Poetic Meter in Haavamaal

Haavamaal was written in a meter called ‘Ljodahaat’. The word means poetic meter. That is to say that the poem was written in one of the oldest poetic meters.

Moderately wise
a man should be
not too crafty or clever.
The best of lives
is led by those
who know the measure of
many things.

Letter rhyme is when a vowel or consonant in an accented syllable is reproduced in such a way that the one repeats the same consonant or vowel on the same line. The letter rhyme is intimately connected to the rhythm of the sentence. In the example below the two first lines in each part (1 and 2, and 4 and 5 respectively) have two accented syllables, while the last lines (3 and 6) have from two to four.

Better a humble
house than none.
A man is master at home.
A pair of goats
and a patched roof
are better than begging.


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