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The discussion and analysis presented after these translated stanzas is our opinion.  Read the translations for yourself and our analysis, but also seek out varied sources and come to your own conclusions.


STANZA 20 OF THE HAVAMAL

Auden & Taylor:

A gluttonous man who guzzles away
Brings sorrow on himself:
At the table of the wise he is taunted often,
Mocked for his bloated belly,

Bellows:

The greedy man, | if his mind be vague,
Will eat till sick he is;
The vulgar man, | when among the wise,
To scorn by his belly is brought.

Bray:

A greedy man, if he be not mindful,
eats to his own life's hurt:
oft the belly of the fool will bring him to scorn
when he seeks the circle of the wise.

Chisholm:

The greedy man, without mindís wits
eats himself in sorrow. Often he brings
ridicule on himself when he is among
wise men who mock the manís belly.

Hollander:

The greedy guest gainsays his head
and eats untill he is ill;
his belly oft maketh a butt of a man
on bench 'midst the sage when he sits.

Terry:

A greedy man if he lets himself go
will eat until he's ill;
when such a one sits with the wise,
they make fun of his feeding.

Thorpe:

A greedy man,
if he be not moderate,
eats to his mortal sorrow.
Oftentimes his belly
draws laughter on a silly man,
who among the prudent comes.


DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF STANZA 20

A greedy man eats and eats.  Ignoring his good sense, he eats until he is ill.
When the fat greedy man goes among the wise, they make fun of him and his belly.

I think this one is pretty cut and dry.  Eat enough...but not too much.  Keep yourself healthy and fit, and not overweight and unhealthy.

I think some do very well with this.  Either through genetics, body-type, being raised well, or through discipline they keep fit and trim all of their life.  There are years I do pretty well with this...and other years where I don't.  LOL.  I wish I was a bit more consistent, but that's not quite how I tick, I suppose.  Even those of us that aren't perfect in this area, will admit that the advice in Stanza 20 is good advice.  Not particularly kind, but good.  :-)

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