The Swordsmith

The Swordsmith


I’m angry.

More than that, I’m mad.

But the red cools fast

And I plunge the hot metal into water

Watch the steam rise

I look.

Needs more work

Back to the fire,

Pump the bellows

Watch the metal glow white hot

Lay it on the anvil

Beat the ringing steel

Till the forge sings

Again and again,

Folding hot metal

Beating it flat,

Shaping it.

Finally, the steam clears

And the sparks begin

Hold the metal to the grind stone

Hone it till the edge holds.

Fit the handle

Bind with damp rawhide

Heft the finished sword

Watch the light gleam

On newly minted death

I don’t get mad

I get even.

Vivienne Tuffnell 21st January 2009


7 thoughts on “The Swordsmith

  1. Hmm, lets think about this, as thought provoking as that was.

    I wonder, do skilled craftsmen making warfare produce really think about the consequences of their toil?

    If so, would their thoughts, and subsequent anger, be detrimental to the task in hand?


    • I suspect that most see it as a craft, something they do, and usually don’t think about what is done with the weapon later. I believe Nobel was appalled at what became of his discoveries.
      This poem was written a couple of years back when there had been something to make me justifiably angry and someone said, do something with that anger, so I did. The anger was spent writing the poem. Coincidentally, justice was done about six months later and had nothing to do with me.
      Good thoughts and questions. thank you.


  2. I believe a craftsman of swords would make every sword, hoping it would bring down the enemy. He would make it the finest killing weapon he could. It was not made to hang on a wall and gather dust, but to be taken into battle.

    Great poem. Yes, do something productive with anger.


  3. That’s TWO sword posts/poems in one day, in the midst of a three month run of swords in my cards, swords in my writing, swords in my life. Forging a weapon takes time, time for anger to cool to revenge, which is, of course, best served cold. Lovely, truly lovely.


    • *hands over a sword*
      I wrote this a few years back but this year I have felt so angry about a betrayal that I did call on certain angels for justice.
      The thing about justice is that it is not meant for us to see it done. it’s an absolute and us wishing to see it reduces it to a need for revenge.
      Been following events in the USA at a distance; you are in my thoughts, Michael.


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