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

Please note that this page does not currently reflect alterations made for the translation's second edition — read more about the second edition here.

Translated poems (35):

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

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):

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.

b.) Helgakviða Hundingsbana II (p. 139):

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.

c.) Rígsþula (p. 252):

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.

II. Reviews

(No reviews available at this time)


Carolyne Larrington is an instructor at the University of Oxford. Larrington's translation includes a prominently thank you to her former instructor, Ursula Dronke ("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"). Dronke herself produced a multi-volume translation of the Poetic Edda.

Larrington's translation is one of the more gloss-heavy English Poetic Edda translations to date. Yet 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, 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).