Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Lilja (Lil) - 100

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Lilja (‘Lily’) — Anon LilVII

Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.

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Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson: Lilja (AII, 363-95, BII, 390-416)

SkP info: VII, 672-3

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97 — Anon Lil 97VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 97’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 672-3.

Veri kátar nú, virða sveitir;
vætti þess, í kvæðis hætti,
várkunni, að verka þenna
vanda eg minnr, en þætti standa.
Varðar mest, að allra orða
undirstaðan sie riettlig fundin,
eigi glögg þó að eddu regla
undan hljóti að víkja stundum.

Sveitir virða, veri nú kátar; vætti þess várkunni, að eg vanda verka þenna minnr í hætti kvæðis, en þætti standa. Varðar mest, að riettlig undirstaðan allra orða sie fundin, þó að eigi glögg regla eddu hljóti stundum að víkja undan.

Hosts of men, be glad now; I expect this, that they will excuse, that I execute this poem less well in poetic form than it would seem to merit. It is of great importance that the right meaning of all words be found, even though the obscuring rule of the Edda must at times give way.

Mss: Bb(116vb), 99a(19r), 622(40), 713(14-15), Vb(256), 41 8°ˣ(135-136), 705ˣ(23v), 4892(40v)

Readings: [1] Veri: Verið 622, 4892, Verði Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    kátar: kátir 622, 713    [2] vætti: því vænti eg 99a, vænti eg 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, vætti eg 713, vænti 705ˣ;    þess: þess eg 705ˣ    [3] várkunni (‘[...]orkynne’): so 713, várkunnigr Bb, várkynnið 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, vera kann hið 622, várkynnið 4892;    að: þó 99a, þó að 713, 705ˣ, mier Vb, 41 8°ˣ, om. 4892;    verka: verknað 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, verkan 713;    þenna: so 622, 713, 705ˣ, þinna Bb, þennan 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [4] vanda: vandi 99a, þó vandi Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    minnr: miðr 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    þætti: ‘þikki til’ 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [5] Varðar: það varðar 622, 4892;    að: til 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [6] undirstaðan: að undirstaða 622    [7] eigi: eigi er 99a, 622, 705ˣ;    glögg: glöggt 622;    þó að: þó 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, því 705ˣ;    regla: reglan 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [8] undan: að undan 705ˣ;    hljóti: so 713, verði Bb, 622, hlýtr 99a, 705ˣ;    að: om. Vb

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 97: AII, 394, BII, 415-16, Skald II, 228, NN §2634.

Notes: [All]: Peter Foote (1982, 122-3) comments on this st. and the following, ‘Eysteinn is not a solitary pioneer but represents a movement: a similar reaction is voiced less explicitly by Abbot Arngrímr Brandsson (died 1361) in st. 2 of Guðmundar kvæði and more explicitly by Abbot Árni Jónsson (died c. 1380) in st. 78 of Guðmundar drápa’. — [6] riettlig undirstaðan ‘the right meaning’: Lit. ‘right foundation’. Lie (1952, 78) interprets this as the skald’s argument for the precedence of content over form in poetry: words should be chosen for their ability to express the thoughts and feelings of the poet rather than to satisfy formal requirements. Undirstaða came to have a precise meaning in ON religious literature (see Fritzner: undirstaða 4). The homily on the wedding at Cana in HómÍsl 1993, 87r speaks of the difficulty of understanding or distinguishing (vér skilem) the true meaning of the gospel (uɴder ſtǫþor goþſpiallz). In the prologue to Nikolaus saga erkibyskups II, the translator prays that his version may worthily reflect the efni ok undirstodu ‘substance and meaning’ of his Lat. exemplar (Unger 1877, II, 50). FoGT uses the word in its definition of paradigma, which uses examples with similar meanings (eiginligri undirstöðu) to illustrate an idea (SnE 1848-87, II, 214). The concern of the skald in this st. is more likely the right expression of the theological import of his matter than of his own thoughts and feelings. — [7] eigi glögg ‘obscuring’: Lit. ‘not clear’. The sense seems to be not that the rules themselves are not clear, but that observance of them darkens the clarity of the text. — [7] regla eddu ‘of the rule of the Edda’: The reference to SnE (rather than to traditional poetic rules in general) attests to the influence this work still held at the time Lil was composed.

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