Sunday, April 15, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 14: Sir James Frazer Editing the Dictionary Of Mythology

Prompt: Write entries for an imaginary dream dictionary. Pick one (or more) of the following words, and write about what it means to dream of these things: Teacup, hammer, seagull, ballet slipper, shark, wobbly table, dentist, rowboat.

I almost thought this was going to be another hissy-fit in the making (it's been a long day), and WAS going to put it off till sleep had happened, but two of the words stared me in the eye almost immediately and said, 'LOOK. WRITE.' (I didn't expect 'WRITE' to suddenly veer off into the land of macabre fairy tales and myth, but apparently that's what the brain wanted to do, go figure. Hans Christian Anderson's Red Shoes, anyone?)

The title's an allusion to The Golden Bough, by Sir James G. Frazer. The entire book is a comparative study of mythology and religion, more or less, and more about it can be found here since Wikipedia does it better and my brain is too shot to be much more help than saying 'Ngh' at the moment:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough


The other thing I looked up was the origins of Thor's hammer, and it had some details I didn't know and got intrigued by, especially why it had to be wielded one-handed - blood dripped into the eyes of its crafter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mj%C3%B6lnir


SIR JAMES FRAZER EDITING THE DICTIONARY OF MYTHOLOGY


Ballet slipper (n.)
     between worlds    bowl of sky between the recurve bow arches of your feet
     hollow box of your pointe shoes   lightning-rod the echoing earth
     vibrate!      phalanges metatarsals tarsals sing electric
     your stretched hand    touches heaven brushes hell
     star fire on your palm    inferno on your fingertips
     dance down to Valhalla     to the sunless caverns of Xanadu
     Karen    feet stained red as your shoes

Hammer (n. / v.)
     blood made you flawed    blood dripping into eyes    eyes that forged you
     to wield you    is to wield you one-handed    ripping asunder
     half of you from the root    your other half a flapping puppet
     a caricature Punch and Judy grimace-smile
     iron in the blood   lightning arcing through red cells    blood    earth blood
     sparking through your veins    Valhalla’s thunder rising through rubble 
     and rock    you are battle red as the stumps of your ankles    
     where your shoes were cut off    eyes sewn shut     
     your feet dancing triumphant before you
     you belong to Thor   you belong to no man
     you belong to the gods



5 comments:

Maria Lawrence said...

Meanings, meaning galore. Gory and replete. Good stuff!

Shuku said...

Thank you so much Maria! What an image to go to bed on, I know...glad you enjoyed it!

Shannon Blood said...

Well, dang -- I think you nailed this one -- spot on!

Elizabeth Boquet said...

Oh that ballet slipper is exactly how I remember toe shoes. Yup. You nailed it. Again! Way to go!

Shuku said...

Shannon: Thank you so much! It was a less difficult write than Day 13, but it still took a little bit of prodding the brain with sharp sticks.

Elizabeth: Thank you so very much! Toe shoes! *high five fellow ballerina* I remember how *noisy* they were, and how difficult it was to break them in initially. Sadly, I wasn't able to continue after college, but I'd love to try and do it again someday. I dance blues now, and some swing, which is lovely but it isn't the same.