the dictionary of norse mythology


SKALDIC POETRY A complex form of norse poetry that relies on precise numbers and stresses of syllables in each half-line of the poem. Skaldic poetry mainly consists of kennings, or poetic, often mythi-cal, metaphors, to present meaning to the audience. Much information about Norse mythology is pre-served in this form of poetry.Skaldic poems are distinct from the works in the poetic edda in several important ways. Most skaldic poems are the works of named skalds, or specialist poets. Eddic poems, on the other hand, are anony-mous and timeless. Skaldic poets counted syllables carefully, while eddic poets wrote in a freer verse. Skaldic poets used myth to praise real heroes, and eddic poems are about the myths themselves.Existing skaldic poetry is preserved in ancient manuscripts written centuries after the lives of the poets, who were part of a preliterate oral tradition. Some poems have survived in full, but of others only a stanza has survived.

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