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The Edda Measures


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Nordic Verse

Edda Measures

The Edda Measures, (Edda meaning poetry or poetic tradition), are 2 books that have survived from 13th century Iceland. The first, the Elder Eddas, is an anthology of 34, 9th to 12th century Norse poems interspersed with prose primarily dealing with Norse mythology, recorded by Saxo Grammaticus. (a Christian cleric ) The second, the Younger Eddas, is attributed to the great Norse skald (poet) Snorri Sturluson , (1178-1241) Iceland. Isn't that a great name? Snorri creates a handbook or manual of "how to" write in the pattern and theme of the Norse poet. He offers not just a "how to", but also includes prose and poetry. The Norse version of the creation is found here as well as information on ancient poets.

The writings found within the books have three common characteristics,

  1. a mythological, ethical or heroic Teutonic theme,
  2. a simple style, anonymous and objective, and
  3. they never reveal the feelings or attitudes of the poet.

The elements of the Edda Measures are:

  1. narrative. They tell a tale.
  2. metric, accentual. Use rhythm of everyday language.
  3. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. The lines of the quatrain are developed from ancient writings of shorter lines making up an octave and being doubled in two phrases of longer Germanic lines.
  4. often written with caesura or break mid way in each line.
  5. composed with internal rhyme but never end rhymed.
  6. alliterative. Alliteration accentuates stress which is a standard of accentual verse.
  7. objective, the emotion of the poet is not communicated.
  8. often written employing kenning. (a sort of metaphor, using two nouns to name something, like "horse of the sea" instead of "boat").
  9. found in 3 structural variations:

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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