Renee is doing a series of entries on the Old Norse heroic poem Völundarkvíða (Völundarkvitha, if you can’t see the long i and edh; it means ‘lay of Völundr’). She gives what she calls a multimedia presentation:

There will be 16 parts. Each part will include a cutout panel illustration, a portion of text and my translation. It will also have an mp3 file with my reading in Old Norse – it is not really dramatic, I am afraid… I have tried to keep close to what I perceive as Old Norse pronunciation; my interpretation may be quite off the mark, so I’d be happy to discuss this.

Here are Part One (Intro and stanzas 1-3) and Part Two (4-5); enjoy, and keep following the series!

Update (Jan. 2021). I thought I’d check and see if there were further installments; on June 19 she published Stanzas 6-10, but on July 28 she said “I am taking time off” and on October 12 she quit blogging for the time being (“It’s time to step aside. I have disabled the comments section in all entries, but you still will be able to read the old discussions”). She resumed blogging the following March, but apparently never returned to the Völundarkvitha.


  1. Languagehat, have you read John Irving’s “The Water Method Man”? The main character is doing his thesis translating (and mostly making up) an ‘Old Low Norse’ poem. It’s a very funny novel.

  2. No, I haven’t, and now I want to — thanks!

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