The great poetic tradition of pre-Christian Scandinavia is known to us almost exclusively though the Prose Edda, a collection of narrative literature, and its companion, the Poetic Edda. The poems originated in Iceland, Norway, and Greenland between the ninth and 13th centuries, when they were compiled in a unique manuscript known as the Codex Regius. The poems are primarily lyrical rather than narrative. Terry's fine translation includes the magnificent cosmological poem, "The Völuspá", didactic poems concerned with mythology and the everyday conduct of life, and heroic poems, of which an important group is concerned with the story of Sigurd and Brynhild.
Poems of the Elder Edda will appeal to students of Old Norse, Icelandic, and Medieval literature, as well as to general readers and listeners of poetry. This audio version presents each poem followed by the translator's notes.
"Listeners unfamiliar with classic Old Norse poetry will gain an appreciation for the passion and the values--blind heroism, revenge, honor--that inhabit it. Although each narrator has a particular style, they all enunciate clearly, which is important with a text that has so many unfamiliar-sounding names of characters and places. In an interesting choice, Matthew Posner adopts a rich, clear Scottish accent. The poems draw on stories from the Old Norse religion and tales of heroism, with bits of the histories of Huns, Goths, and Burgundians. Those who are looking for an introduction to Viking literature should be pleased with this production." (D.M.H. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2015])
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