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The Poetic Edda by Lee M. Hollander, Edda Saemundar

The Poetic Edda comprises a treasure trove of mythic and spiritual verse holding an important place in Nordic culture, literature, and heritage. Its tales of strife and death form a repository, in poetic form, of Norse mythology and heroic lore, embodying both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times.

Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says "may well grace anyone's bookshelf."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292764996
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/28/1986
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 343
Sales rank: 113,469
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lee M. Hollander was Professor of Germanic Languages at the University of Texas at Austin and an authority in Nordic language and literature.

Table of Contents

  • General Introduction
  • The Prophecy of the Seeress: Voluspá
  • The Sayings of Hár: Hávamál
  • The Lay of Vafthrúthnir: Vafthrúthnismál
  • The Lay of Grímnir: Grímnismál
  • The Lay of Skírnir: Skírnismál
  • The Lay of Hárbarth: Hárbarzljóth
  • The Lay of Hymir: Hymiskvitha
  • The Flyting of Loki: Lokasenna
  • The Lay of Thrym: Thrymskvitha
  • The Lay of Alviís: Alvíssmál
  • Baldr's Dreams: Baldrs draumar
  • The Lay of Ríg: Rígsthula
  • The Lay of Hyndla: Hyndluljóth
  • The Short Seeress' Prophecy: Voluspá hin skamma
  • The Lay of Svipdag: Svipdagsmál
    • The Spell of Gróa: Grógaldr
    • The Lay of Fjolsvith: Fjolsvinnsmál
  • The Lay of Grotti: Grottasongr
  • The Lay of Volund: Volundarkvitha
  • The Helgi Lays
    • The Lay of Helgi Hjorvarthsson: Helgakvitha Hjorvarthssonar
    • The First Lay of Helgi the Hunding-Slayer: Helgakvitha Hundingsbana I
    • The Second Lay of Helgi the Hunding-Slayer: Helgakvitha Hundingsbana II
  • Sinfjotli's Death: Frá dautha Sinfjotla
  • The Prophecy of Grípir: Grípisspá
  • The Lay of Regin: Reginsmál
  • The Lay of Fáfnir: Fáfnismál
  • The Lay of Sigrdrífa: Sigrdrífumál
  • The Great Lacuna
  • Fragment of a Sigurth Lay: Brot of Sigurtharkvithu
  • The First Lay of Guthrún: Guthrúnarkvitha I
  • The Short Lay of Sigurth: Sigurtharkvitha hin skamma
  • Brynhild's Ride to Hel: Helreith Brynhildar
  • The Fall of the Niflungs: Dráp Niflunga
  • The Second (or Old) Lay of Guthrun: Guthrúnarkvitha II (hin forna)
  • The Third Lay of Guthrun: Guthrúnarkvitha III
  • The Plaint of Oddrún: Oddrúnargrátr
  • The Lay of Atli: Atlakvitha .
  • The Greenlandish Lay of Atli: Atlamál hin groenlenzku
  • Guthrun's Lament: Guthrúnarhvat
  • The Lay of Hamthir: Hamthismál (hin fornu)
  • The Catalogue of Dwarfs: (Dvergatal)
  • Guide to Pronunciation
  • Glossary
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index and List of Names

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The Poetic Edda 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
Lee Hollander's translation of The Poetic Edda is a challenging, but enjoyable read. He gives priority to maintaining the original meter and alliteration, which may mean that his rendering is a bit more functional (thought-for-thought) than formal (word-for-word). Personally, I prefer this approach in translated ancient poetry as long as the translator isn't changing the intent/meaning of the original poet. It was written in a certain meter and/or alliteration and/or rhyme scheme and that is how I would like to read it! The meter and alliteration take some getting used to, and some of the words used in the translation are archaic, but it is well worth the effort. There is so much more passion, sorrow, and artistry in these eddic tellings than the plain prose versions. This old Norse poetry covers subject matter ranging from Norse cosmology to squabbles among the gods to the Volsung stories. I found some of the didactic poems tedious (I don't really care how many ways there are to say "sky" or what kind of things you can ward against with runes), though some did give interesting insight into Viking culture. The narrative lays in all their heroism, tragedy, and brutality more than made up for any tedious bits.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These translations are more poetic than accurate. Some people prefer accuracy over aesthetics, but these myths were meant to come to life with the fire of the allfather's word-mead. I highly recommend this edition to Asatruar and other heathen types.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago