Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wanderer's Havamal” as Want to Read:
The Wanderer's Havamal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wanderer's Havamal

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The Wanderer's Hávamál features Jackson Crawford’s complete, carefully revised English translation of the Old Norse poem Hávamál, newly annotated for this volume, together with facing original Old Norse text sourced directly from the Codex Regius manuscript.

Rounding out the volume are Crawford’s classic Cowboy Hávamál and translations of other related texts central to unde
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 20th 2019 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wanderer's Havamal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wanderer's Havamal

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  217 ratings  ·  37 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Wanderer's Havamal
Noah Goats
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love The Wanderer's Havamal. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the ethics of Vikings. Crawford's translation is crystal clear and his introduction is helpful in providing a foundation for understanding the poem.

It almost reads like a sort of Viking book of scripture, laying out what a man should and shouldn't do. But the reader soon realizes that it never seems to be saying "you need to do this or that because regardless of the consequences to you it's the intrinsically moral action," it'
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. Really helps understand the choices made to translate the text, and enough context to get a feel for the time it was written.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. It's the 2nd translation I've read of the Havamal.
I mostly enjoyed the two additional poems that were added.
great poems
Colin Darby
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Original on blog:

I am incapable of offering an unbiased review of anything by Jackson Crawford. I first became aware of his work back in 2016 or so, when I first started playing in the SCA and his Old Norse work first came across my Facebook feed. Ironically enough, Crawford's own words played a part in my decision to turn off that same Facebook feed (original text from Crawford's website here):

You will talk yourself into trouble
if you don’t think before
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore
The Wanderer’s Hávamál is a modern translation of the text prepared by Dr. Jackson Crawford, a Youtube celebrity of sorts, who's online channel "features expert information on all aspects of Old Norse language, myth, culture, and sagas, plus related subjects and some other things just for fun." (Jackson Crawford's Old Norse Channel). My own awareness of his expertise and celebrity was inversely obtained: I came across the title online, ordered and read it, before realizing there even was a YouTu ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the commentary and the facing translation. I'll have to go back and study it in more detail.

And "The Cowboy Hávamál" (recasting the translation into his grandfather's distinctive voice) is just wonderful. Sample:

5. You ought to have
a damn sight of learnin',
before you step outside that door.
It's a lot easier to stay at home,
but no one'll listen to you if you stay there.

23. You should lie down to sleep
and not think about tomorrow;
you'll take care of it then.
If you worry at night, you get
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a translation of a portion of the Norse Poetic Edda wherein Odin gives a sort of guide to living. This translation has not only a copy of the original text but also two translations thereof from the old Norse. There is a large amount of discussion on linguistics and the larger work. Now, rating this was tricky. I’ll be honest, probably over half of the linguistic talk went right over my head. However, I’ve never studied old Norse much and outside my native language and a touch of French ...more
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is a translation of the Old Norse poem Hávamál from the Codex Regius manuscript.

Hávamál is a poem offering advice from the wise, attributed to the god Odin. The only extant copy survives in the Codex Regius manuscript, which contains poems about the Old Norse gods and heroes, written down in the late 1300s in Iceland. Linguist analysis suggests Hávamál may have been composed in the 10th or even 9th Century possibly in Norway. It consists of 164 stanzas and is made up of five distinct parts,
Megan Martucci
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Crawford's orthographic and emotional translation of Hávamál allows us not only a look into the gods of old, but also the opportunity to brandish Old Norse and Scandinavian wisdom and ethics in modern times. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this translation, other than the author's unquestionable mastery of the language, is how accessible he makes this knowledge for readers of all academic backgrounds. He gives credit when it is due, and often refers back to his translation of the Poetic Ed ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr Crawford makes reading this version easier and nice flowing . I first encounter Havamal in my Tolkien class, a few months prior to taking Dr Crawford's Icelandic Sagas class . Having read another older translation of the Havamal and Saga of Volsungs before his class , I can assure you Dr Crawford writing and translation is ideal to understand the themes and vision of the norse and Icelandic culture . His version reaches a greater audience and he ,himself adds his own interesting features such ...more
Gavin D.
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the Havamal and Odins wisdom. being able to read the words of the wanderer in the modern age is a splendid gift. The poems are many and great to read in their English translation with a nifty Norse translation for reference. Having watched many of Jackson Crawford's videos to learn more about the Norsemen having a book I can read as well as watching his videos is great. It's nice to have a book I can study on my own instead of having to rely completely on his videos even if they are grea ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Crawford did a fantastic job in translating the Old Norse text into English, and the side by side comparison, along with extensive notes makes this a worthwhile purchase. The book contains a nice bonus in additional related texts, as well as part of the Hávamál translated into his cowboy-grandfathers speech. This is a wonderful addition to any library.

The physical book is small and lightweight, so it is easy to carry with you on those hikes in the wild where you'd like to sit a moment and r
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My opinion of this book is likely influenced by my fascination and obsession with Northern European cultures and history, likely because my ancestry has a firm tie to this region. This book captures your thought and imagination. I kept finding myself daydreaming about sitting in a long house, drinking mead and hearing tales of Norse tales. Great book! I plan to take it backpacking with me this summer and reading it beside a blazing campfire.
Quin Herron
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was shorter than I expected, and much more focused on the Norse language than I expected. It’s a scholarly work but it’s very inviting to anyone who might have interest in the Norse language, and would be a good introduction with its direct tone and helpful side-by-side translation. There isn’t much of a story, but if you want to feel like you’re sitting down by the fire with Odin, this is the book for you.
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A pretty simple book containing proverbal poetry which then lapses into story-telling and less concrete topics. Some of the ideas presented are outdated for the modern reader, but most are still very applicable. At the end of the book is a localization written by the author intended to imitate his grandfather's speech patterns called the Cowboy Havamal. Personally I like the original translation better but I'm sure there's some that would like the Cowboy Havamal more. ...more
Chromium Kitty
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knowledge, paganism
Rating a book like this is difficult. It's not a modern work and was composed to share wisdom.

While some of what's written isn't altogether acceptable to some people in our modern times, it was more or less how people lived then and we can't really judge based on our current moral ethics.

I do feel like most of the sayings in this book are useful for us even today. Anybody can gain something from reading this, whether or not they're Norse, heathen, or pagan. The wisdom is universal.
Oliver Shields
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wisdom from cultures past has never been more easily accessible, that's the beauty. It might be my next Socmas (Socrates replacing Christ in Christmas) text to select from. Advice that I can hand out to my friends, "here, this is from a thousand years ago". Before globalisation (Valerie Hansen's book The Year 1000), yet much of the advice still held in 1200 and, upon critical reflection, still holds in our globalised 21st century. ...more
Jason Bellis
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid edition of the Hávamál with plenty of additional commentary. Jackson Crawford knows his stuff and lays it out plainly in an easy to digest format. From his translation, his commentary, or the accurate old Norse version it's all here. A good addition to my collection of old Norse texts and definitely will revisit it again and hopefully I can read the old Norse text as well! ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to Norse myth. Simple translations that are true. This isn’t much of a literary experience as much as it is purely scholarly and digestible. Crawford is one of the top minds in the modern study of Norse myth so skipping his works would be a sin if you’re interested in in this topic.
Thaheera Althaf
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely the best text of the Havamal I have found so far, and it is especially helpful since I am trying to learn Old Norse, and Dr Crawford's translations try their best to stay true to the original Old Norse. ...more
Matthew Russell
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The book is an excellent example of Dr. Crawford's scholarship, but for my money, the Cowboy Havamal is the most engaging translation I've read of the Gestapattr, perhaps because through Dr. Crawford's grandfather's voice, I hear my own grandfather's. ...more
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Jackson Crawford outdoes himself again.
Lewis Dragisic
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really outstanding.
Despite the text being over a thousand years old; it's poignancy is still evident and prevalent to a modern audience.
Highly recommend.
Jorge Williams
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will be re-reading this forever till it is memorised.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was read most quickly
Line by line
Verse by verse
All-father's wisdom
Clear and plain
Like a mouth upon a face.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A splendid translation. Dr. Crawford is a modern Ođin, providing wisdom from his intensive and impressive studies.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the diluted down version from the larger version codex regius, the teachings and wisdom of Odin
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really good; particularly liked the "Cowboy Havamal" addition. ...more
jenny Veitch
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

Explicit, easy read.very informative. I would recommend this book to. Anyone who is interested in Norse mythology, Odin in particular.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book under wrong name 1 9 Nov 21, 2019 05:33AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
  • The Saga of the Volsungs, with the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok
  • The Prose Edda
  • A Nearly Normal Family
  • Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
  • The Way of Fire and Ice: The Living Tradition of Norse Paganism
  • The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion
  • Njal's Saga
  • A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru
  • The Witches Are Coming
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
  • 11/22/63
  • The Sagas of Icelanders
  • Living the Twelve Traditions in Today's World: Principles Over Personality
  • Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World
  • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Down and Out in Paris and London
  • The Saga of the Volsungs
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Discover lots of new and upcoming nonfiction reads this spring with our author interviews, articles, and book lists!   Interviews with...
4 likes · 3 comments
“Harm seldom befalls the watchful man,
for you can never have
a more faithful friend
than a good supply of wisdom.”
More quotes…