s
heart
she makes her battle cry

A voice
That could shake the very earth
or fell Yggdrasil with a single word

 

*authors note: I just finished the 4th season of vikings. I’ve been with the program since it first aired. I’ll admit, it was foolish to believe it wouldn’t call to my blood. But, as I have written before, more than just a drop of Viking Blood flows through my veins. I’ve often felt it is the reason I am both deeply in love with AND deeply respectful of the Sea.  I’ve done a lot of research into the content of the show. They have done an excellent job of taking just enough fantasy and mixing it with just enough actual history, to make it very entertaining to watch.

A lot of what  we believe we know of the Vikings is myth and legend. More often pulled from their epic poems (yet another ancestral gift) and not their actual life and practices. As I am reading more and more by respected historians, I am finding that a lot of their suspected “savagery” was rumor and tale-weaving by those who were “visited’ by them.

Make no mistake! They were fierce and brutal warriors. And often times, they did take innocent lives in the quest for riches and land.

I think I am most fascinated by the role of women in their society. I am always impressed and very proud, that their society had respect for women as equals to men in practically every way. Of course, no system is perfect… but they were far beyond a lot of ancient civilizations in their treatment of women.

I know, if you follow me here at all, you will not be surprised by my affection for Lagertha. Her story is compelling…and while there is conflicting data as to whether or not she existed…or that the show might have used her as an avatar for many female Vikings of the age… I still feel that she represents what I have always believed of women in general.

In the one of the last episodes of this season, Rollo (Ragnar’s brother) explains about their women warriors to Princess Gisla of Paris. He describes the ferocity with which the women fight..and he says they are sometimes stronger than the men in battle. and he also describes Lagertha as “The Fiercest of them all”

Indeed, I believe she is.
I am, of course, very aware that most of my followers are women. And I also know that I have admired a great many of you for being warriors. I know that I am not the only man to appreciate women for their strength and determination. But I want you to understand that I appreciate the fact you choose to visit me here. And I do appreciate all of you Shieldmaidens out there. You inspire me a lot. 

vikings_lagertha_3

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About Eric

Writer/Plumber/Poet/Father/Gentleman/Romantic
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34 Responses to Lagertha…

  1. Purpleanais says:

    I love this, Eric! Also, Candice told me about Vikings, said you had put her onto it, unfortunately I haven’t started yet but I’m pretty sure I would love it. When my DNA was tested 2 years ago, it turned out I had some viking in me, inherited from the mother’s side apparently, and less than 2% of Europeans carry that DNA. It explained a lot, lol, as I’ve always been fascinated by that whole culture and history.
    Anyway, *you* are an inspiration, my wonderful friend, and it’s an honour to visit you here – thank you for those beautiful words and your lovely side note ❀

  2. Rita says:

    I love this poem because I love woman.

  3. Emily says:

    Oh wow, I love this. You are so talented, and unique, and always enlighten me with your art and words. Thank you for being in my life. πŸ™‚

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Eric I love this piece. It describes this female character of Vikings so well. I did watch the series for about a season and a a half and then other things in life got busy. I would like to go back and watch it from the beginning. You are right, it is a fascinating show and the history mixed with lore or literature from the vikings is extremely interesting.

    In university, we had to take a course called Literary Criticism. One kind of literary thought I believe in is ‘New Historicism.’ Which to sum up believes “what’s history is textual and what’s textual is history.” So in essence saying a lot of our history is based off of literature. Information about Charlemagne for instance and the book: The Song of Roland. I believe it’s the same with the vikings. And yes, I love how many women fight right a long with the men πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve never watch the show but I love the poem.

  6. Meg Sorick says:

    This is so makes me want to watch the show. I listened to a lecture series on the Vikings a while back and found it fascinating and enlightening. I love that their women were equals and they fought alongside their men. That is inspiring! Your poetry also inspires and moves, lifts the heart and the spirit to new heights. So wonderful to have your words at my fingertips! ✨❀️✨

  7. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Oh I like this! You are inspired by so much and I love to read the results! I only watched a few episodes of this show but I liked the characters.

  8. I adore her. I too have watched the show from the beginning…my own roots drawn to these tales again and again. I was surprised to learn myself that much of what is shown has actually happened and the stories based on real persons (the Field Museum of Chicago had an exhibit on Vikings last year that was quite good). Lagertha is my favourite I must say.

    • Eric says:

      Thank you, Siren!! It’s such a wonderful show. It has endeared me to so many of the characters. I love it when I feel genuine emotions for them. The sign of both great writing and superior actors.

  9. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Well I think you KNEW how I would react/respond/scream at this post!!!!!
    You did us proud.
    You did Lagetha proud.
    I wish more than anything we knew more about these people and the time period. So much is rumor and conjecture. I ‘choose’ to believe Lagetha was much like her portrayal in this show, because the actress who plays her in my mind does her a world of justice for so many reasons I BELIEVE. That said, even if she specifically is not true, I do think so many were, they proved it by the corpses of female warriors found with Viking sites of war.
    I try to imagine back to those days, I know had I been born then, I would have been a Shield Maiden if I could have, and I would have wanted to do this rather than be a weaver or a stay at home mother. It gives me much pleasure to consider there were pockets of history where women did things like this. Not that there is anything wrong with motherhood or staying at home, but it’s nice to think there were other roles available.
    Women can be so formidable. Moreover, they can show a grace in the art of battle hitherto expressed in shows like The Vikings except maybe in Asian shows.
    Like you (understatement) and thanks to you I really got into The Vikings (understatement) and I’m so glad I saw the show. i would never have thought I’d like it as much as I did.
    Did you read any of the books that were similar and of the legends portrayed? I thought it interesting that many accounts show Rollo as not betraying his brother, whilst others show his brother the victor. Most will mention Lagetha but the way she’s portrayed here is without doubt the best role they could have given her.
    Okay I could go on and on about this, I suspect we both could! I wanted mostly to congratulate you on doing such a beautiful job here, you honor her.
    I read it three times because I love how you can pluck something out that is historical and old and beautiful and give it life. That is your forte my friend.
    It is an equal honor to know you as it is to read you.

    • Eric says:

      See, this is what I mean. Today hasn’t been going well…and I feel like there is way too much weight on my shoulders right now. But reading this got me up off my knees, I feel like I can carry this day a little farther. You are a bright-spot in my life, Dear Shieldmaiden. I’m so honored when you respond this way to my writing…and I feel like you are a personal bodyguard for me today. Thank you so much for lifting my spirits. ❀

      • thefeatheredsleep says:

        A friend carries your burden part way in their heart because that is where you are. You are never alone or of no consequence when you have so many who hold you highly and dearly in their hearts. This is true of myself, and Rita, and many others whom respect and care for you. This will never change. When a day is bad, remember that and the wisdom of the survivor who triumphs against all the petty shit in this world. You ARE that survivor.

  10. Souldiergirl says:

    This is hardcore grrrrr!!!!! I love the power and respect. I wish there were more men like you. You have a great quiet strength about you. You have so much talent. I really love this. I needed to read this today. We all love and appreciate you so very much!!!

  11. Immersing herself in victory in such a tangible way, her battle cry having such power and influence… I’m in love with this piece, with this character/person. She is so similar to the woman in my mind when I write about warriors.

    My favorite woman/goddess for a long time was Skuld. As a Norn, she straddled the line between a fate and a Valkyrie, which I always found fascinating.

    This is a gorgeous tribute. Stunning. And thanks for the history… #mast ❀️

    • Eric says:

      Oh Sarah! You are most definitely a warrior in my mind! I’m glad you connect with this and I appreciate you being here more than I can say! πŸ’œ #mast

  12. Morgan says:

    I love Vikings so much I have it on dvd and I can’t wait til the season starts up again. It is incredibly good. Nice post

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