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Alliteration in the Poetic Edda


Tadao Shimomiya

This book presents a detailed analysis of the alliteration of the whole of the Poetic Edda (or Elder Edda) of the Codex Regius, using the Germanic alliterative framework established by Andreas Heusler. The considerable regularity of the alliterative scheme is demonstrated, with only a handful of the corpus of approximately 7,300 long-lines falling outside of the rules identified, and therefore the appropriacy of Heusler’s system for understanding the structure of the Poetic Edda is confirmed.
The needs of the student of Old Icelandic poetic style have been foremost in mind in the presentation of this book. It includes an overview of sources not readily available to scholars as well as those not available in English. Copious examples are presented in Old Icelandic with English translation and supported by a select glossary of key Old Icelandic words into English. A Japanese language précis contains a select list of 100 alliterations that appear in the Poetic Edda.


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Foreword vii Legend ix Introduction 1 Poetic Edda 5 From The Seeress’s Prophecy 5 From Sayings of the High One 13 From Vafthrudnir’s Sayings 20 From Grimnir’s Sayings 24 From Skirnir’s Journey 28 From Harbard’s Song 30 From Hymir’s Poem 32 From Loki’s Quarrel 34 From Thrym’s Poem 36 From The Lay of Volund 40 From All-Wise’s Sayings 43 From The First Poem of Helgi Hundingsbani 45 From The Poem of Helgi Hiorvardsson 47 From The Second Poem of Helgi Hundingsbani 50 From Gripir’s Prophecy 55 From The Lay of Regin 59 From The Lay of Fafnir 60 From The Lay of Sigrdrifa 63 From Fragment of a Poem about Sigurd 66 vi From The First Lay of Gudrun 67 From A Short Poem about Sigurd 68 From Brynhild’s Ride to Hell 72 From The Second Lay of Gudrun 74 From The Third Lay of Gudrun 76 From Oddrun’s Lament 81 From The Lay of Atli 83 From The Greenlandic Poem of Atli 86 From The Whetting of Gudrun 92 From The Lay of Hamdir 94 From Balder’s Dreams 95 From The List of Rig 96 From The Song of Hyndla 101 From The Song of Grotti 102 From The Lay of the Fight of the Huns 104 From The Death-song of Hildibrand 105 Glossary (Old Icelandic to English) 107 Bibliography 175 Japanese Résumé 177 Index of Terms 187

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