Havamal is the classic wisdom poetry of the Eddas, the words of Odin himself. This edition also includes 150 Norse proverbs collected from sagas.
Havamal, or the Ballad of the High One, is the major work of Norse wisdom literature. In one of the key poems in the Poetic Edda we find the counsel of Odin himself. Advice for wanderers, proverbial wisdom, love advice, accounts of Odin’s quest after the runes and the mead of poetry, and various spells and incantations fill out this marvelous poem, at once archaic and down to earth. The present translation is in the original alliterative verse, and through it the Allfather’s true voice comes howling out of the wind-tossed tree where he hung “for nights full nine”.
Fleshing out this collection are selections of wisdom poetry from elsewhere in the Poetic Edda and from Völsunga Saga, as well as 150 “ancient saws and proverbs” from a wide cross-section of Norse sagas. This is the definitive anthology of the wisdom of the ancient Northmen.