Here is my recap of the creatures I used in my story poem, The Fear of a Farmer: Valkyrie, Norns, Water Horse, Selkie, sea serpent, and Cherubim. As I did for The Staff in the Tree, I have chosen to show certain illustrations with some accompanying verses. I’m a bit more pleased with the visual quality in this particular book. And now…
“So know, as you tremble with eyes open wide, I’ve come to commission the hero inside.”
From out of the darkness, a trio of Norns Gave such admonition as righteousness scorns.
Its profile was equine but horribly so, Distorted, and much like a fish did it go.
He turned to discover a striking surprise, A womanly creature with ebony eyes.
“I said I would love and return to the deep. A promise I make is a promise I keep.”
Respectfully, Einar stood up in the stern. The guardian lowered its head in return.
“What’s this,” chuckled Asger, “that falls on my ear? You give him the wrong appellation, I fear.”
Their power was awesome, as often was proved By flashes of lightning whenever they moved.
“Be careful,” said Anni. “Arise, but don’t speak.” She stood and positioned her hand on its beak.
The Fear of a Farmer has just been made available on Amazon. You may find out more about it by clicking HERE.
Norse mythology seems to have been developed more recently than Greek mythology, and some of its entities apparently reflect this. For example, the Norns bear certain similarities to the three Fates. The Norns are also female spirits, a trio of sisters whose names exhibit wide variations in spelling, depending on the source. I will use the names from the glossary at the back of my copy of the Poetic Edda: Skuld, Urth, and Verthandi. These three were said to determine the fates of gods and men. They spun these fates by Urd, the well of destiny at the base of Yggdrasil, the tree which connects the nine worlds. Those of you who have seen The Avengers: Age of Ultron might recall a scene which alludes to the Norns and Urd without explaining them.
For my story, The Fear of a Farmer (copyrighted but not yet published), I took some artistic license and moved them out to sea. There, they utter false prophecies to dissuade the hero from his appointed task.
Here is a portrait of one of the Norns. I wanted to show more facial detail to develop her visual character.
After I had done this, I looked up some paintings by more regarded artists. I was interested to compare my black and white renderings to theirs. This one is supposedly titled The Norns and was allegedly done by Arthur Rackham. I can verify neither the title nor the artist. I have my suspicions since the style of this one is so different than that of another one attributed to him.
Here is an eerie depiction of the Norns over a cradle.
The Norns in this picture are shown at the base of Yggdrasil. Well, technically, Yggdrasil was an ash tree, not an oak.
Another black and white….
… and a couple in color. Both are titled (guess what?) The Norns. I’m fairly confident that the first of these actually is by Arthur Rackham. The second was also attributed to him, but I am not as confident of this. It is, however, an interesting abstraction that plays on the imagination.
In both of these examples, I like the ethereal use of color. Additionally, the utilization of silhouettes in this last illustration adds to its effectiveness.