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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 4. Stanzas from Laufás Edda (LaufE) - 11

2.4: Stanzas from Laufás Edda — Anon (LaufE)III

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Stanzas from Laufás Edda’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 637.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

for reference only:  11x 

SkP info: III, 639

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Anon (LaufE) 3III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Laufás Edda 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 639.

Sigrunnit kømr svanna
serkland at mér grandi;
Sólmarkar drepr serkjar
samland við mér gamni.

{Sigrunnit serkland} kømr grandi svanna at mér; {samland serkjar} drepr gamni Sólmarkar við mér.

{The conquered shirt-land} [WOMAN] sends the harm of women to me; {the fellow-land of the shirt} [WOMAN] destroys the pleasure of Sólmǫrk for me.

Mss: papp10ˣ(48v), 2368ˣ(117), 743ˣ(89r) (LaufE)

Readings: [2] serkland: ‘serckand’ 2368ˣ    [4] mér: mik 2368ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 33: AI, 600, BI, 600, Skald I, 292, NN §1235; SnE 1848-87, II, 632, III, 198-9, LaufE 1979, 293, 376-7.

Context: The helmingr illustrates kennings for ‘women’ in which the base-word is land ‘land’ (LaufE 1979, 293): Kalla mä hanaLand sem hier er qvedit ‘She can be called … ‘land’, as is said here’.

Notes: [All]: The basic sense of this half-stanza, conveyed by the clauses kømr grandi at mér ‘sends harm to me’ (ll. 1, 2) and drepr gamni við mér ‘destroys the pleasure for me’ (ll. 3, 4), is clear, but the meaning and syntactic function of the other nominal elements are less than obvious. Finnur Jónsson (LP: Samland) observes dryly that den slags kenningerer en digters öjebliksleg ‘such kennings … are a poet’s extemporaneous play’. The kennings in this helmingr are in fact unprecedented. There can be no doubt that the word-play on the women-kennings and geographical locations was intended, and the kennings bear all the marks of having been created for the present prose context (see also the next stanza, Note to [All]). — [1] sigrunnit ‘conquered’: This cpd, formed from the noun sigr ‘victory’ (or ‘battle’ in compounds) and unnit (p. p. of the verb vinna ‘conquer, win’) is n. nom. or acc. sg., and syntactically it can only qualify serkland ‘shirt-land’ (l. 2). — [1, 2] grandi svanna ‘the harm of women’: Svanna is oblique sg. or gen. pl., and it is difficult to accommodate syntactically except as a part of the noun phrase grandi svanna, taken here to mean ‘harm caused by women’, perhaps by their spreading rumours or by cursing. Cf. Nj ch. 116, ÍF 12, 292: eru kǫld kvenna ráð ‘cold is the counsel of women’, as well as Queen Gunnhildr cursing Hrútr and causing his future impotence (Nj ch. 6, ÍF 12, 21). — [2] serkland ‘shirt-land [WOMAN]’: (a) According to the commentary, this must be part of a kenning for ‘woman’. As a geographical name, Serkland means ‘land of the Saracens (Serkir)’, referring to North Africa, the Arab sector of Asia Minor, Syria (see Note to Hharð Lv 10/7II). Although terms for ‘land’ occur frequently as base-words in woman-kennings, geographical names per se are extremely rare as base-words (see Meissner 409-10; indeed, two of the three examples listed there are from Skj B’s interpretation of the present stanza). However, the Old Norse cpd serkland means ‘shirt-land’, which can be construed as kenning for ‘woman’ (Meissner 415-16), and that interpretation has been adopted here. A serkr ‘shirt’ was a type of undergarment, with or without sleeves, that was worn by men as well as by women (Fritzner: serkr). (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends svanna ‘of women’ (l. 1) to sunnu ‘of the sun’ and Sólmarkar lit. ‘of Sólmǫrk’ (l. 3) to sílmarkar ‘of the herring-land’ and takes Serkland in its geographical sense: Serkland sunnu sílmarkar ‘the Saracen-land of the sun of the herring-land [SEA > GOLD > WOMAN]’. (c) Kock (Skald; NN §1235) construes serkland ‘shirt-land’ as a kenning for ‘body’, which would give sigrunnit serkland svanna kømr grandi at mér ‘the conquered body of the woman causes me grief’. However attractive that reading is, it is not supported by the prose context, and, moreover, body-kennings of the type ‘shirt-land’ are not attested in the corpus of skaldic poetry (see Meissner 126). — [3] Sólmarkar ‘of Sólmǫrk’: Lit. ‘of the sun-forest, of the sun-land’. This is a kenning for ‘sky/heaven’, which makes little sense in the context (see LP: sólmǫrk). In the present edn the cpd has been taken as a f. pers. n. (cf. Sólborg, ESk Lv 11/2 and Note to Anon Mhkv 11/7), although it could well be a f. nickname or even an onomastic pun on a woman’s name. The construction gamni Sólmarkar ‘the pleasure of Sólmǫrk’ is then syntactically parallel to grandi svanna ‘the harm of women’ (ll. 1, 2). — [4] samland ‘the fellow-land’: (a) Taken here as a cpd formed in analogy with samlandi ‘compatriot, fellow countryman’. Samland serkjar ‘the fellow-land of the shirt [WOMAN]’ is then parallel to serkland ‘shirt-land [WOMAN]’ (l. 1). (b) Skj B interprets this as another geographical name, Samland (translated as ‘Samland’; LP: Samland). As a p. n., this must be ON Sámland, Semgallen, a historical district in Latvia (see ÍF 35, 244-5). (c) Kock (Skald; NN §1235) construes samland serkjar ‘fellow-land of the shirt’ as another kenning for ‘body’, and he takes sólmarkar (l. 3) as a kenning for ‘heaven’ (see Note to l. 3 above). According to Kock, samland serkjar sólmarkar drepr gamni við mér translates as Härligt särkland, egt jemensamt, jör hos mig på fröjden slut ‘The glorious shirt-land, owned in common, causes the end of my joy’.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated