11th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;
Fragment (Frag) - 1
Norðrsetudrápa (Norðrdr) - 3
Four fragmentary dróttkvætt stanzas are ascribed to a certain Sveinn (Sveinn), about whom nothing else is known: two in SnE mss, and two in TGT. SnE mss record of st. 2: Svá sagði Sveinn í Norðrsetudrápu ‘So said Sveinn in Norðrsetudrápa’ (SnE 1998, I, 39), giving the name of the poem. Although the poem title is not mentioned apropos any of the other stanzas, the common subject-matter of sts 1-3 indicates that they probably all belonged to this drápa. The fourth stanza is treated here as belonging to a different poem (Sveinn Frag 1). Norðrseta (pl. ‑setur) was the name of an area to the north of the Western Settlement in Greenland, where the best hunting grounds were located, and where people also obtained driftwood (Ólafur Halldórsson 1993). The poem describes the kind of wild weather that one would be likely to encounter in Greenland, so it seems reasonable to consider Sveinn as either an inhabitant of Greenland or an Icelander who had visited the colony. Editors have conventionally suggested a date in the eleventh century for Sveinn, and this seems reasonable; cf. Jakob Benediktsson’s (1981) proposal that Hafgerðingadrápa ‘Tremendous waves’ drápa’ (Anon HafgIV), also about stormy sea-travel to Greenland, dates from the second half of the eleventh century.
Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Sveinn, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 397.
in texts: Gramm, TGT
SkP info: III, 397
Like Sveinn Norðrdr 3, this fragmentary dróttkvætt helmingr (Steinn Frag) is attributed to Steinn, presumably the same man as the poet of Norðrdr, and quoted to exemplify a rhetorical trope in ch. 16 of TGT. Although earlier editors have treated it as part of Norðrdr, there is no evidence, external or internal, to support that, and it is here treated as a fragment of a separate poem. Ms. A is the main ms., while the helmingr is also in W.