Baldrs draumar

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For the Norwegian ballet, see Baldurs draumar.
"Odin rides to Hel" (1908) by W. G. Collingwood

Baldrs draumar (Baldr's dreams) or Vegtamskviða is an Eddic poem, contained in the manuscript AM 748 I 4to. It relates information on the myth of Baldr's death in a way consistent with Gylfaginning. Bellows suggest a that the poem was composed in the mid 10th century and suggest the possibilty that it was composed by the same author as Völuspá, or at least drew from it, based on the similarity of stanza 11 in Baldrs draumar and stanzas 32-33 in Völuspá.[1]


Baldr has been having nightmares. Odin rides to Hel to investigate. He finds the grave of a völva and resurrects her. Their conversation follows, where the völva tells Odin about Baldr's fate. In the end Odin asks her a question which reveals his identity and the völva tells him to ride home.


The poem is one of the shortest Eddic poems, consisting of 14 fornyrðislag stanzas. Some late paper manuscripts contain about five more stanzas, those are thought to be of young origin. Sophus Bugge believed them to have been composed by the author of Forspjallsljóð. Bellows on the other hand suggest the poem is older but could not date earlier than the tenth century.

The confrontation between The Wanderer (Wotan) and Erda in Act 3, Scene 1 of Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried is based upon Baldrs draumar.


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