(5/8/01 8:42:34 am)
| Can anyone help?|
I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd tap into the expertise of this clearly expert group.
For years, in my teaching I've been using a wonderful poem by Chris Dahl called "This Domestic Transformation Ruling My Life," a poem that clearly has fairy tale connections. One reference has puzzled me and my students forever -- at the end of the poem, the speaker makes the following statement:
We need each other to stave off
those three wolves of sorrow.
We're mystified by the reference to the "three wolves of sorrow," which sounds like something we should know but don't (the rest of the poem offers no clues). I've tried looking in various places, including Norse mythology (since Dahl is Scandinavian), but with no luck. Does anyone know what the three wolves of sorrow might refer to? Generations of students would be very grateful to have that mystery cleared up.
Also, if anyone knows the poet Chris Dahl, I'd love to contact her -- I found the poem years ago in a little magazine, know nothing about the poet, but would love to tell her how much I've used the poem and how wonderful it is.
(5/8/01 11:03:19 am)
Here's my guess as to the reference...taking my starting point in Norse mythology.
One of Loki's offspring was a powerful wolf named Fenrir...who after it became obvious that he was really dangerous to the other gods, they tricked him and bound him. He did however have children and two of his offspring are also wolves, one that hunts down the moon and the other hunts down the sun. It's believed that in Ragnarok, the end time and doom of the Gods all hell will break loose. The wolves will catch and eat the sun and moon, the sky will be filled with the blood of the sun and Fenrir will break his bonds and meet his mortal enemy Odin. Fenrir will consume Odin, swallowing him down into a pit...and so on with the rest of the Gods meeting their dreaful ends at various others hands. In any case, those three wolves: Fenrir and his two cubs, provide a pretty awful trio of destruction that is waiting just at the edge of the world.
Let us know if this makes any sense with the rest of the poem!!
(5/8/01 8:39:15 pm)
I am not sure about the reference "three wolves of sorrow", however, I think, in fairy tale point of view, Midori has had something very convincing. Of coures, there may be another way to explain
what the reference is really about.
As for me, I have a feeling that in making a poem, a poet often uses the expressions which are originated from his or her mother tonque, because, these are something out of their heart.
In this case, "the three wolves", I also guess that, in the language of Scandanivian, when talking about some mishaps, people has the tendency to use the "cursed" term, sort of things personalized by a wolf, or coming from a wolf. Evidently, these are just a guess with no evidence at all.
(5/9/01 8:27:06 am)
| Re: Can anyone help?|
Thank you, Midori, for your suggestion. Clearly my exploration of Norse myth was superficial -- what you suggest makes a lot of sense. From now on, I'll at least have something to suggest to my students. Thanks!