1996 (first edition), 2014 (second edition)
The Poetic Edda
Oxford World's Classics
323 pages (first ed.), 347 pages (second ed.)

Translated poems (first ed., 35; second ed., 39):

Codex Regius (31)
VǫluspáHávamálVafþrúðnismálGrímnismálSkírnismálHárbarðsljóðHymiskviðaLokasennaÞrymskviðaVǫlundarkviðaAlvíssmálFrá dauða SinfjǫtlaGrípisspá, Reginsmál, Fáfnismál, Sigrdrífumál, Brot af Sigurðarkviðu, Sigurðarkviða hin skamma, Helreið Brynhildar, Dráp Niflunga, Oddrúnargrátr, Atlakviða, AtlamálGuðrúnarhvǫt, Hamðismál, Helgakviða Hundingsbana (I, II), Helgakviða HjörvarðssonarGuðrúnarkviða (I, II, III) 

Non-Codex Regius (4)
Baldrs draumarRígsþula, HyndluljóðGrottasǫngr

Second edition additions (4):
Larrington’s second edition adds three additional poems, all of which are non-Codex Regius in origin: Svipdagsmál (Grógaldr and Fjǫlsvinnsmál), and, most unusually, Hervararkviða. Additionally, Larrington’s second edition includes a translation of the Hauksbók edition of Vǫluspá.

Other notable contents: Contains a section on translation decisions (pp. xxvi-xxix), a select bibliography (pp. xxx-xxxi), and "Main Genealogies of Gods, Giants, and Heroes" (pp. xxxii-xxxiii).
Introduction page length: 16
Notes? Endnotes
Dual Edition? No
Bowlderization/censorship: None (cf. p. 90)
Original illustrations? None

I. Samples

a.) Vǫluspá (p. 4 in both editions):

First edition:

3. Young were the years when Ymir made his settlement,
there was no sand nor sea nor cool waves;
earth was nowhere nor the sky above,
chaos yawned, grass was there nowhere.

The second edition contains minor alterations to this stanza:

3. Early in time Ymir made his settlement,
there was no sand nor sea nor cool waves;
earth was nowhere nor the sky above,
a void of yawning chaos, grass was there nowhere

b.) Helgakviða Hundingsbana II (first edition: p. 139, second edition: p. 136):

Sigrun went into the mound to Helgi and said:

43. 'Now I am so glad, at our meeting,
as are the greedy hawks of Odin
when they know of slaughter, steaming food,
or, dew-drenched, they see the dawn.

In her second edition, the stanza is much the same: Larrington changes “steaming food” to “steaming flesh”, and “dew-drenched” to “dew-gleaming”.

c.) Rígsþula (first edition: p. 252, second edition: p. 244):

45. He contended in rune-wisdom with Lord Rig,
he knew more tricks, he knew more;
then he gained and got the right
to be called Rig and to know the runes.

Again, the second edition contains minor alterations to the stanza:

45. He contended in rune wisdom with Lord Rig,
he played more tricks, knew more than he did;
then he gained and got the right
to be called Rig and to deploy the runes.

II. Reviews

(No reviews available at this time)


Carolyne Larrington is an instructor at the University of Oxford. Larrington's translation includes a prominent thank you to her former instructor, Ursula Dronke, who herself produced a multi-volume translation of the Poetic Edda ("I should like to express my warmest and most respectful gratitude to Ursula Dronke, who first taught me Old Norse and introduced me to the poetry of the Edda and whose own edition of the Poetic Edda is brilliant and inspirational").

Larrington's translation is one of the more gloss-heavy English Poetic Edda translations to date. Unfortunately, Larrington's choice to swap out the names of entities from the North Germanic record with what she deems to be classical equivalents follows no clear logic. For example, in the translation’s first edition, Larrington makes the unusual choice to render nornir ('norns') as "fates" (cf. "Fated (Urd), a fate", p. 304), while leaving other, more straightforward proper names unrendered (cf. "Byggvir ('Barley') ...", p. 302).

In 2014, the Oxford University Press released a second, heavily revised version of Larrington’s translation. While Larrington continues her earlier practice of heavy glossing, the second edition is otherwise heavily modified from the original edition. The revised edition also includes an additional four (rarely translated) poems and more endnotes.