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The Poetic Edda

Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Narrated by: Jackson Crawford
Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Summary

"The poems of the Poetic Edda have waited a long time for a Modern English translation that would do them justice. Here it is at last (Odin be praised!) and well worth the wait. These amazing texts from a thirteenth-century Icelandic manuscript are of huge historical, mythological, and literary importance, containing the lion's share of information that survives today about the gods and heroes of pre-Christian Scandinavians, their unique vision of the beginning and end of the world, etc. 

"Jackson Crawford's modern versions of these poems are authoritative and fluent and often very gripping. With their individual headnotes and complementary general introduction, they supply today's readers with most of what they need to know in order to understand and appreciate the beliefs, motivations, and values of the Vikings." (Dick Ringler, professor emeritus of English and Scandinavian studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)

©2015 Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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as good as it gets

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better translation or reading of the Poetic Edda. While Dr Crawford's translation is already a scholarly, poetic, and yet accessible rendering of this famous but often misunderstood text, to hear him read it aloud is invaluable. I would not be without this book, if you are at all interested in the Viking Age and its history and folklore. To my mind this is now the definitive translation and performance of the Poetic Edda.

5 people found this helpful

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Far better than Snorris Edda

I believe Jackson did a great job at translating and presenting my only criticism was reciting the Havamal in a Texan accent and using Americanisms otherwise it would have got 5 stars.

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amazing until the random texas accent

it was great until the very end when he started doing a texas accent. it really spoiled the mood of the reading.

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Good translation & summaries. Rough pronunciations

I thought the translations, intros and summaries were very good and helpful. Very nice. I do however struggle with the pronunciation of the chapters and names. The other thing that I don't get is the last chapter of this as read by a western American dialect reiterating the same things from earlier in the book. It seems somewhat out of context and superfluous.

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The Poetic Edda comes alive

Great performance and excellent in-depth of explanation and contextualisation of each poem. Cowboy Havamal was a lovely addition. Allowed me to more easily relate tp the advice given.

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fantastic book

loved it for someone who is just starting out on their journey and learning about the old gods this is excellent

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Immersive

Having been a fan of Dr Crawford's Youtube channel for a few years, I decided to try both this and the yet to be read Volsunga Saga, he takes you back to those times, in my opinion this is one of the best translations

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A masterpiece from the wonderful Dr Crawford

If you're interested in any way in learning about the nordic / Icelandic "Viking" way of life. This is the benchmark.

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Thoroughly Enjoyed!

The narrator fit the atmosphere perfectly and of course Norse Mythology is very interesting.

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Very interesting and definitely worth a listen.

I enjoyed everything about this book. one of the most informative books I've listened to.

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  • Casper
  • 08-05-19

Great translation--the pronunciation is correct!

First thing's first: Mr. Crawford isn't pronouncing anything incorrectly. He uses reconstructed (medieval) Old Norse pronunciation, which does not sound like modern Icelandic (or any other modern language) because Old Norse and modern Icelandic are different languages. So, not only is the pronunciation here correct, it's exemplary, and as close as we're likely to get to how it would have sounded if we could travel back in time. For those not familiar with the concept of reconstructed pronunciation, look up a Shakespeare performance done in reconstructed Elizabethan. Reconstructing pronunciation is important for those seeking to understand and study the sound, meter, and rhyme of a piece (among other things). E.g., it was once proper for "musician" to have four syllables, and "dignity" to rhyme perfectly with "day." If you didn't know about this, a line in a poem written by an author who used those pronunciations might appear to break a rhythm or rhyme scheme. But, when you read the piece as the writer pronounced it, everything falls into place. Confusion about his pronuciation aside, the translation is great. It's very accessible to modern audiences, particularly those used to reading the epic & high fantasy genres (magic, mayhem, a new world map, and zillions of characters with complicated names). If you're looking for one translation, this is the one to get!

85 people found this helpful

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  • Jon White
  • 22-11-18

Norse Mythology spoken as it should be

I've been waiting for this since Jackson released his translation of the Poetic Edda, and I am not disappointed. His old Norse pronunciations and deep vocal tones help add a depth to a reading that delivers the poems in a way that encourages you to listen and envelops you in the atmosphere that surrounds the Norse gods. His added notes for each poem help add context and put the poems in perspective. There are one or two minor imperfections in his recording of the narrative, but I could be considered being too picky highlighting them, so you can forgive those, as this is really a well read and superb translation of the book and I consider this now to be the de facto audio version of the book.

31 people found this helpful

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  • c k
  • 30-12-18

This is the version you want

Equal parts authoritatively academic and entertainingly captivating. The narrator is one of the few in the world who speaks fluent Old Norse and also has a pleasant voice and speaking style.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 15-11-18

Great listen I've been waiting for this

Hail Odin! I've been waiting for this audio book to come out and I have to say I'm glad I purchased it Jackson Crawford is a very knowledgeable professor which makes this book even more creditable and worth the buy I'm only half way through it and will probably relisten to it again since something's escape me over all good quality and good tone I've already shared this book with two others, skal!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Marie
  • 25-03-20

Love Jackson crawford

Made it very easy to understand and with background information into the Christian influences and eras as well. Wonderful job

2 people found this helpful

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  • Austin Martin
  • 23-03-20

Mechanically correct. 19th Century Interpretations

The book is a mechanically correct writing of words but a "western civilization" styled view of poetic phrases. The layers of meanings remain a mystery if all you know are the words. This book gives you the words but only a fraction of the meanings (poetry is phrase, word is word). It's like a dictionary trying to explain song lyrics. Perfect mechanical reading of sheet music and/or lyrics is not the same as passion and play.

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  • Sigurdur J.
  • 26-03-19

Butchery of the language

As a native Icelandic and a lover of the Old Norse stories and the Snorra-Edda (Poetic Edda), I was very interested in hearing a english translation of it. I have not finished the book as I write the review. One thing struck me after the first few minutes of the audiobook that I feel needs to be put out there. People have been praising the narrator pronunciation and knowlege of the language in the reviews. He tries his best and some credit is due for that, but to a native speaker this is almost inaudible, the only name that comes close to sounding correct is Óðinn, and perhaps a few shorter ones like Sif and Týr, everything else I can only partly understand due to years of reading and studying the stories in the past, I am able to put them in context. An admirable effort on a hard language but does by no means pass the test. Jackson should have considered hiring a native Icelander or a Norwegian with good english speaking skills to narrate the book in his place. Other than that it is a great story and a respectable translation in many ways.

171 people found this helpful

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  • Shoppinggal
  • 02-04-19

well, now I can say that I've listened to it

I know that this is just a translation of the original text but I really wish we had more context of each story. it was hard to keep track of the characters in each story also.

14 people found this helpful

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  • N. Ludwig
  • 10-12-18

I love Jackson Crawford's work.

I love Jackson Crawford's work. His voice is awesome in this. his pronunciation of old Norse is dead on. I will be attending Colorado State University just for his classes... one day!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-20

great work from a great guy

I watched a few of Jackson Crawford's videos long before listening to this book (I was learning íslenska at the time and relied heavily on his modern Icelandic pronunciation video), and I never made the connection until I discovered him again through Simon's videos a few years later. I could listen to Dr. Crawford's sultry voice for hours, and so I did! It's good to see this awesome literature translated for a modern audience.

1 person found this helpful