"Odin Drinks the Magic Mead," from Tales from Norse Mythology, Written and Illustrated by Katharine Pyle, 1930.

Allfather’s Inspiration: The Mead of Poetry

“Suttung’s Mead” is a reference to the Mead of Poetry, Kvasir, Óðrœrir. It has many names, and more than one story as well. Bragi is the god of poetry, or a human poet so excellent as to be indistinguishable from the god of poetry.

Suttung’s Mead

by Johan Sebastian Welhaven, translation by Rune Bjornsen

The best drink at the feast of gods,
in Odin’s home, was Suttung’s Mead,
and the power of Bragi’s song
from this rich source flowed.

Allfather himself brought the Mead,
from where in deep cellars it stood,
And from there he strengthened
all his Asa-power,

He mixed in strong runes later
in this dear juice.
With parts of his wisdom and knowledge
gave Odin the mead double power.

On flower and leaf in glade and forest,
on wild and tame in every field,
on mountain, on cloud, in wild plains
stood secret rune signs.

But Odin freed them all
from air, from earth, from the oceans’ bottom
and blessed them, and let them fall
like honeydew in Suttung’s Mead.

Therefore all skalds must empty
a horn of this rich drink,
and what was before shrouded in dreams
will stand clear before their eyes.

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