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Kálfr Hallsson (Kálf)

14th century; volume 7; ed. Kirsten Wolf;

Kátrínardrápa (Kátr) - 51

The name of the poet of Kátrínardrápa can be deduced from sts 1, 49 and 51 as Kálfr Hallsson (Kálfr would have been Kálfur in C14th). In st. 1/8 he describes himself as ‘the son of Hallur’ (arfi Halls) and at the end of the poem gives his name in both Icelandic (Kálfr [= ‘calf’] 49/1) and Lat. (Vitulus [= Kálfur] 51/3) and says he is now a monk (frater, st. 51/4). The implication of sts 45-51 is that Kálfr had previously led a sinful secular life, but this may be stereotypical self-deprecation. The Lat. phrase Vítulus vátes ‘the poet Kálfr’ by which the poet refers to himself in st. 51/3-4 also appears in Völsungs rímur hins óborna and this has led some scholars to propose that Kálfr Hallsson was the author of both poems (see Note to st. 51). Nothing is known of Kálfr’s monastic affiliation nor his precise dates, though the mid-C14th seems a likely floruit (Vésteinn Ólason 1993, 316).

Kátrínardrápa (‘Drápa about S. Catherine’) — Kálf KátrVII

Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘ Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 931-64. <> (accessed 2 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51 

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa (AII, 516-26, BII, 569-82)

SkP info: VII, 953

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

35 — Kálf Kátr 35VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 953.

‘Hygg að þú nú, heiðinn tiggi’,
hæð mælti, ‘sá öllu er æðri,
hvárn mundir þú, eða heimsku gjarnan’,
hafnarljósa, ‘fyrri kjósa’?
‘Heldur kjöri eg’, kvað hristir skjalda,
‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra;
eigi skil eg, hví öðling Sága
elda síks hefir friett að slíku.’

‘Hygg þú nú að, heiðinn tiggi’, mælti {hæð {hafnarljósa}}, ‘hvárn mundir þú fyrri kjósa, sá er æðri öllu eða gjarnan heimsku?’ ‘Eg kjöri heldur’, kvað {hristir skjalda}, ‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra; eg skil eigi, hví {Sága {elda síks}} hefir friett öðling að slíku’.

‘Now consider, heathen king’ said {the height {of the harbour-light}} [GOLD > WOMAN], ‘whom you would rather choose, one who is higher than anything else or one eager for folly?’ ‘I choose rather’ said {the the shaker of shields} [WARRIOR], ‘the one who is more famous than all others than the one who is inferior to all others; I do not understand, why {the Sága <goddess> {of the fires of the channel}} [GOLD > WOMAN] has asked the king about such a matter’.

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 35 (AII, 523; BII, 578); Skald II, 318, NN §§2967, 3397M, Kahle 1898, 74, 107, Sperber 1911, 51, 81.


AM 713 4° (713) 132 - 132  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 19 - 19  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 217r - 217r  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated