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Runic Dictionary

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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, ‘(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.

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, 959

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

44 — Kálf Kátr 44VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 44’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 959.

Linna huldi líkam hennar
leitis Njörðr í grænni jörðu;
öndin fór með einglum stýris
imnasaungs á bjarta himna.
Tákna fjöld má trauðla reikna
tunga mín, er Káterína
vann einart, á grundu grænni;
grein sönn er það kristnum mönnum.

{Njörðr {leitis linna}} huldi líkam hennar í grænni jörðu; öndin fór með einglum {stýris imnasaungs} á bjarta himna. Tunga mín má trauðla reikna fjöld tákna, er Káterína vann einart á grænni grundu; það er sönn grein kristnum mönnum.

{The Njörðr <god> {of the hill of serpents}} [GOLD > MAN] buried her body in the green earth; the soul went with the angels {of the ruler of hymn-singing} [= God] to the clear skies. My tongue can hardly count the number of miracles, which Catherine incessantly worked on the green earth; it is a true fact for Christian men.

Mss: 713(133), 399a-bˣ(24), 920ˣ(218r-v)

Readings: [1] líkam hennar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘likam [...]’ 713, ‘líka[...]’ 920ˣ    [4] himna: ‘h[...]’ 713, ‘(himna)’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ 920ˣ    [6] er: en 713, 920ˣ, sem 399a‑bˣ    [7] vann: ‘vn[...]’ 713, 920ˣ, unnið 399a‑bˣ;    einart: ‘[...]art’ 713, ‘(læ)tur’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]t’ 920ˣ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 44: AII, 525, BII, 580, Skald II, 320, NN §§2968, 3386D, Kahle 1898, 76, 108, Sperber 1911, 53, 82-3.

Notes: [1-2]: There is no parallel for this detail in the prose text, where angels carry off Catherine’s body (see Note to st. 43), nor is the detail of the man who buried her body known from the prose saga. — [3] öndin (f. nom. sg.) ‘the soul’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) emend öndin to andinn; the emendation seems unnecessary. — [7] vann ‘worked’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) was able to read ‘vnir’ in 713, but now only ‘vn’ is visible. In Skj B he proposes innir ‘performs, carries out’. Skald prefers vann, as here.

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