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, 937

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Kálf Kátr 8VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 937.

‘Undraz þarftu ei hofið með höndum’,
heilög mær talar slíkt við deili,
‘heldur líttu á himin og öldu’,
hrannar báls, ‘og sól, gjört manna.
Þjóðar, hygg þú að þessu smíði
þeingils, fylkir, helgra eingla;
mildingr skrýddi mána foldar
mannligu holdi guðdóm sannan.

Heilög mær talar slíkt við {deili {báls hrannar}}, ‘þarftu ei undraz hofið gjört með höndum manna; heldur líttu á himin og öldu og sól. Fylkir þjóðar, hygg þú að þessu smíði {þeingils helgra eingla}; {mildingr {foldar mána}} skrýddi sannan guðdóm mannligu holdi.

The holy maiden speaks thus to {the distributor {of the fire of the wave}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], ‘You need not admire the temple made by the hands of men, rather look at the sky and wave and sun. King of people, consider this work {of the king of holy angels} [= God]; {the prince {of the land of the moon}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] adorned the true Godhead with human flesh.

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 8 (AII, 518; BII, 571); Skald II, 314, NN §2958A, Kahle 1898, 68, 106, Sperber 1911, 44-5, 79.


AM 713 4° (713) 129 - 129  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 5 - 5  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 213v - 214r  image  
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