The skaldic poets, for it is they
who are ultimately responsible for these stories,
used ‘kennings’ in their work.
A ‘kenning’ or ‘knowing’ is,
for want of a better expression,
a riddle, a metaphor and a mnemonic in one.
To ‘unpack’ the kenning, then, is to relate the story.
‘Kvasir’s Blood’ is a kenning for wisdom,
for reasons with which we are now familiar.
‘Freyja’s Tears’ is a kenning for gold, for when promised
to an unsuitable suitor in one myth
the goddess weeps tears of gold, and so on…
We need the context in order to understand,
or ‘crack’, the kenning.