The Poetic Edda
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I am inspired by the tales of glorious gods and I was interested in any overlap that may occur between the Norse and Greek pantheons. This text met and exceeded my expectations, but contained many lays that would only appeal to a completist or college-level student of Norse mythology. The lays are epic in scope, encompassi The gods of antiquity are our super heroes of today. The lays are epic in scope, encompassing the beginning and ending of the cosmos, but relayed in sparse language.
The ljothahottr meter and minimal prose leaves much to the imagination, which is good because no one could ever really describe the vastness of the events. This also shows what an amazing job Hollander has done in translating. The book as a compendium is more like a grimoire than a simple bound collection of poems. Hollander's intentional use of multiple translations -- some English, some Old Norse, some a combination of the two -- makes reading this book almost like learning another language, one that is beautiful off the tongue and surprisingly filled with cognates.
Hollander is known for aiming to preserve the style of the Old Norse poems, and I think he has succeeded. I was really drawn into the stories. That being said, when the lays drifted from those concerning the gods to those concerning the founding kings of Scandinavia I wasn't as interested. The background information provided by Hollander along with google and a dictionary app close by is considerable but helps you understand the text.
The more you read the more what you have already read makes sense. You can take it as far as you want. The metres used by the skalds, the court poets of the Norse chieftains, were among the most complex and difficult metres ever used regularly by poets.
The Poetic Edda
As such, the success of a translation of the Elder Edda should maybe be best judged by how well it conveys the complexity of the original. Andy Orchard's version is vigorous and contemporary, doing a good job of conveying the meaning of the original verse without attempting much in the way of replicating their structure. This may be an inevitable The metres used by the skalds, the court poets of the Norse chieftains, were among the most complex and difficult metres ever used regularly by poets. This may be an inevitable trade-off - I am not able to read the originals - but the ideal of course would be a translation that does both.
I thought I would enjoy this more than I actually did. Luckily, I already knew about the legends in Norse mythology or I would have given up, I definitely prefer prose to poetry. Aug 07, Lancelot Schaubert rated it it was amazing. Where else can you find a joint source for half of Tolkien's names and a good chunk of Marvel comics? The Poetic Edda is the crux of Norse mythology and I won't presume to aspire to heavy or valued literary criticism here.
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You need this book as source material for your own stories, as enjoyment for life, and as a platform upon which to build an understanding of modern Where else can you find a joint source for half of Tolkien's names and a good chunk of Marvel comics? You need this book as source material for your own stories, as enjoyment for life, and as a platform upon which to build an understanding of modern stories.
He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about "isms" and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said. The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility.
The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worh acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire. Wherever you find a little study circle of Christian laity you can be almost certain that they are studying not St.
Luke or St. Paul or St. Berdyaev or M. Maritain or M. Niebuhr or Miss Sayers or even myself.
The Poetic Edda Index
Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet.
A new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in a position to judge it.
Often it cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of a good many other modern books. If you join at eleven o'clock a conversation which began at eight you will often not see the real bearing of what is said. In the same way sentences in a modern book which look quite ordinary may be directed at some other book; in this way you may be led to accept what you would have indignantly rejected if you knew its real significance.
The only safety is to have a standard of plain, central Christianity "mere Christianity" as Baxter called it which puts the controversies of the moment in their proper perspective. Such a standard can be acquired only from the old books. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. So read it, and then come back and let's discuss its influence. When you consider the fact that pre-Christian Scandinavian cultures, at least the ones responsible for the stories written down in the Edda, believed the world was created from the dismembered body of a giant, then you begin to realize that it's not going to be a trip to Mr.
Roger's Neighborhood. Even the gods are doomed, and when Odin, boss of the gods, is constantly trying to find secret wisdom to avert the prophesied battle that will kill the gods, you know you're screwed. Not fo When you consider the fact that pre-Christian Scandinavian cultures, at least the ones responsible for the stories written down in the Edda, believed the world was created from the dismembered body of a giant, then you begin to realize that it's not going to be a trip to Mr.
Not for the faint of heart, these poems depict acts of brutality committed in the name of honor, or more accurately, vengence. What do you do when your husband kills your brothers? You kill the kids you had together and feed them to him as soup. For all the fatalism, though, there is a pervading sense that you cannot escape Fate, so you might as well live life to the fullest, and eat, drink mead and sex it up when you can, even when you know that the King who is inviting you to his celebration is planning on massacring you and all of your companions.
Dec 07, Eric Tanafon rated it liked it. Not the best or the worst translation. Sometimes Hollander's focus on poetic considerations can be irritating, when it means he uses unnecessarily archaic diction or flat out substitutes a word that's very different than the actual translation to his credit, he mentions doing this in a couple of instances, but that makes you wonder how many other times he did that and didn't bother footnoting it.
But, as Yogi Berra remarked in a slightly different context, even imperfect translation Not the best or the worst translation. But, as Yogi Berra remarked in a slightly different context, even imperfect translations of the Edda are good. The Voluspa is the first poem of the Edda. It tells of the birth of the world, the giants and the gods, a few things in their lives, and then Ragnarok.
It is one of the most beautiful, poignant, and sad things I've ever read. The world is out to get you and everyone dies, that's what Norse mythology teaches us. I had the great fortune of getting a copy of Ursula Dronke's Voluspa and it is superior in ev The Voluspa is the first poem of the Edda.
I had the great fortune of getting a copy of Ursula Dronke's Voluspa and it is superior in every way as far as I can tell, knowing little about it besides what my emotions tell me. Apr 01, Stephen rated it really liked it.
translated by Henry Adams Bellows
If for no other reason, this translation is remarkable for its scrupulous adherence to English words of Germanic origin - I cannot recall a single instance of finding a Greek or Latin root. The language and meter are deliciously archaic, and give a feel for the grammatical richness which has now largely fallen away from our modern tongue.
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Really interesting! But hard going So many names and mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and gods and names and more names and places. Hard to get your head around Better review to come! It was really informative especially all commentaties added by the translator and the whole thing had it's old story charm.
Definitely big 4,5 from me, maybe because I had to read it quickly and didn't sank much into the stories. A historical gold mine of stories. This ended up more interesting than I anticipated. You have to take your time by looking at the notes, but once you have your head around whose who, the stories unravel themselves in true old Norse fashion. I especially enjoyed the Mythology poems and loved learning all about the gods.
Only reason not a 5 star is because of the nature of the text as originating in manuscripts. Aug 24, Deborah Ideiosepius rated it really liked it Shelves: historic-fact , europe , useful. This is a massive read.