Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Blakkr (Blakkr)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Breiðskeggsdrápa (Breiðdr) - 2

Skj info: Blakkr, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 537-8, BI, 518-19).

Skj poems:
1. Breiðskeggsdrápa
2. Lausavísur

Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 264, 278) tells us that Blakkr (called ‘Blakkr skáld’ in Sv, ÍF 30, 176) was one of King Sverrir Sigurðarson’s poets, but none of his poems about Sverrir has survived. He stayed with Sverrir 1187-91. According to Finnur Jónsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 649; Skj) Blakkr was an Icelander, but there is no evidence to support that assumption.

Breiðskeggsdrápa (‘Drápa about Breiðskeggr’) — Blakkr BreiðdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Blakkr, Breiðskeggsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 647-51.

 1   2 

Skj: Blakkr: 1. Breiðskeggsdrápa, o. 1191 (AI, 537, BI, 518)

in texts: Flat, Sv

SkP info: II, 647-51

notes: also has 'Sth. 20' in Skj

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

Blakkr composed a poem in memory of Þorleifr breiðskeggr ‘Broad-beard’, a Norw. royal pretender who claimed to be the son of King Eysteinn Haraldsson (d. 1157). Þorleifr had been a monk, and after his death in 1191 there were rumours of his sanctity (most likely prompted by the fact that he had a scar in the shape of a cross on his back). One st. and this refrain are transmitted in Sv (327, Flat, 8, 81a and 325VIII 4 a), and the refrain is explicitly assigned to Breiðskeggr’s erfidrápa ‘memorial drápa’ (BreiðskeggsdrápaDrápa about Breiðskeggr’ (Breiðdr) is a modern title). The other st. is not said to be part of that encomium, but its content, which is highly sarcastic, is in keeping with the tenor of the refrain. The sts are unique, because memorial poems otherwise always emphasise the positive aspects of the person commemorated. Stanza 1 is complete in 8 only, and 8 is the main ms. for that st., while 327 is the main ms. for the refrain.
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