Vetrliði Sumarliðason (Vetrl)
10th century; volume 3; ed. R. D. Fulk;
Lausavísa (Lv) - 1
No work by Vetrliði Sumarliðason (Vetrl) survives, aside from this helmingr. He was an Icelander and a fierce opponent of Christianity who was killed in 999 at the instigation of the missionary Þangbrandr for composing scurrilous verses about him (see Njáls saga, ÍF 12, 260-1 and Hkr, ÍF 26, 320). According to Landnámabók (Ldn, ÍF 1, Genealogy XXVIII), he was a great-grandson of the famous settler Ketill hœngr ‘Salmon’, and his father lived in Hválhreppur near Fljótshlíð in Rangárvallasýsla. Vetrliði and his son Ari were killed by Þangbrandr and Guðleifr Arason of Reykjahólar when they were cutting turf (ÍF 1, 348 and n. 4; ÍF 12, 260; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 157). See also Anon (Kristni) 2IV and Note to [All] there.
R. D. Fulk 2017, ‘ Vetrliði Sumarliðason, Lausavísa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 425. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1498> (accessed 20 January 2022)
Skj: Vetrliði Sumarliðason: Lausavísa, eller af et digt om Tor? (AI, 135, BI, 127); stanzas (if different): [v]
in texts: Skm, SnE
SkP info: III, 425
This helmingr (Vetrl Lv) is most unusual because it addresses Þórr directly (see also Þdís Þórr 2), and Finnur Jónsson (LH 1894-1901, I, 479) accordingly suggests that it may have been part of an invocation to that god by Vetrliði to bring down his wrath on Þangbrandr and destroy him in just the manner in which he was accustomed to destroying giants and giantesses. (Cf. the similar invocation by Egill Skallagrímsson, Egill Lv 21V (Eg 28), when he calls on the pagan gods to help him expel King Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’ and his wife Gunnhildr from Norway.) The metre of the fragment is málaháttr, like certain passages in other poems with particular affinities to eddic poetry, such as Þhorn HarkvI, Anon EirmI and Eyv HákI.