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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 2 July 2022)

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, 937-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Kálf Kátr 9VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 937-8.

‘Segi eg þier, að frá Máríu meyju
mildingr frægur beraz liet hingað;
tel eg, að svá liet tiggi sólar
tírargjarn í Jórdán skíraz.
Sjálfráður á sig tók dauða
* sára písl fyr glæpi vára;
týndr var heimr af tálum fjanda;
treystir fekk hann guðdóms leystan.

‘Eg segi þier, að frægur mildingr liet beraz hingað frá Máríu meyju; eg tel, að {tírargjarn tiggi sólar} liet svá skíraz í Jórdán. Sjálfráður tók á sig dauða, * sára písl fyr glæpi vára; heimr var týndr af tálum fjanda; {treystir guðdóms} fekk hann leystan.

‘I say to you that the famous king let himself be born hither from the Virgin Mary; I tell that {the fame-desirous king of the sun} [= God (= Christ)] then let himself be baptised in the Jordan. At his own choice he took upon himself death, a painful torment for our misdeeds; the world was lost by the deceits of the devil; {the occupier of the Godhead} [= God (= Christ)] managed to release it.

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 9 (AII, 518; BII, 571); Skald II, 314, NN §§2958B and C, 2959, Kahle 1898, 68, 106, Sperber 1911, 45, 79.


AM 713 4° (713) 130 - 130  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 6 - 6  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 214r - 214r  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated