Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Katrina Attwood;

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

Skj info: Gamli kanóki, Islandsk gejstlig og skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 561-72, BI, 547-65).

Skj poems:
1. Jóansdrápa
2. Harmsól

Gamli kanóki ‘canon Gamli’ (where the name Gamli, ‘the old one’ may itself be a nickname) is best known as the author of the poem Harmsól ‘Sun of Sorrow’, which is explicitly ascribed to him in a marginal note at the beginning of the poem on fol. 12r, l. 42 of the sole surviving ms., AM 757 a 4° (B): Harmsol er gamle orti kanokeHarmsól, which canon Gamli composed’. Gamli is also mentioned by name in Jóns saga postula (Jón4), where the author of the prose text prefaces the quotation of four sts from Gamli’s Jónsdrápa with the information: Annan mann til óðgirðar signaðum Johanni nefnum vér Gamla kanunk austr í Þykkvabœ, hann orti drápu dyrligum Johanni ‘As the second man to have composed a poem to blessed John we [I] name canon Gamli in the east at Þykkvabœr, he composed a drápa to S. John’ (Jón4 1874, 510). In a remark before the fourth st. Gamli is referred to as bróðir Gamli ‘Brother Gamli’ (Jón4 1874, 511). Þykkvabœr was an Augustinian monastery in south-eastern Iceland founded in 1168; Gamli was thus an Augustinian canon (or canon regular) of this community. His floruit can be inferred from the date of the foundation of Þykkvabœr as being in the mid- to late C12th.

files
file 2006-12-15 - Gamli kanoki w. MCR corrections

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132.

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Skj: Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól, „er gamle orti kanoke“ (AI, 562-72, BI, 548-65)

SkP info: VII, 106-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

39 — Gamlkan Has 39VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 106-7.

Fnyk þola flærðar auknir
fleygjendr þrimu leygjar
— þar liggr elds á ǫldum
íma — frost með bríma.
Mǫrgs ǫnnur þar manna
meiri ógn ok fleira
angr, an ór megi tunga,
óvegs, frá því segja.

{Fleygjendr {leygjar þrimu}}, auknir flærðar, þola fnyk, frost með bríma; þar liggr íma elds á ǫldum. Mǫrgs ǫnnur meiri ógn óvegs manna þar ok fleira angr, an tunga ór megi segja frá því.

{Flingers {of the flame of battle}} [SWORD > WARRIORS], swollen with falsehood, endure stench, frost with flame; there lie embers of fire upon men. Many another greater terror for dishonourable men is there and more sorrow than our [my] tongue is able to describe.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] bríma: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ma’ B    [5] Mǫrgs: mǫrg eru B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 39: AI, 567-8, BI, 558, Skald I, 271, NN §§21, 2806; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 25-6, Kempff 1867, 12, Rydberg 1907, 27, Black 1971, 238, Attwood 1996a, 231.

Notes: [1] auknir flærðar ‘swollen with falsehood’: Kock (NN §21) suggests that flærð means ‘folly’, and that, in a religious text, it should be interpreted as ‘godlessness’ or ‘recklessness’. — [2] fleygjendr ‘flingers’: Skj B normalises B’s ‘fleygendr’ to fleygjendr, nomen agentis from fleygja (weak class 1) ‘to make fly’. All subsequent eds have adopted this form. — [3-4] þar liggr íma elds á ǫldum ‘there lie embers of fire upon men’: The problem here concerns both the case and meaning of ms. ‘ima’. There is a complex of semantically related nouns in ON: ím n. ‘dust, ashes’, íma f. ‘battle, she-wolf’ (‘dusky one’), and ímr m. ‘wolf’ (‘dusky’) (see LP: íma, ímr). Sveinbjörn Egilsson (cf. LP (1860): íma) and Kempff retain the ms. reading íma, taking this as the nom. form of íma f. in the sense ‘embers’, for which there is no other attested example in either poetry or prose. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to ímu, and arranges þar liggr frost með bríma á ímu elds ǫldum ‘there lies frost with flame on the men of the fire of battle [SWORD > WARRIORS]’. He takes íma f. to mean ‘battle’, a sense attested in several poems, whose eldr is a sword (see also LP: íma, ǫld). Kock accepts this emendation without comment. — [5] mǫrgs: B’s reading eru must be emended both from a grammatical point of view (ógn is f. nom. sg.) and from a metrical point of view (in a type E l.).

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