Structure and history
The work starts out with a lengthy prose section describing the circumstances leading up to Grímnir's monologue. The monologue itself comprises 54 stanzas of poetic verse describing the worlds and Odin's many guises. The third and last part of the poem is also prose, a brief description of Geirröth's demise, his son's ascension, and Odin's disappearance.
The prose sections were most likely not part of the original oral versions of Grímnismál. Henry Adams Bellows suggests that they were added in the 12th or 13th century and based on some sort of narrative tradition regarding the poem. This is not entirely certain. The poem itself was likely composed in the first half of the 10th century.