L'edda Poétique
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L'edda Poétique

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  2,933 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Nés d'une lointaine tradition orale, les textes de l'Edda Poétique, traduits ici dans leur intégralité, constituent, avec les autres textes scandinaves réunis dans cet ouvrage, un pan capital de notre patrimoine indo-européen. A plus d'un millénaire de distance, ils nous permettent de découvrir la richesse de l'âme germanique ancienne.
Loin d'être des barbares, ceux qui pas...more
688 pages
Published April 2002 by Fayard (first published 1200)
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Wood Wroth
PLEASE NOTE: Due to poor organization of translations on this website, I must note that this is a review of Andy Orchard's translation of the "Poetic Edda", which he has titled "The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore".

Being familiar with Andy Orchard's handbook on Norse mythology ("Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend", 1997) and finding it to be a nice middle ground between Rudolf Simek's deeply flawed handbook and the limited scope of John Lindow's own, it was with high hopes that I waited for...more
May 26, 2009 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: native speakers of Anglo-Saxon, etins
The introduction states that the Edda is "a repository, in poetic form" of mythology and heroic lore "bodying forth both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times." It is also, for the most part, boring as fuck. It may be an interesting read if you are a fan of English before it got corrupted by all those French and Latin borrowings, or don't mind stopping several times a page to find out the meaning of an obscure or terribly archaic w...more
John Snow
The Poetic Edda is not a book you read from beginning to end like a novel. The Poetic Edda contains 35 poems, some of which are very complicated. I usually read and study one or a few poems at a time, put the book aside, and then get back to it later. But the more times I read the poems, the more I appreciate their poetic qualities and the glimpses they give into the deep mysteries and wisdom of Norse mythology.

Together with The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, The Poetic Edda is the best medieva...more
It turns out that I have a real thing for Scandinavian literature. Reading this and the sagas has made me a little obsessed with the idea of visiting Iceland. It’s hard for me to separate my thoughts on the eddas from my thoughts on the sagas and the most recent Sigrid Undset novel I’m reading, but I’m going to try to keep everything to it’s proper review space.

Alright. The Elder Edda (or Poetic Edda) is the written version of the oral-tradition base material from which the later Younger/Prose...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
This is a massive read. I expected it to be, however not only has it exceeded expectations it has totally scrambled them as well as my original goals in reading this book.

This collection is indeed a treasure trove of mythic Norse verse, it does indeed give a lot of insight into mythology lore and culture just as the cover claims it will.

The translator, Hollander also gives us a truly astounding amount of scholarly information, footnotes and explanations without with a large amount of this prose...more
Cymru Roberts
The gods of antiquity are our super heroes of today. Marvel has transformed most of the Norse gods into comic book characters, for better or for worse I don't know. 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, encompassing the begin...more

Introductory Material: iv-xliv (x)

Mythological Poems
Voluspa: 5-14 (x)
Havamal: 15-39 (x)
Vafthrudnusmal: 39-49 (x)
Grimnismal: 49-59 (x)
For Skirmis: 59-67
Harbardsljod: 67-76 (x)
Hymiskvuda: 77-82
Lokasenna: 82-96
Thrymskvida: 96-101
Volundarkvida: 101-108
Alvissmal: 108-113

Heroic Poems
Helgakvida Hundingsbana in fyrri: 117-125
Helgakvida Hjorvardssonar: 126-135
Helgakvida Hundingsbana onnur: 136-144
Fra dauda Sinfjotla: 145
Gripisspa: 146-153
Reginsmal: 154-159
Fafnismal: 160-168
Sigrdrifumal: 169-175
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 for the faint...more
Jan 21, 2011 Eirene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love poetry of the kind like Beowulf
" So weave we weird sisters our war winning woof..." I did not start out to read Old Norse poetry. I was looking up something regarding the Valkyrie for a piece I was writing and I came across this one line. Needless to say, the spectacular alliteration got me. I picked up this book from the library and read through it. Found in these poems are the stories of the Valkyrie, Jörmunrekkr, king of the Goths, the Nibelung and, if I recall correctly, even references to Attila the Hun. The structure is...more
Helen Francini
Anyone who likes Tolkien needs to read the Eddas. Also anyone who likes mythology, good stories, etc. If you think the Vikings were only into raiding England (and anywhere else they landed), battles, and mayhem in general, think again. These tales contain plenty of violence, but also far more beauty and imagination than most people realize the ancient Norse culture possessed. Greece may have given the world democracy and Rome the Pax Romana, but in all their myths and legends there is nothing li...more
Richard Abbott
I decided to classify The Elder Edda, translated by Andy Orchard, as historical fiction, on the grounds that the tales within it probably served a similar function in Icelandic culture – and general Norse culture – as that genre serves in ours. Certainly the content moves progressively from more obviously mythical, where the main focus is on the doings of gods and supernatural beings, towards history, where specific leaders and their followers are vying for political and military supremacy in a...more
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...more
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.
I totally didn't use my essay as an excuse to read this... This is a source for Snorri's Edda, so of course, it was appropriate reading. It's a bit harder to read than Snorri's Edda, I think, although that's partially the translation. The translator translated the names, which is a bit weird to read.

Fun seeing how much this mythology has influenced fantasy writing.
Paul Haspel
The poetry of the Poetic Edda probably reads best in the original Old Norse; but in case your Old Norse proficiency is not what it once was, this translation by Lee Hollander of the University of Texas is a good way to get to know these intriguing poems from the world of the Vikings. Hollander’s introduction is scholarly – quite scholarly – with extensive attention to the metric and potential musical values of Old Norse poetic syllabication; if all you wanted was to get to Thor swinging his hamm...more
Kevin Mcniece
Love me some alliterative verse. These are some great stories which provide a great background for everything from Wagner to Marvel. The stories are great, and the verse is simple, direct, and powerful.

I read the Oxford World Classics edition that was recently published first. I've since found better translations of the verse itself, but the notes in the OWC edition really did a great job of filling in the background I was missing. These poems were written for people already familiar with Norse...more
famous for being one of the earliest plagiarisms of professor Tolkien's LotR.
An excellent with copious useful footnotes.
It had been a long time since I read any kind of medieval poetry and this is a great lead in to get psyched up for my impending vacation to Pennsic xxxix. I was expecting Ragnarok at the end, admittedly… the book seems to end alluding to the Twilight of the Gods, but in the last poem does not mention it at all. That was unexpected. The formatting of the footnotes was annoying but other than that I really enjoyed this work and haven’t felt so accomplished upon finishing it since I read Melville’s...more
I read The Prose Edda some while back and was influenced heavily by it, so naturally I had to read The Poetic Edda. This is a different beastie. It's not what I would call light reading; it took me a long time to get through it. It's big, complex, loaded with footnotes (which I soon discovered were worth picking through if I wanted to follow what was going on) and dry, professorial commentaries on the origins, quality, verse patterns and completeness of each lay. The glossary in the back was han...more
What's really cool here is looking at how Auden and Taylor's translations differ from Page's in Chronicles of the Vikings. Page claims to be sticking fairly rigidly to the original, whereas Auden and Taylor acknowledge that they've changed things a bit (in some cases, really quite a lot) to keep with what they see as the sense of the originals. Course, without being able to read the Edda in the original, I can't say how accurate they've been or how their 'sense' differs from mine, but the poems...more
I bought this book several years ago and by several I mean many but never got around to reading it in its entirely. I thought it was about time I did that, so.. well, I did. Although it took me ages to finish it, that is in no way a reflection on the quality of the book itself - more my ability to be distracted, etc. So, let's get on with the review.

As someone not terribly familiar with Norse myth, I came away from the book feeling that I understood the essence of it a bit better. Having recentl...more
I was fortunate to have recently read the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths before I tackled this more challenging read, which the D'Aulaires had cited as their source. The University of Texas, where he was Professor of Germanic Languages, in 1962, published Professor Hollander’s revised translation. The Edda, literally grandmother in Old Norse, is a collection of poems by different poets arranged to tell the stories of the Norse gods and heroes. “Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably d...more
Aug 15, 2008 Paula rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Norse mythology fanatics only
Recommended to Paula by: History, it has been lovingly preserved for centuries, that's re
I enjoy reading heroic literature, and this is its earliest incarnation. Go back to a time when loyalty, honor and strength of character really meant something. Men were men in those days, and ladies were as courageous as their men. The women could even be bloodthirsty warriors, just like the men. They called them Valkeries.

This may not be to everyone's taste. You would have to have loved reading L'Morte D'Arthur (King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as told in the days before Shakespe...more
Edit: In case of any confusion, this review refers to Patricia Ann Terry's 1969 translation of the Elder Edda, titled "Poems of the Vikings".

A fine poetic working of these old Norse poems. I'm not in a position to judge the accuracy of the translation, but it reads very well in modern English, and despite the ready availability of other mod. Eng. editions I haven't found one that seems to capture the tone as well as this.

There isn't much in the way of scholarly apparatus here (hence the 4 star...more
I cannot review something I like this much. And I adore old Norse mythology and literature. It's the same with Tolkien's works. How do you review something you adore so much? It's impossible. I get lost in it, enjoy it with all my senses. It takes me to a different time in a different world. I cannot possibly evaluate something so magical. Amazing stuff.
This classic text compiles many of the great poems of the Viking age; poems that give insight into the Viking culture, myths and society. In fact this is one of the major primary sources we have for the Viking myths. This version keeps as close to their original peotic form as possible. The translator does an excellent job of annotating the poems with introductions and footnotes that help the modern English speaker relate to these tales.

This text is for anyone who is interested in Viking myth a...more
The first time I read this, I picked up the Andy Orchard translation, and later read a few of the other, older translations. It was a good idea for me; often I have difficulty reading epic poetry and understanding what exactly is going on, and I'd heard that this version dropped a lot of the grandiose language, making it a lot clearer. Despite the inaccuracies pointed out by other reviewers, I was pleased I read it first. That said, definitely go and read at least one other translation to compar...more
Definitely harder going than the Prose Edda, and seems to have less of the actual mythology in it, except for the Flyting of Loki. But I hadn't realised it does include the poems that are the basis of the Ring Cycle.
It's kind of hard to give this book a rating, since I didn't read it for fun. It was purely for research, and anything research and reference related is only as good as the source material. It was interesting to read all the poems and get a glimpse at life and culture and attitudes of the vikings back then, or at least when it was written down. The one thing that bugged me were the literal English translations of some of the names. For example, Freyja's boar's name is literally given as "Battleb...more
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Ancient World: Ancient Scandinavia 1 20 Dec 05, 2012 03:06AM  
  • The Prose Edda
  • Gods and Myths of Northern Europe
  • Seven Viking Romances
  • Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories
  • Viking Age Iceland
  • Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs
  • The Vikings
  • The Norse Myths (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
  • Early Irish Myths and Sagas
  • Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas
  • A History of the Vikings
  • Celtic Heritage
  • A History of Pagan Europe
  • Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer
  • The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings
  • Futhark: Handbook of Rune Magic
  • Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History
  • Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
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