The great poetic tradition of pre-Christian Scandinavia is known to us almost exclusively though the Prose Edda, a collection of narrative literature, and its companion, the Poetic Edda. The poems originated in Iceland, Norway, and Greenland between the ninth and 13th centuries, when they were compiled in a unique manuscript known as the Codex Regius. The poems are primarily lyrical rather than narrative. Terry's fine translation includes the magnificent cosmological poem, "The Völuspá", didactic poems concerned with mythology and the everyday conduct of life, and heroic poems, of which an important group is concerned with the story of Sigurd and Brynhild.
Poems of the Elder Edda will appeal to students of Old Norse, Icelandic, and Medieval literature, as well as to general readers and listeners of poetry. This audio version presents each poem followed by the translator's notes.