11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;
Lausavísur (Lv) - 11
III. Fragment (Frag) - 1
Sneglu-Halli (SnH) came from a poor family from Fljót near Svarfaðardalur in northern Iceland. The meaning of his nickname (Sneglu-) is unclear, but it could have referred to his slender stature (Flat 1860-8, III, 416; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 297) or to his irascibility (Andersson and Gade 2000, 442). In later literature he was given the nickname Grautar-Halli ‘Porridge-Halli’ because of his fondness for porridge (ÍF 9, cxii n. 1; ÞjóðA Lv 7). Around 1053 Halli arrived at King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson’s court in Norway, and after a trip to Denmark and England he returned to Iceland, where he must have died prior to 1066. According to Flat, King Haraldr received the news of Halli’s death with the following comment (ÍF 9, 295): Á grauti myndi greyit sprungit hafa ‘The bitch must have burst with porridge’. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists Halli as a court poet of Haraldr harðráði, and he is said to have composed a poem in his honour (ÍF 9, 275, 280). A half-st. in fornyrðislag metre (SnH FragIII) attributed to Halli in TGT (TGT 1884, 20, 80) has been assigned to that poem by some eds. See Introduction, SnH FragIII. Otherwise, only the lvv. below have been preserved of his poetic oeuvre, which is also said to have included Kolluvísur ‘the Cow’s Vísur’, a poem composed about cows in Iceland, and a panegyric to an Engl. earl (see SnE 1848-87, III, 599-604; LH 1894-1901, I, 635-7). In H, Hr and Mork, ÞjóðA Lv 8 is erroneously attributed to Halli (see Mork 1928-32, 238; Fms 6, 364).
Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Sneglu-Halli, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 369. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1374> (accessed 28 November 2021)
Skj: Sneglu- [Grautar-] Halli: 1. Et digt om Harald hårdråde (?) (AI, 388, BI, 358); stanzas (if different): [v]
in texts: Gramm, TGT
SkP info: III, 369
Finnur Jónsson (Skj) tentatively assigns this stanza (SnH Frag), which is transmitted in mss A (main ms.) and W of TGT, to a poem about King Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson (r. 1046-66) (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 601-2; TGT 1927, 98), most likely because it is mentioned in Sneglu-Halla þáttr that Halli composed a poem about him (Snegl, ÍF 9, 275-80; see also Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275). Although the helmingr may have been a part of an encomium in fornyrðislag metre, there is no evidence that it belonged to a poem honouring Haraldr (see Fidjestøl 1982, 143). The poet is identified as Sneglu-Halli in both mss.