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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. 3. Stríðkeravísur (Stríðk) - 1

not in Skj

2.4: Stríðkeravísur (‘Vísur of Grief-prick’) — Anon StríðkIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Stríðkeravísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 628. <> (accessed 18 May 2022)


Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: A. 3. Stríðkeravísur (AI, 590, BI, 591); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: LaufE

SkP info: III, 628

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


A single dróttkvætt stanza, which LaufE claims is from an anonymous poem called StríðkeravísurVísur of Grief-prick’ (Anon Stríðk), is found in LaufE mss and also recorded in RE 1665(Ji1), and may be from now lost leaves of W (LaufE 1979, 38, 175). It is cited, among ways of referring to women in poetry, to exemplify a kenning for a widow. It follows immediately upon LaufE’s citation of Egill Lv 48/5-6V (Eg 132) in which Egill makes use of a double entendre of the noun ekkja to mean both ‘widow’ and ‘heel’ (hæll). Anon Stríðk’s strange title and the stanza itself depend on a similar play on words involving the compound stríðkeri; see Note to l. 8 below.

It appears that Stríðk was originally only in the Y version of LaufE, and that its presence on 26v, the final folio of AM 758 4°ˣ (758ˣ), which is what remains of Magnús Ólafsson’s autograph copy (X1, sent to Árngrímur Jónsson in 1609), is due to an unknown copyist who took it from the Y version (LaufE 1979, 38). The text in 758ˣ is written sideways in a text-box down the left-hand side of the page, and the last two lines are now mostly illegible. The text for this edition is based on 2368ˣ and 743ˣ, both Y versions of LaufE. Ms. 758ˣ has also been consulted.

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