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The vibrant Old Norse poems in this th century collection recapture the ancient oral traditions of the Norsemen These mythological poems include the Voluspo, one of the broadest literary conceptions of the world s creation and ultimate destruction the Lokasenna, a comedy bursting with vivid characterizations and Before reading Bellows translation of The Poetic Edda The Mythological Poems, most of my poor knowlegde of Norse mythology originated,or less, from sources like Wikipedia.Prose Edda or maybe even a moderen day retelling of Norse myths might had been a better choice as an introduction to the topic recomented by both people and common sense , but screw it, I wanted to read the original poems before I changed my mind Totally worth it Sure, it was hard to get into and I often had to put Before reading Bellows translation of The Poetic Edda The Mythological Poems, most of my poor knowlegde of Norse mythology originated,or less, from sources like Wikipedia.Prose Edda or maybe even a moderen day retelling of Norse myths might had been a better choice as an introduction to the topic recomented by both people and common sense , but screw it, I wanted to read the original poems before I changed my mind Totally worth it Sure, it was hard to get into and I often had to put it down, but while reading it I found myself, despite the fact that some poems have been preserved only in very poor shape and that the others are not missing on their share of interpolations and gaps, honestly enjoying it Everything Odin Othin in this translation pretending to be someone else most of the time, Thor calling other gods unmanly Loki and womanish his father Odin in disguise , somehow self contradicting world view of the Vikings, everpresent vision of the end and hey, even lists of names and events were not that horrible.Although Norse mythology is not as easily accessible as Greek and the myths are not always preserved enough to be comprehensive, it definitely deserves a chance from any mythology lover Let me disclaim I have not read this cover to cover, because frankly the long poems which are basically lists of names are pretty boring But there are some seriously choice stories in here, if you re willing to flip through all of it to find the awesomest ones Aweseomest is now a word, don t argue with me The Lokasenna is definitely my favourite basically it s a story about Loki, who attends a feast with the gods and gets thrown out for killing a servant He comes back to tell them all th Let me disclaim I have not read this cover to cover, because frankly the long poems which are basically lists of names are pretty boring But there are some seriously choice stories in here, if you re willing to flip through all of it to find the awesomest ones Aweseomest is now a word, don t argue with me The Lokasenna is definitely my favourite basically it s a story about Loki, who attends a feast with the gods and gets thrown out for killing a servant He comes back to tell them all that he thinks very lowly of them, in much graphic detail He s in the middle of telling Sif that she s a hussy cause she slept with him, when her husband arrives and he finally decides he shouldn t be badmouthing Thor s girl.And while it s supposed to be a result of and punishment for his arranging the death of Baldr, I like the idea that when the gods chain him up in a cave with his son s intestines, it s actually because of his smack talking Them s fightin words and all that.So, yes I have given this four stars not because it is four stars over all, but because if you trawl through and find the really entertaining stories, they re awesome Go forth and read The Indigenous Germanic tribes passed down these myths through oral storytelling tradition, and I suppose they could be around ten thousand years, old if not older The origin of them is very complex and shrouded in mystery.These stories are funny, weird, fascinating, and deeply moving and were not just stories to these people but their religion and understanding of the world, which is very important to remember.My favorite version of these myths is Neil Gaiman s Norse Mythology, but another ver The Indigenous Germanic tribes passed down these myths through oral storytelling tradition, and I suppose they could be around ten thousand years, old if not older The origin of them is very complex and shrouded in mystery.These stories are funny, weird, fascinating, and deeply moving and were not just stories to these people but their religion and understanding of the world, which is very important to remember.My favorite version of these myths is Neil Gaiman s Norse Mythology, but another version worth reading, is Henry Adams Bellows translation.As I was reading through this fascinating and amazing book, I found the virtues of courage, faith and hope, welling up within me, and, like C.S.Lewis, I experienced the sehnsucht joy which led him to Christ, numerous times that transcendent longing roused by the beauty and glory of nature, music, literature, art, and love I highly recommend this book If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world C.S.Lewis This is the scholarly work on the poetic Eddas with the Old Icelandic poem on one side of the page and the English translation on the other side followed by commentary at the end of the poem The book is an amazing feat of scholarship but it is not for everyone I almost did not read it but I am glad I did it is well worth the effort If the book has a problem it has been out of print for forty years and Volumes 2,3, and 4 are not readily available and are very expensive onI guess they This is the scholarly work on the poetic Eddas with the Old Icelandic poem on one side of the page and the English translation on the other side followed by commentary at the end of the poem The book is an amazing feat of scholarship but it is not for everyone I almost did not read it but I am glad I did it is well worth the effort If the book has a problem it has been out of print for forty years and Volumes 2,3, and 4 are not readily available and are very expensive onI guess they qualify as rare books It s weird to give a star rating to this In mythological and cultural terms it s like rating The Bible But hey, despite whatever my personal experiences and thoughts with Christianity, I d give that 5 stars too.So yes, 5 stars for cultural relevance, posterity and overall influence A must read for any fan of JRR Tolkien, and indeed any high fantasy.Don t expect to sit back and relax your way through these poems though most of them don t make a lick of sense to our modern reading practices w It s weird to give a star rating to this In mythological and cultural terms it s like rating The Bible But hey, despite whatever my personal experiences and thoughts with Christianity, I d give that 5 stars too.So yes, 5 stars for cultural relevance, posterity and overall influence A must read for any fan of JRR Tolkien, and indeed any high fantasy.Don t expect to sit back and relax your way through these poems though most of them don t make a lick of sense to our modern reading practices without some careful picking through Worth it though Good Not as poetic as I expected, but, according to the commentary, it s been difficult to translate the meter of the Norse poetry. How does one rate a collection of stories that were sung or told by word of mouth in the 7th 12th century Scandinavia This text has influenced culture and Pagans This text also displays the clash between Paganism and Christianity One can also see the influence it had on Snorri Sturluson As well as Anglo Saxon literature Word of caution The Poetic Edda is not an easy read It is full of lengthy footnotes The Poetic Edda is the precursor to Snorri s Edda If one doesn t know anything about How does one rate a collection of stories that were sung or told by word of mouth in the 7th 12th century Scandinavia This text has influenced culture and Pagans This text also displays the clash between Paganism and Christianity One can also see the influence it had on Snorri Sturluson As well as Anglo Saxon literature Word of caution The Poetic Edda is not an easy read It is full of lengthy footnotes The Poetic Edda is the precursor to Snorri s Edda If one doesn t know anything about Norse mythology then perhaps starting with an easier version would be better The introduction discusses spelling, pronunciation, spacing, what the Edda is, and locations where these stories developed Below is a summary of each story included in The Poetic Edda Voluspo Odin is disguised as a traveler and meets a volva A volva is a witch wise woman oracle She is a giant and knows the man is Odin She informs Odin that Asgard will fall Typical apocalypse story Basically it s Ragnarok with a creation story in the beginning and then destruction and chaos Hovamol Odin s failure to romance a giant s daughter thereby making him temporarily bitter toward females Even though Odin was trying to trick said giant in order to steal the mead of poetry In addition this story is how Odin gained the knowledge of the runes Vafthruthnismol Odin decides to eliminate an intellectual competitor so that he can be the only omniscient being He challenges a giant to a mental battle This giant is the only threat Frigga knows can destroy Odin Odin pretends to be a human therefore misleading the giant into believing that defeating him will be an easy victory This is also another creation story with a battle of wits Grimnismol Odin and Frigga are bored and spy on Midgard Odin wagers that he hasfollowers than his wife Frigga decides to take her husband s challenge and wins.SkirnismolFreyr is infatuated with a fire giant s daughter He becomes so depressed that all of Vanaheim begins to degrade and rot His servant Skirnir decides to woo Gerda in order to bring order back to Vanaheim Skirnir asks for Freyr s sword and his stealth so he can not be detected in Jotunheim Skirnir threatens to decapitate Gerda with Freyr s weapon if she doesn t come with him Ensuring that Gerda will have no choice, but to come with Skirnir to Vanaheim Hmmm This seems vaguely familiar Where have I seen this before A stubborn, young man willing to please his elder on a mission Decapitating women It s Gawain Or to beprecise,this story influenced Gawain and his stories Harbarthsljoth Thor is on a long journey at sea He is vexed by the ferryman An impatient Thor battles the ferryman The ferryman is actually Odin disguised as a human in order to teach Thor patience and humility Odin is a troll And they say Loki is the trickster Hymiskvitha Thor goes fishing I m not kidding This is basically it Lokasenna Loki isn t invited to a wedding on Asgard, he crashes it anyway Hilarity ensues Loki discusses the hypocrisy of all the other Deities and they kick him out for speaking the truth.Thryskvitha Thor s hammer is stolen by a dwarf As ransom the dwarf demands the sun, the moon, and Freya Loki helps Thor get his hammer back Cross dressing and gender bending occurs Who needs social constructs when you re a God Alvissmol Another horny dwarf who wants a goddess This time it s Sif and Thor s daughter Thor refuses to give his daughter away Thor challenges the dwarf to a philosophical debate Sunlight kills dwarfs Thor feels bad that the dwarf will die in the morning because he s enjoying the conversation and company Baldrs Draumar Baldr dreams his death numerous times Frigga scared for her son s safety asks her husband to prevent it Odin travels to Helheim disguised as a human in order to talk to the Volva Once again Ragnarok is discussed Rigsthula Establishment of human classes in Midgard HyndluljothFreya brags to a giantess about how fantastic her human lover is SvipdagsmolSearch for the maiden in the circle of fire Find the girl Marry said girl Svipdagsmol is the premise for Siegfried Sigurd Volume one of the Oxford edition of the Poetic Edda contains the texts and English translations of four of the best heroic poems in the collection The four poems focus on the fall of the Burgundians and the Gothic Ermanaric legend The texts included are the Atlakvi a The Lay of Atli , Atlam l hin groenlenzku The Greenland Ballad of Atli, The Greenlandish Lay of Atli, The Greenlandic Poem of Atli , Gu r narhv t Gudr n s Inciting, Gudr n s Lament, The Whetting of Gudr n and the Ham ism l Volume one of the Oxford edition of the Poetic Edda contains the texts and English translations of four of the best heroic poems in the collection The four poems focus on the fall of the Burgundians and the Gothic Ermanaric legend The texts included are the Atlakvi a The Lay of Atli , Atlam l hin groenlenzku The Greenland Ballad of Atli, The Greenlandish Lay of Atli, The Greenlandic Poem of Atli , Gu r narhv t Gudr n s Inciting, Gudr n s Lament, The Whetting of Gudr n and the Ham ism l The Ballad of Hamdir, The Lay of Hamdir Each poem is accompanied by Ursula Dronke s masterful introductions and commentaries In these sections dronke analyses each poem line by line and looks into the dating of the poems, structure and muchThese sections show her extensive knowledge of both the Norse and German versions of the Burgundian and Ermanaric sagas I particularly enjoyed the sections where Dronke gives translations of the historical sources on the fall of the Burgundians and the Low German ballad Koninc Ermenrikes Dot This book is so enjoyable, I think a reread will be on the cards before long The only bad points are the price and lack of a glossary Oxford should sort this out and give the book a wider readership With all the interest in the Eddic poems at the moment, I m sure halving the price would help it sell This second volume of Oxford s edition of the Poetic Edda is again the product of Ursula Dronke and contains the Norse texts and English translation of five key mythological poems taken from the Eddic corpus The poems collected in this volume include V lusp Baldrs draumar is given as an appendix , R gs ula, V lundarkvi a, Lokasenna and Sk rnism l.The texts and translations of the poems themselves only take up 50 or so pages, the rest of the book is taken up by introductions, commentaries and This second volume of Oxford s edition of the Poetic Edda is again the product of Ursula Dronke and contains the Norse texts and English translation of five key mythological poems taken from the Eddic corpus The poems collected in this volume include V lusp Baldrs draumar is given as an appendix , R gs ula, V lundarkvi a, Lokasenna and Sk rnism l.The texts and translations of the poems themselves only take up 50 or so pages, the rest of the book is taken up by introductions, commentaries and notes to the texts In these sections Dronke brings the weight of modern critical interpretation, linguistics and comparative studies to her aid in interpreting these poems The detail in these sections is staggering throughout with Dronke elucidating in minute detail both philological and manuscript problems and then interpreting the meanings and structures of the texts Just the sheer breadth of Dronke s scholarship in these sections guarantees the work nothing less than five stars The one that I really enjoyed was V lundarkvi a, I loved how she compared and attempts to trace the origins of the legend various comparative versions that are contained in the Waltharius, Thidrekssaga and other medieval texts.Having said that, the book isn t without some minor issues Dronke s interpretations can feel a little romantic and forced at times, but nevertheless still intriguing I m not sure if I agree with her use of a composite text of the V lusp , maybe it would have benefited from an edition of all the versions presented separately Another point I don t fully grasp is how she works out what are interpolations in the text, but I ve never fully understood how the practice of an editor singling out certain passages in the text and discarding them as interpolations when all it seems to me is that the text doesn t fit with the editors interpretation This is a practice long discarded in both Old English and Medieval German Studies and I can t see why it still persist amongst Old Norse scholars GLOSSARY, where s the glossary All in all, this is an excellent work with a few minor issues and then a major issue of a missing glossary