One Year On, Valhalla Echoes

It’s been a year since my father’s death and I’ve been remembering him in an unpredictable mix of dreams, reflections, and feelings. My heart still shifts around empty spots, and other spaces change shape as the memories I carry adapt to this moment’s inner and outer life. I’ve done a lot of remembering through the things he left behind, his writing looming large now as it did in his last years of life. One piece of writing stood out to me as a unique window into this period, a poem originally titled What is needed for Valhalla. I kept finding revisions of it in scattered places, different formats, and widely varying styles. Eventually I collected them and made an attempt to put them in sequence, and was deeply moved by what emerged. I wrote up some brief commentary, and my dear friend Peter Miles Bergman typeset it in a presentation that integrates some of my father’s handwriting and expresses my feelings about the work beautifully. We’re still working on getting it printed, but I thought I’d post this excerpt to mark the anniversary today.

The second and third page are landscape, scroll or zoom if needed to see everything.






4 responses to “One Year On, Valhalla Echoes”

  1. mary.blocksma Avatar

    Wow. Amazing. Thank you for working on this. ♥️

  2. julia.blocksma Avatar

    Dylan, Thank you for saving Dan’s epic poem, and sending it out again to all of us. I believe Dan’s senior thesis at Wheaton was on myth, and ran to over a hundred pages…so “Valhalla” makes sense as his central metaphor.
    I’ve copied a brief description of the traditional “Valhalla”, from the *Encyclopedia Britannica*: *Valhalla*, in Norse mythology , the hall of slain warriors, who live there blissfully under the leadership of the god Odin . Valhalla is depicted as a splendid palace, roofed with shields, where the warriors feast on the flesh of a boar slaughtered daily and made whole again each evening. They drink liquor that flows from the udders of a goat, and their sport is to fight one another every day.

    Thus they will live until the Ragnarök (Doomsday), when they will march out the 540 doors of the palace to fight at the side of Odin against the giants. When heroes fall in battle it is said that Odin needs them to strengthen his forces for the Ragnarök.

    much love, AJ

    1. The Curator Avatar

      Yes! Unfortunately I haven’t found a copy of that paper yet, but I’ve even been tempted to watch the Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok as I know he saw it, maybe more than once, and found it amusing. This revision references prior versions, and following revisions delve into the politics and morality of Valhalla.

  3. […] announce the publication of some of Daniel Kreadman Kuhn’s poetry! I described the work in a previous post, and my collaborator Peter Miles Bergman made this great little video overview. If you’re […]

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