In 100 BC, the world had not known the pleasure of hearing a sonorous rhyme. The epic poem “The Bhagavad Gita” was being written somewhere in India at the time, but the first true rhymes, where corresponding sounds are strategically placed amongst and between words, were being spoken in Ancient Norway. We join OLAV TRAGSOON, a local Viking, at a mead brewery with his friends HARALD FAIRHAIR and KNUT ALFEREDDSON.
OLAV: And as I set fire to his house, I said “Grab at it all you want, but that’s not my torch!”
HARALD: Haha! That truly is a worthy jest.
KNUT: You’re japes are simply the best Olav.
OLAV: Well, I always say: With a jape and a jest, I am the best.
HARALD AND KNUT are silent.
HARALD: What did you just say?
OLAV: With a jape and a jest, I am the best.
KNUT: Something is wrong. The words you say are similar. Yet the way you said the sentence makes it difficult to forget.
OLAV: Impressive, isn’t it?
HARALD draws his club.
HARALD: What kind of sorcery have you produced, Tragsoon? A word is a thing unto itself and its mimicry is an abomination.
OLAV: It is quite easy. Try it. Take one word and follow it with a word that sounds like the first.
KNUT: A rowboat is…like…a…battle axe!
OLAV: Not quite.
KNUT: My wife is a…blue…wife?
OLAV: It’s maybe harder than it seems. Harald, give it a whirl.
HARALD: Hmm…the sea is like me?
OLAV: Not bad!
KNUT: Oh, I’ve got one now.
Odin’s raven flies on clouded, silken wings.
The flap and caw of carrion portend to many things.
But lo, the aisle of Agnafit is where the warriors roam,
On silken wings I fall before the All-Father’s throne.
OLAV & HARALD look at each other. HARALD then clubs KNUT to death.
OLAV: Nice poem, pansy…
HARALD: I know, right?