Monday, April 28, 2014

A Man Called Egil

There are many people you will meet in your lifetime that you will like; they may be nothing more than acquaintances that can hold up their end of a good conversation.  Then there are others that, to use and old phrase, creep you out.  Egil Skallagrimsson,  of the long ago Viking Age, was a man that people either liked or just plain did not.  In any case, friend or not, a person did not want to get on Egil's bad side.  Egil could go from a state of hateful battle rage to composing some of the world's most beautiful poetry in a matter of seconds.  

Egil was not born a handsome child; some believe that his fiery temper developed while he was still in his mother's womb, taking away any chance of generous features.  That temper often ruled over reason and Egil killed his first time at a very young age.  After reporting to his parents about the first life he had taken, Egil's mother predicted that one day he would be a great Viking leader.  It seems that mothers know everything; she was right.  

Remarkably, Egil often composed his skaldic verse, loaded with kennings, after he defeated and dispatched an opponent.  This begs the question:  how thin and/or perforated is the line between berserker rage and poetic genius?  Maybe sometimes that's why the term divine madness is used when going from rage to creativity.  But what do I know.  The only things I kill are words and the occasional mosquito.     

                                                   Copyright @2014 Terry Unger

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