The Poetic Edda

Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Narrated by: Jackson Crawford
Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.5 out of 5 stars (720 ratings)

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Publisher's 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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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!

79 people found this helpful

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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.

29 people found this helpful

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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.

25 people found this helpful

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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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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.

166 people found this helpful

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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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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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Love Jackson crawford

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

1 person found this helpful

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excellent translation

Dr. Jackson Crawford's translation of The Poetic Edda is crystal clear and engaging for listeners.

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Great!

After reading a print version of another translation, I wanted to listen to the Poetic Edda to understand it better. This translation was not only a fantastic listen, it was very easy to follow.

This is one of my new favorite audio books

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-25-19

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rob Burrows
  • 09-11-19

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Miguel de Oliveira
  • 03-03-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan O'Shea
  • 06-18-20

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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  • Peter
  • 06-06-20

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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  • Alex Lloyd
  • 05-11-20

Thoroughly Enjoyed!

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-20

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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  • J. Hunter
  • 02-23-20

As expected from Jackson Crawford

Love it, a great reading voice and a relatable translation. highly recommend. the ending chapter, Cowboy's Hávamál, Dr Crawford's translation of the Hávamál inspired by his grandfather is particularly touching.

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  • Naomi
  • 11-20-18

Excellent translation and narration

The author has done a great job of the translation by making these poems of the Poetic Edda comprehensible. He has a lovely reading voice, and since he is the translator himself, he gives real emotion to the poems. Absolutely wonderful.

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  • jessica
  • 04-13-19

Awesome!

Mr Crawford's translation is as wonderful as I expected it to be - so down to earth and gave me insights I hadn't caught in other translations.
I have followed him short while on YouTube for his specialization in ancient Norse and was delighted to see he had translated the Poetic Edda - Thank you :)