The Cowboy Hávamál

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Jackson Crawford, a professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, translated the first 79 verses of the Havamal, a Viking poem, from Old Norse into American cowboy dialect.

The Cowboy Havamal is full of practical wisdom that is just as relevant to the present day as the age in which it was written.

If it weren’t copyrighted, I would copy the whole thing onto my web log.  As it is, I just reblog his translation.  Go below the fold to get to the translated verses.

I found the link on The Tinfoil Hat Society web log.

Tattúínárdǿla saga

“The Cowboy Havamal,” from The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes, translated by Jackson Crawford, Copyright © 2015, Hackett Publishing Co. Reproduced by permission.

The text called Hávamál (literally “Words of the One-Eyed,” or “Words of the High One,” either way a reference to Odin) might be considered a Norse equivalent of the Book of Proverbs, containing as it does a series of disconnected stanzas encouraging wisdom and moderation in living one’s life.

“The Cowboy Hávamál” is a condensation of the wisdom of the first, most down-to-earth part of Hávamál (often called the Gestatháttr, it includes stanzas 1-79, give or take a few) into mostly five-line stanzas of a Western American English dialect. I have not endeavored to render this dialect phonetically in a thoroughly consistent way, but only to present an “eye dialect” of sorts, to suggest the dry tones of the accent behind the…

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