The Poetic Edda: Mythological poems

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Ursula Dronke
Clarendon Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 443 pages
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This volume presents a wholly new edition of five of the most brilliant and celebrated poems of the Poetic Edda: 'The Sibyl's Prophecy', 'The Rigmarole of Rigr', 'Wayland's Poem', 'Skirnir's Lay', and 'Loki's Quarrel'. New textual readings and interpretations are established. New light is shed on the Franks Casket and on King Alfred's interest in Wayland; new links are found between the Viking and Christian worlds. A close translation accompanies the text to give the non-specialist readera transparent and rhythmic sense of the original. For each poem the sequence of ideas is traced in the introduction and the interpretation substantiated by a detailed commentary. Much consideration is given to the themes of the poems and the ancient ideas in which they are rooted: analogues come from many sources - Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Sanskrit, African, and Finnish. The excellence and variety of the poems give a rare insight into the genius of oral poets of the Viking age.

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About the author (1997)

Ursula Dronke is at Linacre College, Oxford.

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