This thread will be dedicated to The Hovamol and its wonderful wisdom, i will add a new stanza every couple of days. The only thing i ask is we stay on topic and that after i add a new stanza we will drop the discussion of the previouse one to focus on the new. I also ask we dont discuss the spelling of it :D i know there are several different spellings, this is the one i was introduced to.


Ok our first stanza is


Wits must he have | who wanders wide,
But all is easy at home;
At the witless man | the wise shall wink
When among such men he sits.


The first half of the stanza is interperted by me as: If your out for the day running errands, hanging with friends, or travelling far from home you must act in a professional manner, act respectfully and always use your intelligence and wisdom when not at home. The third line i see as meening, when your at home its all good act as you will, be goofy, be an asshole, be whatever you feel you need to be in the confines of your own home where all is easy.


The second half i interpert as: If your a moron or act like a moron you will be treated like one. "the wise shall wink..."  to me meens that if your witless people will be condecending and haughty toward you, to avoid this act with wisdom and grace, something i know i could be better at.


How do you interpert this? How do you live this?

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Wow beat thanks man gave me a new perspective haha see this is why i created this! thanks for joining brother
yea i was jsut trying to get more people in, help spread the word beat, if we dont get anymore by say WEDS then i will start a new everyday
I have always found it helpful to not only look at the different translations, but also the original Old Icelandic. This way we can get the poetic appreciation, plus translate our own, ignoring the poetics, for sake of meaning. So here is the matching Old Icelandic (which is verse 5):

Vits er þörf
þeim er víða ratar.
Dælt er heima
Að augabragði
sá er ekki kann
og með snotrum

The 'winking' (augabragði) if translated literally is "eye-stirring." I think that it, like already mentioned, is a bit like looking at children, however, throughout Havamal, there is a distinct low view of dullards, and those speaking too much, etc...

Is there a particular reason you chose to start with the fifth?
no reason, i am randomly selecting them :D.....i love your idea on this bjorn
Thank you for posting the Old Icelandic version, it is beautiful. I have read Taking up the Runes by Diana Paxton; have you ever read her work? I have seen the Norwegian and Old English rune poems as well; quite an interesting study.
So what's next?

I agree entirely with your assessment of the first portion of the stanza. However, there are nine virtues that make up the backbone of this religion, and none of them promote "being an asshole". Being at ease at home is a common virtue though. You know, You are home, relax. Be with your kith and kin, care for them and let the stresses of the day melt away.


I think that the second half is not so much that others will be condescending towards the witless. However, it puts those who would act like a lack wit to be ignored at best; a much greater dishonor. The wise and strong do not mock those that are weaker or more simple; that would put them on the same level as the simpleton.


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