Kenning? Epithet? Hm, I think epithet may be right. Wow, my epic days are past. (Literally. My dissertation was on one.)
Anne-dude, you are still totally epic. [/death-metalhead voice]
Excellent scansion. I only just noticed the meter in Longfellow to match that of the Norse epics. I don't have a good vocabulary for this, but I know it when I see it.
Thanks for the rhyme and I hope you feel better.
That's trochaic dimeter, that is...
The best kind of Demeter really. Winter, summer, winter, summer.
Yes, Mrissahainen is meant to be directly parallel to Ilmarainen the smith, because there was no way I could make my name go like Louhi, and anyway my teeth have generally been fine.
That is one excellent super-power to have, to be able to think of oneself in epic verse.
Actually I think it is merely an ordinary-power, coming from much practice rather than from the bite of a radioactive moose or something.
I think those thingers are called "Homeric epithets". At least when referring to Homeric epics-- ox-eyed Hera, rosy-fingered dawn, and the like.
Too lazy to look it up, but I think of 'epithet' as being about some person or personalizable or at least rosy-fingerable thing. Was that the only kind of filler that epic poetry used?
If there's another word for it, I bet it's near the beginning of Lewis's INTRODUCTION TO PARADISE LOST.
It is always good to make your own set of you-approved epithets. You never know when people are going to try to write doggerel about you, and then you can just give them the list. (I am speaking from experience, here.)
Definitely an epithet (as so many others have pointed out).
I like 'Mighty-sinewed chemist's daughter' myself, though I suspect that's not a kenning because it's, y'know. A description, not a euphemism. (Also everything from 'useful tisane made from ginger' on is brilliant.)
Mighty-sinewed chemist's daughter likes you, too, dear heart.
Oh, wait, you used quotation marks appropriately there. Oops.
But you're entirely correct, it is not a kenning.
Whereas mine only rhymes well with math things, mantissa and abscissa and like that. Which means that people are only permitted to write poetry with my actual name in it if it's extremely formal math poetry that's half geometry proof. (markgritter
once wrote me a poem that was valid code that would compile. It wouldn't do anything much, but it was valid code and would compile. Reader, I etc.)
Tangentially, you have just pushed me to watch Desk Set again (which I own for exactly this exigency). Mind you, the pressure has been slowly building for days. Just the other day (in conjunction with a phone interview) I heard Hepburn's voice in my head saying, "During the war you did something so secret even I couldn't find it out," and "That's all I was able to find out, but I only had half an hour."
You know who else lives on the Mexican Avenue bus? Our Mr. Sumner.
Yup, time to go watch that. Definitely.
"Does the king of the Watusis drive an automobile?"
Not even tangentially, but because I think you should see it and I can't fire up email right now and it's sorta-semi-germane to this conversation, a comment on Twitter from cleolinda
:I get irrationally pissed off that they call it The Twilight "Saga." Needs moar Vikings before it can be the Sparklingasögur.
A great many things need moar Vikings before they can be sagas.
But not the saga of my front door.
Well, of course it helps. And I'm very glad, too.
You might have been aiming for the word agnomen, which is what Romans called nicknames. But yes, in this case you probably mean "epithet," or "formula" if you're hitting it from the standpoint of oral-formulaic theory, which (among other things) is about plugging in units like that while your brain composes the next line of the poem.
Now I need one of these in traditional sanskrit-poetry meter, so that I can get myself tea.
Me, I would call it a use-name. But that probably translates into something that might sound more impressive, if only I knew what to translate it into.