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The Poetic Edda: The Mythological Poems

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Translation, Excellent Notes

    NOTE: This is not a good introduction to Norse Mythology. For that, buy Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, which, on account of it being prose, is much easier to understand (It's also a hilarious read). But of course, the only reason for reading that is so you can get to the real meaty mythology found here in all its glory.

    Bellows' translation is exceptional. Not only does he retain (somewhat) the original poetic form (which is alliterative), he also produces an easy-to-read, comprehensible translation. Unlike Hollander, this translation uses English words that you will on the whole know the meaning to, and thus there is no need to translate the translation. The only potential problem is Bellows' copious amount of notes, which threaten to overwhelm. However, in the end, they really are useful, and I am glad he chose to err on the side of too much rather than too little.

    As for the poems themselves: a few are in remarkably poor condition, but a few, which make the entire book worth it, are absolutely incredible. The Voluspo earns its place as first in the volume, given its majestic and unforgettable descriptions of cosmogony and ultimate destruction. In addition, the section of the Hovamol from stanza 139 gives me goosebumps every time I think about it... (buy the book to find out why). Several of the poems are actually quite funny (such as Lokasenna).

    ALSO: Ignore anyone who says the other volume of Bellow's translation is not available. Just scroll down the page a little more and you will see "The Poetic Edda: The Heroic Poems", which I am currently reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2006

    An Excellent Collection!

    Here is a fine collection of Norse Poetry Told in a way the preserves the Viking persona. Tales of the Gods and valuable advice for the careful reader. Oh, that it were complete! the volume is only half of what it should be--an editorial error. For those seeking the true poems of the Gods here it is, told by the older scholarship not the new.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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