Hrafnsmál

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A valkyrie speaks with a raven in a wood-engraving by Joseph Swain after Frederick Sandys, 1862

Hrafnsmál (Old Norse "raven song") is a fragmentary skaldic poem generally accepted as being written by the 9th-century Norwegian skald Þorbjörn Hornklofi. Hrafnsmál largely consists of a conversation between an unnamed valkyrie and a raven; the two discuss the life and martial deeds of Harald Fairhair. Due to this, the poem is sometimes referred to as Haraldskvæði.[1] The meter of the poem is dominantly Málaháttr, while smaller portions are in Ljóðaháttr and Fornyrðislag.[2]

Editions and translations[edit]

  • Borrow, George (Trans.) (1862). Once A Week: An Illustrated Miscellany of Literature, Art, Science &Popular Information. Vol. VII. June to December, 1862. London: Bradbury & Evans, 11, Bouverie Street. Entitled Harald Harfagr. Features an illustration by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys.
  • Kershaw, Nora (1922). Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems. Cambridge at the University Press.
  • Hollander, Lee Milton (1980). Old Norse Poems: The Most Important Nonskaldic Verse Not Included in the Poetic Edda. Forgotten Books. ISBN 1-60506-715-6
  • R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 91. http://skaldic.abdn.ac.uk/db.php?id=1436&if=default&table=text

See also[edit]

  • Huginn and Muninn, the ravens of the god Odin
  • Valravn, a supernatural "raven of the slain" appearing in 19th century Danish folk songs

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Orchard (1997:89).
  2. ^ Hollander (1980:54).

References[edit]

  • Hollander, Lee Milton (1980). Old Norse Poems: The Most Important Nonskaldic Verse Not Included in the Poetic Edda. Forgotten Books. ISBN 1-60506-715-6
  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2

External links[edit]