Auðunn illskælda (Auðunn)
Skj info: Auðun illskælda, Norsk skjald, 9. årh. (AI, 6, BI, 6).
Auðunn or Auðun illskælda ‘Bad-poet’ (Auðunn) was a Norwegian skald of the late ninth or early tenth century. He is listed among the poets of the Norwegian king Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261) and figures in the late narrative Skálda saga Haralds konungs hárfagra (Skáld) in Hb (Hb 1892-6, 445-55), as one of three poet-suitors of a rich widow, the other two being Þorbjǫrn hornklofi and Ǫlvir hnúfa. The three poets are there also said to be skalds of King Haraldr, and a lausavísa of each has been preserved in Hb. Egils saga (Eg) also preserves information about this trio of skalds, and claims that Auðunn was the oldest of the three, having previously been court poet to Haraldr’s father, Hálfdan svarti ‘the Black’ (ÍF 2, 19). A separate helmingr by Auðunn (Auðunn Lv 1III) is also preserved in TGT and edited in SkP III. Auðunn’s nickname illskælda (‘Bad, evil poet’) may imply ‘plagiarist’ (Lind 1920-1, 178-9). Its origin is explained in Skáld (Hb 1892-6, 445) as deriving from an incident in which he appropriated the refrain (stef) from a poem that his relative, Úlfr Sebbason, had composed about King Haraldr. The drápa took on the name Stolinstefja ‘The poem with the stolen stef’. To judge by Lv 1III, Auðunn may also have had a reputation for níð poetry, so the name illskælda could refer to his slanderous verse.