Today I had the pleasure to speak with Noah Tetzner, from The History of Vikings Podcast about his new book that he wrote called, The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide. This book was just released today, and you can purchase it right now on Amazon in paperback form or Kindle format (links are below). Congratulations to Noah on this achievement!
Here is an excerpt from the synopsis of The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide…
“Journey to the mythic worlds of the medieval Norse and discover the timeless legends that still live within us. The Poetic Edda comprises a mythology of gods and their human heroes who are driven by honor, lust, and wisdom, always seeking power and always settling a new dispute. The Edda begins with resourceful creator-gods crafting the universe out of a giant’s corpse and a powerful seeress imparting details about the inevitable chaos of Ragnarök.”
GOING VIKING: I must say, I was truly impressed when I first heard you wrote a book. I have been listening to your podcast since it has launched, and it has been a joy to see you rise in the community. So, let’s begin with your initial idea of this book. What convinced you to write The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide?
NOAH TETZNER: The Poetic Edda is a key primary source for Norse mythology and I have been studying it since the launch of my podcast. When I first decided to pick it up I found it to be confusing and a bit overwhelming. There are so many characters, storylines, and obscure references that are always up for debate. I decided to write The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide to create no-nonsense, easy to understand, study guide to the Poetic Edda.
GOING VIKING: Approximately how long did it take you to write it? As a young writer, were there any obstacles you faced?
NOAH TETZNER: It took me approximately three months to write The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide and as a young writer I certainly faced my share of obstacles. The largest obstacles were staying on task and writing something every day. The distractions of life and even imposter syndrome would creep up and cause me to stop writing. However, my love of the Old Norse world and passion for this new book overcame those obstacles and now am I able to share this with so many people.
GOING VIKING: Let’s say you are an expert in the field of Norse mythology, as many of your guests are on your podcast. Can they also gain something new to learn in your book? Or, is this targeted specifically for beginners?
NOAH TETZNER: I tried to write this book in a way that assumes the reader has very little prior knowledge about Norse mythology. It is an excellent book for those who are new to the subject but also makes a good companion to those who are already familiar with Norse myth.
GOING VIKING: Norse mythology is fascinating to research but can be daunting to understand if you are new to the topic. What is one thing you hope novice readers can take away from your book?
NOAH TETZNER: When I first became fascinated with Norse mythology the thought of reading the Poetic Edda seemed an extremely daunting task. I know that many people feel the same way, so my hope is to give them a concise guide to one of the most important sources of Norse mythology.
GOING VIKING: Besides the Poetic Edda, were there any other resources you used throughout your writing process? Was there one specific resource that really stood out to you that you kept finding yourself revert to?
NOAH TETZNER: Naturally, the Poetic Edda was the main resource I used to write this book. I also used academic dictionaries to Norse mythology, The Saga of the Volsungs and various other Old Norse sagas. The Poetic Edda itself was something that I fell in love with while writing this book. I had been familiar with the Edda for a long time but digging deep and breaking apart each stanza and poem showed me how rich and timeless these myths really are.
GOING VIKING: During this journey, was there a character or story that you appreciated more during your research that previously you didn’t find as appealing?
NOAH TETZNER: During the journey of writing this book I came to appreciate a poem called Volundarkvitha or The Poem of Volund. The poem encompasses the journey of a clever smith called Volund which involves many different mythical elements. Volund’s marriage to a Valkyrie, his imprisonment by King Nithuth, and the brutal revenge he carries out are just some of the fascinating occurrences within this poem.
GOING VIKING: This may be a popular question; however, I am always intrigued to see people’s answers when it comes to your favorite Norse god or goddess. From listening to your podcast, I know your answer, but you can humor me anyway for the people who don’t know.
NOAH TETZNER: My favorite Norse god is Njord or Njörðr (in Old Norse). He belongs to the Vanir family of gods and is called upon to aid seafarers and fishermen. He is also associated with wealth and riches. We don’t know a great deal about him but can assume that he would have had a significant role in the Vanir cult of ancient Germania. The seafaring nature of his attributes would also suggest his popularity among the medieval Scandinavians.
GOING VIKING: To conclude our interview today, can we expect any more books like this down the road? What are your 2019 goals for The History of Vikings Podcast?
NOAH TETZNER: Yes, you can certainly expect more books related to Vikings, Norse myth, and the Old Norse world in the near future. Perhaps study guides to The Saga of the Volsungs, Gesta Danorum, or Prose Edda. It has been an absolute joy writing The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide and my passion is to help people understand the rich mythology of the Norse. 2019 is an exciting year for The History of Vikings Podcast. I have already recorded interviews with scholars from the University of Iceland and Cambridge University that explore many of the Icelandic sagas and notable characters during the Viking Age. Getting more people interested in the Old Norse world through my podcast and writing more about Norse myth are both goals of mine.
I would like to thank Noah for joining me today and I would like to say congratulations one more time on your book launch today. I know there are many people in our community that will be excited to pick up your book and I look forward to your future endeavors. You can also check out this interview on the Going Viking Podcast!
I urge you to go check out Noah’s new book, The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide. It is available to purchase on Amazon right now. Follow the links below to get your copy!
If you would like to know more about Noah and his podcast, please visit him at:
YouTube: The History of Vikings
You can listen to The History of Vikings podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, his website and most podcast platforms.