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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eysteinn Valdason (EVald)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Poem about Þórr (Þórr) - 3

Skj info: Eysteinn Valdason, Islænder, omkr. 1000. (AI, 140, BI, 131).

Skj poems:
Et digt om Tor

Eysteinn Valdason (EVald) is known only from the section of Skm on kennings for Þórr (SnE 1998, I, 14-17), where he is named and three helmingar attributed to him are quoted. No other information about him exists. Most editors (e.g. Finnur Jónsson in Skj A) regard him as an Icelander, although there is no evidence in support of this view. He is usually considered to have lived in the tenth century, largely because of the pagan subject-matter and style of his poetry.

Poem about Þórr — EVald ÞórrIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Eysteinn Valdason, Poem about Þórr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 185.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Eysteinn Valdason: Et digt om Tor (AI, 140, BI, 131)

SkP info: III, 187

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — EVald Þórr 3III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Eysteinn Valdason, Poem about Þórr 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. 187.

Svá brá viðr, at sýjur
seiðr renndi fram breiðar
jarðar; út at borði
Ulls mágs hnefar skullu.

 

So it came about, that {the saithe of the earth} [= Miðgarðsormr] made the broad rivetted planks slide forward; the fists {of the kinsman of Ullr} [= Þórr] banged out on the gunwale.

notes: The helmingr is very close to Snorri’s prose wording in Gylf (SnE 2005, 44): En er ormrinn kendi þess, brá hann við svá hart at báðir hnefar Þórs skullu út á borðinu ‘But when the serpent felt this [the fish-hook], he struggled so hard against it that both Þórr’s fists banged out on the gunwale’. Nevertheless, the syntax of the helmingr is problematic and has been variously interpreted. Both Skj B and Skald (cf. NN §421) adopt Konráð Gíslason’s original suggestion (so Skj AI, 140 n.) to emend renndi (l. 2, 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. after sváat) to renndu, 3rd pers. pl. pret. indic. of renna ‘cause to move, run’. This allows sýjur ‘rivetted planks’ (l. 1) to be taken as the subject of an independent clause breiðar sýjur renndu fram ‘the broad rivetted planks shot forward’ (ll. 1, 2), whereas this edn (following SnE 1998, I, 164) takes seiðr jarðar ‘the saithe of the earth’ as the subject of a subordinate clause, dependent on the main clause svá brá viðr ‘so it came about’ (l. 1). This arrangement has the merit of avoiding Skj B’s extremely fragmented word order but the possible disadvantage that renna must be understood without clear precedent as taking an acc. object (breiðar sýjur ‘broad rivetted planks’), when it usually takes a dat. As Faulkes observes (SnE 1998, I, 164-5), although renna sometimes has an acc. object, this usage is normally reserved for the sense of pouring liquids (Fritzner: renna v. [nd] 3, 8).

texts: Skm 47, SnE 49

editions: Skj Eysteinn Valdason: Et digt om Tor 3 (AI, 140; BI, 131); Skald I, 73; SnE 1848-87, I, 254-5, III, 16,  SnE 1931, 95, SnE 1998, I, 15.

sources

GKS 2367 4° (R) 22r, 2 - 22r, 3 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 22r, 24 - 22r, 26 (SnE)  transcr.  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 47, 13 - 47, 14 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 a 4°x (761ax) 73r, 10 - 73r, 13 (Skáldatal)  image  
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