Lifting Thruff

Jane Goldman

Something in Paul
didn’t love a wall,
he’d give his guests always
the most open of doorways:
if that wasn’t enough
he’d lift up the thruff,
form himself for a hearth.

He shares the wealth of his word store,
wisdom and wit all the more
fierce with his fire.
Why feel awkwardly edged?
Do we need a red wedge
to make new work?

Guard yourself always,
going through doorways,
scan every stride,
scan every step.
Seldom the eye
sees the enemy lie
in wait by the wall.

Praise the giver! a guest
has come by seeking rest,
can we spare her a seat?
She feels awkward, on edge,
if we form a wedge
between her and the hearth.

Something in Palestine
doesn’t love a wall,
give our guests always
the most open of doorways:
if that isn’t enough
let’s lift up the thruff,
form ourselves for a hearth.

Scan every stride,
scan every step.

Something in Calais
doesn’t love a wall,
give our guests always
the most open of doorways:
if that isn’t enough
let’s lift up the thruff,
form ourselves for a hearth.

Scan every stride,
scan every step.

Something in Paul
didn’t love a wall,
he remade Hávamál
with his mate Hermann,
they’d give their guests always
the most open of doorways:
if that wasn’t enough
they’d lift up the thruff,
form themselves for a hearth.

They share the wealth of their word store,
wisdom and wit all the more
fierce with their fire.
Why feel awkwardly edged?
Do we need a red wedge
to make new work?

Guard yourself always,
going through doorways,
scan every stride,
scan every step,
lift up the thruff,
form ourselves a new hearth.

i.m. Professors Paul Edwards & Hermann Pálsson,
late of Edinburgh University, and translators of the
Old Icelandic HÁVAMÁL: or, THE WORDS OF ODIN

Jane Goldman is a thing of phan-fan and likes anything that a word can do. She lives in Edinburgh but her heart belongs to Staffin. Her poetry has appeared in Scree, Textualities, InterLitQ and other magazines. Border Thoughts (Sufficient Place, 2014) is her first collection (“a little theatrical box of spectacle and light […] the living underworld of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera translated into raucous girlish post-war wayward ways”–Lisa Jeschke). Jane Goldman is Reader in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, where she lectures on modernism & the avant-garde, poetry & poetics, gender, sexuality, & feminism.  She is a General Editor of the Cambridge University Press Edition of the Writings of Virginia Woolf.

Photo credit: Angie Spoto

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