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The Wanderer's Havamal


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About the Author

Jackson Crawford earned his Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies at the University of WisconsinMadison, and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Georgia. He is currently Instructor of Nordic Studies and Coordinator of the Nordic Program, University of Colorado Boulder.


" Havamal , 'Words of the High One'purportedly delivering the wisdom of Odin in his own voiceis one of the most important mythological poems of the Poetic Edd a and simply the most important witness to early Norse cultural ethics. Jackson Crawford has now given us a clean text and a new facing-page translation in contemporary idiom. A highly trained linguist, Crawford has already published with Hackett a complete translation of the whole of the famous ancient anthology, the Poetic Edda , and acquired many fans for his YouTube videos teaching Old Norse. Crawford is a poet in his own right with a recognizably Western voice. A scholarly commentary on the whole poem is an accomplishment made palatable for the general reader by Crawford's informal style. All in all, a fresh start on the mysteries of this classic." Joseph Harris, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature and Professor of Folklore, Emeritus, Harvard University
"Jackson Crawford offers his readers an excellent entry into the world of Havamal , where the high-god odinn from the Old Norse Pantheon mediates some age-old wisdom to his audience. Crawford provides a clear translation that points directly into the original text itself, while his extensive commentary emphasizes its nuances and ambiguity, strips away popular notions of paganism, and draws attention instead to the poem's universal down-to-earth attitude. The humorous and entertaining cowboy-version that Crawford offers at the end serves as a tribute to the wisdom of his own grandfather, a fitting epilogue that updates this ancient poem which the Christian people of Iceland assembled from oral tradition into a book in the thirteenth century." Gisli Sigurdsson, Research Professor and Head of the Folklore Department, arni Magnusson Institute, University of Iceland
"Jackson Crawford's new translation of Havamal is a valuable addition to the rich textual history of this poem. Infused not only by his learning and understanding of the medieval language and culture but also by his own poetic creativity, this is a translation that is likely to bring Havamal to a new audience. Of no less value is his more freely translated Cowboy Havamal , which, even more than most translations, brings the vitality and poetic strength of this text to the fore." armann Jakobsson, Professor of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Iceland
"A delightful and thought-provoking new edition of the poem, one which brings Havamal out of the purely academic or unusual ideological camps into which it has often fallen and re-instils it with the largely practical and human interest it must have had for its audience. Crawford's scholarly expertise shines through every aspect of this book, and this he combines with understanding of how a wider audience is engaging with Old Norse myth and legend, a situational awareness which is often not found in academic writing but which is so vital for our times." Matthew Coker, in The Medieval Review

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