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Runic Dictionary

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Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson (Refr)

11th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

1. Ferðavísur (Ferðv) - 5

Hardly anything is known about the life of Hofgarða-Refr (Refr). He came from a family long residing in Western Iceland (the farm Hofgarðar lies on the south side of Snæfellsnes). The family seems to have held a goðorð ‘chieftaincy’ in that district, because Refr’s great-grandfather Helgi Hofgarðagoði ‘Priest of Hofgarðar’ is mentioned in Eyrbyggja saga (Eb ch. 16, ÍF 4, 30) as a witness in a legal dispute between Snorri goði ‘the Priest’ Þorgrímsson and Arnketill goði ‘the Priest’ Þórólfsson. His mother was Steinunn Refsdóttir or Dálksdóttir, who is known for the stanzas she composed about the shipwreck of the missionary Þangbrandr (Steinunn LvV). In the stanzas she credits Þórr, whom she considers more powerful than Christ, with the shipwreck. From this one might infer that the family only hesitantly converted to Christianity. Nothing in Refr’s poetry indicates he was a Christian; on the contrary, it is clear that he considers poetry a gift from Óðinn (Refr Giz 2 and 3; see Kuhn 1983, 305; ARG I, 262; Kreutzer 1977, 190). His name, Hofgarða-Refr, indicates that he lived on his family’s farm. He was a foster-son of the skald Gizurr gullbrár ‘Gold-eyelash’ (who may be the same as Gizurr svarti ‘the Black’, Gizsv), who was killed at the battle of Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir; 29 July 1030), and in whose memory he composed several stanzas (on Gizurr, see his Biography in SkP I). In Skáldatal Refr is listed as a skald honouring the kings Óláfr inn helgi (S. Óláfr) Haraldsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 274) and his son, Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275), as well as the Norwegian magnate Hárekr ór Þjóttu ‘from Tjøtta’ Eyvindarson and his son Einarr fluga ‘Fly’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 269, 285). Refr’s surviving oeuvre consists of the following poems and stanzas: the above mentioned ‘Poem about Gizurr gullbrárskáld’ (Refr Giz, three extant stanzas); three stanzas ‘From a poem about Þorsteinn’ (Refr Þorst, possibly for a son of Snorri goði ‘the Priest’ Þorgrímsson); a poem about a sea-voyage, called Ferðavísur by modern editors (Refr Ferðv, five extant stanzas); five fragments on various subjects (Refr Frag).

Ferðavísur (‘Stanzas about journeys’) — Refr FerðvIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, Ferðavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 243.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt, Ferðavísur (AI, 320-1, BI, 296-7)

in texts: LaufE, Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 243

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Vol. 3. Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Ferðavísur, 1 [Vol. 3, 244] — Refr Ferðv 1III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Vágþrýsta berr vestan,
vættik lands fyr brandi,
(hvalmœni skefr) húna
hógdýr of lǫg bógu.

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt 1 (AI, 320; BI, 296); dróttkvætt; ed. EM; group: B; mss: 744x, 761bx, B, R, Tx, U, W; texts: Skm 125
 
2 Vol. 3. Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Ferðavísur, 2 [Vol. 3, 245] — Refr Ferðv 2III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Fœrir bjǫrn, þars bára
brestr, undinna festa
opt í ægis kjapta
úrsvǫl Gymis vǫlva.

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt 2 (AI, 320; BI, 296); dróttkvætt; ed. EM; group: B; mss: 2368x, 743x, 744x, 761bx, A, B, C, R, Tx, U, W; texts: LaufE 154(388-9), Skm 127, Skm 351
 
3 Vol. 3. Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Ferðavísur, 3 [Vol. 3, 246] — Refr Ferðv 3III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

En sægnípu Sleipnir
slítr úrdrifinn hvítrar
Ránar, rauðum steini
runnit, brjóst ór munni.

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt 3 (AI, 321; BI, 296); dróttkvætt; ed. EM; group: B; mss: 2368x, 743x, 744x, 761bx, B, R, Tx, U, W; texts: LaufE 155(389), Skm 128
 
4 Vol. 3. Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Ferðavísur, 4 [Vol. 3, 247] — Refr Ferðv 4III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Barðristinn nemr brjósti
borðheim drasill skorðu
(nauð þolir viðr), en víði
verpr inn of þrǫm stinnan.

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt 4 (AI, 321; BI, 297); dróttkvætt; ed. EM; group: B; mss: 2368x, 743x, 761bx, A, C, R, Tx; texts: LaufE 158(389), Skm 358
 
5 Vol. 3. Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Ferðavísur, 5 [Vol. 3, 248] — Refr Ferðv 5III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Hrynja fjǫll á fyllar,
framm œsisk nú Glamma
skeið vetrliði skíða,
skautbjǫrn Gusis-nauta.

Skj: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson: 4. Et rejsedigt 5 (AI, 321; BI, 297); dróttkvætt; ed. EM; group: B; mss: 744x, 761bx, A, B, C, R, Tx; texts: Skm 367
 
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