Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Jórunn skáldmær (Jór)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Judith Jesch;

Sendibítr (Send) - 5

Skj info: Jórunn skáldmær, Norsk. Den første halvdel af det 10. årh. (AI, 60-61, BI, 53-54).

Skj poems:
Sendibítr

Nothing is known of Jórunn skáldmær ‘Poet-maiden’ (Jór): who she was, when or where she lived, or when or why she composed the poem Sendibítr (Send) attributed to her. Her nickname indicates a young, unmarried woman who composed poetry. Jórunn is the only female poet among the sixty-seven skalds named in Skm (SnE 1998, I, lv-lix). Mss C(9r) and (41v) have the masculine name Jǫrundr instead, but this is unlikely to be significant, as no poet by the name of Jǫrundr is otherwise known – it is an understandable mistake given how rare named women poets were. Jórunn is often assumed to have been a tenth-century Norwegian, contemporary with Kings Haraldr and Hálfdan, but the dating of Send, and therefore of her lifetime, is uncertain (see Introduction below).

Sendibítr (‘Biting message’) — Jór SendI

Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 143.

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Skj: Jórunn skáldmær: Sendibítr, om Harald hårfagre (AI, 60-1, BI, 53-4)

in texts: Flat, HHárf, Hkr, ÓH, ÓT, Skm, SnE

SkP info: I, 143

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Bragningr réð í blóði
— beið herr konungs reiði —
— hús lutu opt fyr eisum —
óþjóðar slǫg rjóða.
The ruler reddened weapons in the blood of evil people; the army suffered the king’s anger; houses often collapsed because of fires.
2 Harald frák, Halfdan, spyrja
herðibrǫgð, en lǫgðis
sýnisk svartleitr reyni
sjá bragr, inn hárfagra.
Hálfdan, I have learned that Haraldr inn hárfagri (‘Fair-hair’) heard about [your] tough deeds, and that poem seems dark-faced to the tester of the sword [WARRIOR].
3 Þvít ríkr konungr rekka,
reyr undlagar dreyra
morðs þás merkja þorðu
magnendr, bsk at fagna.
Because the powerful king of warriors prepared to rejoice when the quickeners of slaughter [WARRIORS] dared to stain the reed of the wound-sea [BLOOD > SWORD] with blood.
4 Hvar vitu einka ǫrvir
ǫrveðrs frama gǫrvan
tinglrýrǫndum tungla
tveir jǫfrar veg meira,
an geðharðir gerðu
golls landrekar þollum
— upp angr of hófsk yngva —
óblinds fyr lof Sindra?
Where do two especially brave princes know of greater honour, fame of arrow-storm [BATTLE], granted to destroyers of moons of the prow-board [(lit. ‘prow-board-destroyers of moons’) SHIELDS > WARRIORS] than tough-minded land-rulers granted to firs of gold [MEN] because of the praise of clear-sighted Sindri (‘Spark’ (?))? The trouble of the princes was lifted.
5 Hróðr vann hringa stríðir
Haralds framm kveðinn ramman;
Goðþormr hlaut af gæti
góð laun kveðins óðar.
Raunframra brá rimmu
runnr skjǫldunga gunnar;
áðr bjósk herr til hjǫrva
hreggs dǫglinga tveggja.
The enemy of rings [GENEROUS MAN] performed a powerful panegyric for Haraldr; Guthormr got good reward for the recited poem from the sovereign. The tree of battle [WARRIOR] ended the clash between the truly successful rulers; previously the army of [each of] the two princes had prepared for a storm of swords [BATTLE].
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