Learning Icelandic and Old Norse

The advanced Asatru alliterative poet should also have some knowledge of the older languages, as the best exemplars of the form are in the old languages. Most important are Old Norse and Old English, although some alliterative material also exists in a few other old dialects. Today’s post, however, focuses on Old Norse and Modern Icelandic. The two are so similar (at least in the way they are written) that knowledge of one is almost the same thing as knowledge of the other. The vocabulary of the modern language is, of course, larger. The differences are relatively minor, and in comparing texts of the two, my brain doesn’t even register them as separate languages.

To really ramp up my learning of Modern Icelandic, I’m taking a trip to Reykjavík, Iceland for a four-week summer course in Modern Icelandic at the Árni Magnússon Institute. <http://arnastofnun.is/page/althjodlegt_islenskunamskeid_en>. While I’m there, my internet access will be limited, and this blog will be taking a four-week hiatus — the next post will not occur until July 31. So those who post comments may have to wait a while before they are approved.

Here’s a list of helpful resources for the poet who wants to study Modern Icelandic and/or Old Norse.

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Toasts to Freyr and Other Beings

Today I present four more short sumbel toasts, one each to Freyr, the elves, the dwarves, and the landwights. All are in ljóðaháttr.

A Toast to Freyr

Hail Freyr,
a friend to all,
and lord of light and elves.
The bane of Beli
is a bringer of frith
we honor for excellent harvest.

Gerð’s husband
is gracious and kind,
that celebrated son of Njörð.
For peace and pleasure,
and prosperous seasons,
Hail to fruitful Freyr!

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Audio for Valhalla

I’ve been in quite a mood for audio recording lately, and this is now the third week in a row for a recorded recitation. This time it’s for Valhalla, the text of which I posted back in late February.

Here is the downloadable file of me reciting the poem:
Eirik Westcoat – Valhalla

And here is the inline player:

Enjoy! Feel free to share the file. For details, see the Creative Commons link below.

This post is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

The linked audio file of Valhalla is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.

Audio for Sumartímadrápa

Here in Pennsylvania, summer has very much arrived in force, and in honor of that, I present an audio recording of my poem Sumartímadrápa.

Here is the downloadable file of me reciting the poem:
Eirik Westcoat – Sumartímadrápa

And here is the inline player:

Enjoy! Feel free to share the file. For details, see the Creative Commons link below.

This post is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

The linked audio file of Sumartímadrápa is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.