Saturday, 18 June 2016

Yrsa And Edh II

When Helgi sees Yrsa:

"This was a windy day." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 70)

The characters feel and maybe hear the wind.

"Sunlight speared through hurrying clouds, sheened on the waters, then was gone again as shadow swept across the world."

They see shafts of sunlight, wind-driven clouds and light and shadow on water.

"Waves boomed..."

Sound, indeed noise.

"...rushed afresh, gray, green, and steel-blue."

Multiple colors.

"The wind whistled..., roared...and soughed..."

The wind is indeed heard - as are gulls.

"It was cold and tasted of salt..."

So we know how the wind feels - and tastes. The only sense not addressed is smell.

When Edh and Heidhin see the Roman ship, tall clouds are:

"...dazzlingly white, in a blue without bounds." (Time Patrol, p. 586)

Sight, with two intense colors.

"Light and heat fell from the sun like rain."

Heat as well as light. I have never found them compared to rain before.

Poppies are red and gorse is yellow.

"...they caught a scorched smell of spurrey; bees hummed in a silence through which larksong drifted earthward; then wings racketed, a grouse hastened low overhead..."

The scent of a plant and four appeals to the sense of hearing: humming bees, singing lark, racketing wings and silence.

Sight, heat, a smell and sounds - only the sense of taste is not addressed.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Sometimes I have seen Poul Anderson analogizing radiation from the Sun or other stars as either sleet or a kind of rain in various of his hard SF stories.


  2. Sean,
    Very good. Can you give us some examples?

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Eek! Now I will HAVE to find some examples! (Smiles)


    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I finally did it, I sought out an example from Poul Anderson's hard SF of how he used "rain" or "sleet" to analogize radiation from a star. I quoted the following text from Chapter 22 of THE GAME OF EMPIRE: "Several speeding glints betokened satellites whose forcefields must still, after half a millennium, guard Merseia against the subatomic sleetstorm the supernova had cast forth."

      I'm reasonably sure PA used this metaphor elsewhere in his hard SF as well.


    3. Sean,
      Thank you. It seems familiar to me as well.