Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálfr Hallsson (Kálf)

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

Kátrínardrápa (Kátr) - 51

not in Skj

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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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

SkP info: VII, 958-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

43 — Kálf Kátr 43VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 43’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 958-9.

Reiðr gjörðiz þá ræsir skorðu
refla; beiddi lýða eflir
Hildar veðrs, höggva skyldi
himna gætis ambátt mæta.
Blíðust fór þá björt og skærust
blessuð dyggust mæt og hyggin
fríð og fögr með píslarprýði
pella brík til himnaríkis.

 

The king then became angry with {the prop of wallhangings}; [WOMAN] {the promoter {of Hildr’s storm}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR] requested of his men that they should slay {the great handmaid {of the guardian of the heavens}}. [= God > HOLY WOMAN] {The gentlest, bright and most pure, blessed, most faithful, great and intelligent, fair and beautiful screen of velvet} [WOMAN] then went with the crown of martyrdom to the kingdom of the heavens.

notes: The poet deals succinctly with Catherine’s martyrdom in sts 43-4, while the prose text allows her a long prayer to Christ, a voice from heaven answering her prayer, and a description of her death indicating that milk flowed from her wounds in place of blood, and concluding with a passage stating that angels transported her body to a mountain þat er Syna heitir ‘which is called Sinai’, where she performs countless miracles (Unger 1877, I, 420-1; Wolf 2003, 140-1).

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 43 (AII, 525; BII, 580); Skald II, 320, NN §3386C, Kahle 1898, 76, 108, Sperber 1911, 53, 82.

sources

AM 713 4° (713) 133 - 133  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 23 - 23  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 218r - 218r  image  
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