Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv)
13th century; volume 2; ed. Lauren Goetting;
1. Poem about Hákon (Hák) - 1
2. Hrynhenda (Hryn) - 12
3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 2
III. 1. Thómasdrápa (Thómdr) - 2
III. 2. Fragments (Frag) - 9
IV. Stanzas in praise of Árón Hjǫrleifsson (Árdr) - 2
The Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) - 330
Óláfr hvítaskáld ‘White Skald’ Þórðarson (Ólhv) was an accomplished Icel. scholar and a prolific poet. Details of his life are documented in Sturlunga saga (Stu), Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák), and Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl). He was born c. 1210-12 at Staður on Snæfellsness, Iceland, as the eldest son of Þórðr Sturluson and his concubine Þóra. He was the nephew of Snorri Sturluson (SnSt; d. 1241), with whom he spent long periods of time as a young man, and the older brother of Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl; d. 1284). In 1237 he left Iceland with Snorri to embark upon a career as a professional poet at the courts of Scandinavia. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256-8, 260, 378-84) Óláfr composed poetry in honour of a large number of kings and noblemen, including the following: (in Norway) Jarl Skúli Bárðarson (d. 1240), King Hákon Hákonarson (d. 1263) and his son Hákon ungi ‘the Young’ Hákonarson (d. 1257), Jarl Knútr Hákonarson (d. 1261); (in Sweden) King Eiríkr Eiríkson (d. 1250); (in Denmark) King Valdimarr Valdimarsson (d. 1241). Because of Óláfr’s close association with Valdimarr, from whom he hafði ... margar ágætligar frásagnir ‘got ... many excellent narratives’ (ÍF 35, 315), he is thought by some to have written Knýtl, which recounts the history of Dan. rulers (see LH 1894-1901, II, 275, 784-5). Around 1242 Óláfr returned to Iceland and founded a school at Stafaholt in Borgarfjörður, where he wrote the Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) and devoted himself to teaching and writing until his death in 1259. In addition to these pursuits, he was ordained subdeacon at some point after his return to Iceland and also served as lawspeaker 1248-50.
Most of Óláfr’s extant poetry consists of encomia to King Hákon Hákonarson and is inserted throughout the prose in Hák. This includes part of Hrynhenda (Ólhv Hryn), one st. from a Poem about Hákon (Ólhv Hák), and two lvv. (Ólhv Lv). One lv. traditionally assigned to him, has been reassigned in the present edn to Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (Ólsv Love 3III). Aside from the aforementioned, the remainder of Óláfr’s known poetic works includes two sts from Árónsdrápa ‘Drápa about Árón’ (Ólhv ÁrdrIV), composed about his friend Árón Hjǫrleifsson, and two sts from Thómasdrápa ‘Drápa about Thomas (ꜳ Becket)’ (Ólhv ThómdrIII), recorded in the Fourth Grammatical Treatise (FoGT). Finally, nine fragments of sts from TGT (Ólhv FragIII), treated as anonymous in previous eds, are attributed to Óláfr in this edn.
Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘ Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 302. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3351> (accessed 24 January 2022)
SkP info: III, 308
8 — Ólhv Frag 8III
Cite as: Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Fragments 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 308.
|Kjǫlr brunar kløkkr á fǫlvar
Krapthár kløkkr kjǫlr brunar á fǫlvar meginbárur.
The high-planked, flexing keel speeds over the white large waves.
Mss: A(7r), W(109) (TGT)
Readings:  brunar: brunn W
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 25: AI, 600, BI, 599, Skald I, 292, NN §2125n; SnE 1818, 330, SnE 1848, 196, SnE 1848-87, II, 170-1, 423, III, 150, TGT 1884, 28, 109, 226, TGT 1927, 81, 106.
Context: Cited as an example of synecdoche, where a part is substituted for the whole (i.e. pars pro toto), here kjǫlr ‘keel’ for ‘ship’.
Notes: [All]: The example in Donatus (Holtz 1981, 669, from Aeneid I, 399) is puppesque tuae pubesque tuorum ‘your sterns and your youths’. In his commentary, Sedulius Scottus adds (CCCM 40B, 382), A puppibus enim naues significat ‘By “sterns” ships are meant’. Óláfr likewise comments (TGT 1927, 81): Hér er kjǫlr settr fyrir ǫllu því skipi ‘Here “keel” is used for the whole of that ship’. Donatus (loc. cit., from Aeneid I, 114-15) also has a second example, ingens a vertice pontus in puppim ferit ‘a huge sea strikes the stern from the top’. Ship parts are common examples of this type of synecdoche, but the similarity of the examples suggests influence of the Latin on the Old Norse couplet. — [All]: An example of rétthent ‘consistently-rhymed’ metre (cf. SnSt Ht 42), that is, where there are full rhymes in odd and even lines. —  krapthár ‘high-planked’: Hap. leg. of uncertain meaning. Finnur Jónsson (LP: krapthôr) suggests höj ved sin kraft, kraftig ‘tall by its strength, strong’ but also admits the possibility that it could derive from krapti ‘bollard’ (see Þul Skipa 9/5 and Note). The present reading derives from the latter interpretation.