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The Poetic Edda

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The Poetic Edda

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Alternate Title: The Elder Edda
Author: Olive Bray
Unknown
Publisher: Forgotten Books, 2018
Oxford University Press, 2014
Original English publication, 1908
Original Icelandic publication, 1100
Series: Tolkien's Bookshelf: Book 2
Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-Genre Tags: Mythic Fiction (Fantasy)
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Synopsis

The Poetic Edda, also known as The Elder Edda or Saemund's Edda, is a magnificent and magical collection of thirty-four Icelandic poems, interwoven with prose, dating from the 9th century to the 12th. The original Old Norse verses are printed here, side by side with English translations. The collection includes the archetypal stories about wise Odin, hammer-wielding Thor, mischievous Loki and the other gods and goddesses of Asgard.

The poems features a dragon called Fierce-stinger: "Fares from beneath a dim dragon flying, a glistening snake from the Moonless Fells. Fierce-stinger bears the dead on his pinions away o'er the plains. I sink now and cease." The language is archaic, so for 21st century readers a glossary is provided at the back of this book, as well as an index of names to help identify all the characters. Bray's lengthy introduction has also been revised for modern readers, and some footnote citations omitted. Remarkably in Bray's edition, the original Icelandic text was included.

The Poetic Edda is the most important existing source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.


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