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Friday, January 12, 2007

Old Introductions: Ed Roberson & Todd Sandvik
(Joe Donahue Introduced Ed)

5. Rune One: “Golden friend, and dearest brother, / Brother dear of mine in childhood, / Come and sing with me the stories, / Come and chant with me the legends, / Legends of the times forgotten, / Since we now are here together, / Come together from our roamings. / Seldom do we come for singing, / Seldom to the one, the other, / O'er this cold and cruel country, / O'er the poor soil of the Northland. / Let us clasp our hands together / That we thus may best remember Todd Sandvik, / The renowned and wise enchanter, / Born from everlasting Ether / Of his mother, Ether's daughter.” Or, “To be specific, / what you are about to hear / you will recover from.”
6. Rune Two: “Todd Sandvik, old and truthful, / arranges for a journey / To the village of the Carrboro, / To the land of cruel winters, / To the land of little sunshine, / To the land of worthy women; / Plunging through Wainola's meadows, / O'er the plains of Kalevala. / Fast and far he galloped onward, / Galloped far beyond Wainola, / Till he reached the blue-sea's margin, / Wetting not the hoofs in running.” Or, “The best instincts of man are / exactly what the powers of hell feed on.”
7. Rune Three: “But the evil Youkahainen / Nursed a grudge within his bosom, / In his heart the worm of envy, / Envy of this Todd Sandvik, / Of this wonderful enchanter. / Youkahainen prepares a cruel cross-bow, / Made of steel and other metals, / Paints the bow in many colors, / Molds the top-piece out or copper, / Trims his bow with snowy silver, / Then he hunts for strongest sinews, / Finds them in the stag of Hisi, / Interweaves the flax of Lempo. / Ready is the cruel cross-bow.” Or, “The subject does not actually change shape, / but is nevertheless capable of being as dangerous as a werewolf.”
8. Rune Four: “Undaunted, Youkahainen, / Quick adjusting shoots his arrow. / Swift as light it speeds its journey, / Strikes the steed of Todd Sandvik, / Strikes the light-foot, ocean-swimmer, / Strikes him near his golden girdle, / Through the shoulder of the racer. / Thereupon wise Todd Sandvik / Headlong fell upon the waters, / Plunged beneath the rolling billows, / From his dappled steed of magic.” Or, “’The god who gave you bravery gave me cunning,’ whispers the wolf / into the disembodied ear on the pathologist’s table.”
9. Rune Five: “Youkahainen thus boasted: / "I have slain old Todd Sandvik, / Slain the son of Kalevala, / That he now may plow the ocean, / That he now may sweep the waters, / On the billows rock and slumber. / In the deep sank the magician" / And this his mother answered: / "Woe to earth for this thine action, / Gone forever, joy and singing, / Vanished is the wit of ages! / Thou hast slain good Todd Sandvik. / Slain the ancient wisdom-singer, / Slain the hero of Wainola, / Slain the joy of Kalevala."” Or, “Without fear, wade into this confusion, / dealing here a fracture, here a bite, and here a slight contusion; / crack obstinate heads together, pull the concussed foes apart.”
10. Rune Six: “Meanwhile from the cruel salt-sea where he had fell / Todd Sandvik raised his wounded brow and asked / “Must I swim the sea forever, / Must I live, or must I perish? / What will happen if I perish, / If I sink below the billows, / Perish here from cold and hunger?" / And thus the bird of Ether answered / "Be not in the least disheartened, / Place thyself between my shoulders, / On my back be firmly seated, / Well do I the day remember / Where thou didst the eagle service, / Thou didst leave the birch-tree standing. / And thus Todd Sandvik was borne to the shores of dismal Sariola.” Or, “animals looking more and more intelligent -- / the only thing going on / is a free-for-all over other dead animals.”
11. Rune Seven: “Todd Sandvik, lone and weary, / Straightway fell to bitter weeping, / He could not find a woodland foot-print, / That would point him to the highway, / To his home in Carrboro. / Meanwhile, Northland's young and slender maiden, / With complexion fair and lovely, / the maiden, Laura, rose in beauty, / the tasks this maid had ended, / when from the meadow's distant border, / Near the surges of the great-sea, / she hears our hero’s wailing from the waters, / Hears his hero-voice lamenting. / Laura thereupon made answer, / “Weep no longer, Todd Sandvik, / Grieve no more, thou friend of waters, / come to my friendly home and fireside; / Thou shalt live with me and be welcome, / Thou shalt sit at my table, / Eat the salmon from my platters, / Eat the sweetest of my bacon, / Eat the whiting from my waters." Or, “imagine words strung out across darkness, / and the silent spaces between them and the emptiness that binds a snowfall together, / or turns a hundred starlings rising from a wire into a single flock.”
12. Please welcome the great magician, Todd Sandvik.


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