Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Blakkr (Blakkr)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

2. Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

Skj info: Blakkr, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 537-8, BI, 518-19).

Skj poems:
1. Breiðskeggsdrápa
2. Lausavísur

Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 264, 278) tells us that Blakkr (called ‘Blakkr skáld’ in Sv, ÍF 30, 176) was one of King Sverrir Sigurðarson’s poets, but none of his poems about Sverrir has survived. He stayed with Sverrir 1187-91. According to Finnur Jónsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 649; Skj) Blakkr was an Icelander, but there is no evidence to support that assumption.

Lausavísur — Blakkr LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Blakkr, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 649-51.

 1   2 

Skj: Blakkr: 2. Lausavísur, 1187 (AI, 538, BI, 519)

SkP info: II, 649

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Blakkr Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Blakkr, Lausavísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 649.

Reisum fyr vísa!
Verum þungir Kuflungum!
Lǫtum brýndan hjǫr bíta!
Bolum tafn und kló hrafni!
Hnekkjum fjanda flokki!
Friðum land jǫfurs brandi!
Rjóðum dǫrr í dreyra!
Drepum meira hlut þeira!


Let’s raise banners before the leader! Let’s be hostile to the Kuflungar! Let’s make the sharpened sword bite! Let’s chop carrion beneath the claw of the raven! Let’s put the flock of enemies to flight! Let’s pacify the prince’s land with the sword! Let’s redden spears in gore! Let’s kill the greater part of them!

context: During the summer of 1187, Jón kuflungr and his men again travel north to Trondheim with a large fleet to attempt to catch Sverrir and the Birkibeinar unawares (for the previous expedition, see Nefari Lv). Sverrir sets sail south to meet them, and Blakkr, who was among Sverrir’s men on this occasion, recites this st.

notes: The metre is áttmælt ‘eight-times spoken’ (see SnSt Ht 10III, SnE 1999, 9), in which a st. contains eight independent clauses, each of which occupies one l. — For a similar cry to battle from the faction of the Kuflungar, see Nefari Lv above. Blakkr clearly imitates the content and style of Nefari’s st., which was composed the year before. — [3] lǫtum ‘let’s’: See Note to Nefari Lv ll. 3, 7.

texts: Sv 11, Flat 817

editions: Skj Blakkr: 2. Lausavísur 1 (AI, 538; BI, 519); Skald I, 253; ÍF 30, 163 (ch. 106), Sv 1920, 113, Flat 1860-8, II, 627, E 1916, 355, Sv 1910-86, 139.


AM 327 4° (327) 55v, 5 - 55v, 8 (Sv)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 155va, 48 - 155va, 48 (Sv)  image  image  image  
Holm perg 8 fol (8) 9v, 35 - 10r, 2 (Sv)  image  
AM 47 fol (E) 102v, 23 - 102v, 25 (Sv)  image  
AM 81 a fol (81a) 31rb, 23 - 31rb, 28 (Sv)  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 21r, 2 - 21r, 9  image  
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