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Jórunn skáldmær (Jór)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Judith Jesch;

Sendibítr (Send) - 5

Nothing is known of Jórunn skáldmær ‘Poet-maiden’ (Jór): who she was, when or where she lived, or when or why she composed the poem Sendibítr (Send) attributed to her. Her nickname indicates a young, unmarried woman who composed poetry. Jórunn is the only female poet among the sixty-seven skalds named in Skm (SnE 1998, I, lv-lix). Mss C(9r) and (41v) have the masculine name Jǫrundr instead, but this is unlikely to be significant, as no poet by the name of Jǫrundr is otherwise known – it is an understandable mistake given how rare named women poets were. Jórunn is often assumed to have been a tenth-century Norwegian, contemporary with Kings Haraldr and Hálfdan, but the dating of Send, and therefore of her lifetime, is uncertain (see Introduction below).

Sendibítr (‘Biting message’) — Jór SendI

Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 143.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Jórunn skáldmær: Sendibítr, om Harald hårfagre (AI, 60-1, BI, 53-4)

SkP info: I, 149

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Jór Send 5I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr 5’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 149.

Hróðr vann hringa stríðir
Haralds framm kveðinn ramman;
Goðþormr hlaut af gæti
góð laun kveðins óðar.
Raunframra brá rimmu
runnr skjǫldunga gunnar;
áðr bjósk herr til hjǫrva
hreggs dǫglinga tveggja.

{Stríðir hringa} vann framm kveðinn ramman hróðr Haralds; Goðþormr hlaut góð laun kveðins óðar af gæti. {Runnr gunnar} brá rimmu raunframra skjǫldunga; áðr bjósk herr tveggja dǫglinga til {hreggs hjǫrva}.

{The enemy of rings} [GENEROUS MAN] performed a powerful panegyric for Haraldr; Guthormr got good reward for the recited poem from the sovereign. {The tree of battle} [WARRIOR] ended the clash between the truly successful rulers; previously the army of [each of] the two princes had prepared for {a storm of swords} [BATTLE].

Mss: 75c(1r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] stríðir: stríðis 75c    [2] Haralds: ‘har̄’ 75c;    framm kveðinn: framkveðins 75c    [3] hlaut: laut 75c;    gæti: ‘geti’ 75c

Editions: Skj: Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr 5: AI, 61, BI, 54, Skald I, 34, NN §§1051, 1819; ÓH 1941, I, 12 (ch. 3).

Context: As for sts 2 and 3.

Notes: [1] stríðir hringa ‘the enemy of rings [GENEROUS MAN]’: This type of kenning would most often refer to a ruler, but it is here used of the poet Guthormr, who expects only the reconciliation of the kings as his reward for the poem (see st. 4/8 and Introduction above). The ms. reading, implying a hróðr stríðis hringa ‘poem of the generous man’, cannot be made to make sense as it leaves the clause without a subject. — [3] Goðþormr ‘Guthormr’: Given the uncertainties about the etymology of this name (see the Biography of Guthormr sindri), and about the dating of Send, the authentic form for this stanza cannot be determined with any certainty. — [3] gæti ‘the sovereign’: More lit., ‘guardian, protector’. Such an agent noun would normally be followed by a determinant in the gen. (cf. Meissner 294), but here it appears to be used as a half-kenning. — [7-8]: As Kock (NN §1051) points out, ‘the army had previously prepared for the battle of the two princes’ is equally possible. — [8]: This line echoes Þhorn Gldr 3/8, with a similar battle context, but, as de Vries (1964-7, I, 151) notes, they mean quite different things. — [8] tveggja dǫglinga ‘of the two princes’: Haraldr hárfagri and his son Hálfdan svarti; see Introduction.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated