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October 30, 2012

"Hrafngaldr Ódins" - The Raven Charm of Odin

A forgotten Edda poem.

"In 1867, the Norwegian authority on Old Norse literature, Sophus Bugge, dismissed the Raven Charm of Odin as a hoax and decided that it should never again be published as a part of the Poetic Edda. He based his decision on his belief that the Edda poems were representative of simple folklore, a category into which the Raven Charm did not fit. Also, he confessed, as many before him, that it was impossible to decipher this poem.

"All the Edda poems are metaphorical and allusive, giving away just a tip of an enormous narrative iceberg. But at least it is usually possible to recognize a narrative, and thanks to Snorri Sturlusson, who in 1225 wrote an explanation of the metaphors known as The Prose Edda, most of the Edda poems may be understood. Not so with the Raven Charm, and Snorri never even mentioned this poem.

"However, I believe that Snorri consciously left out of his explanation poems and parts of poems that were simply too seething with paganism to be acceptable in his time..."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 30, 2012 10:42 AM