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Runic Dictionary

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Ormr Steinþórsson (Ormr)

11th century; volume 3; ed. Russell Poole;

1. Poem about a woman (Woman) - 7

Nothing is known about Ormr Steinþórsson (Ormr). The patronymic indicates that he was probably an Icelander rather than a Norwegian (Ólafur Halldórsson 1969b, 156). Finnur Jónsson (Skj AI, 415) places him in the eleventh century, with a query, but commonalities between his work and certain other poems, noted below, make a floruit in the late twelfth century, perhaps even the turn of the thirteenth, more probable. He appears from the internal evidence of poetic fragments attributed to him to have composed for both male and female patrons; one of the male recipients was evidently blind (see Introduction to Ormr Frag below).

Poem about a woman — Ormr WomanIII

Russell Poole 2017, ‘ Ormr Steinþórsson, Poem about a woman’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 323. <> (accessed 17 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

for reference only:  1x 

Skj: Ormr Steinþórsson: 1. Af et digt om en kvinde (?) (AI, 415-416, BI, 385); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

SkP info: III, 325

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Ormr Woman 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Ormr Steinþórsson, Poem about a woman 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 325.

Seggir þurfut ala ugg
— engu snýk í Viðurs feng
háði; kunnum hróðrsmíð
haga — of minn brag.

Seggir þurfut ala ugg of brag minn; snýk engu háði í {feng Viðurs}; kunnum haga hróðrsmíð.

Men need not harbour anxiety about my poem; I incorporate no satire in {the theft of Viðurr <= Óðinn>} [POEM]; we [I] know how to fashion a work of praise.

Mss: R(21v), Tˣ(22r), W(46), U(27r), B(4r-v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] þurfut ala: so W, U, þurfu at ása R, þurfa at ala Tˣ, þurfu at ala B    [2] snýk (‘sny ec’): so W, U, B, snýr ek R, Tˣ;    Viðurs: veðrs B    [3] kunnum: kann ek Tˣ;    hróðrsmíð: hróðrs smíð Tˣ, B, ‘hroðs smið’ W    [4] haga: hafa W

Editions: Skj: Ormr Steinþórsson, 1. Af et digt om en kvinde (?) 2: AI, 415, BI, 385, Skald I, 191; SnE 1848-87, I, 250-1, II, 307, 522, III, 14, SnE 1931, 94, SnE 1998, I, 14.

Context: In Skm (SnE) the stanza is used to illustrate kennings for ‘poetry’.

Notes: [All]: While any satire might be cause of apprehension for an audience, the poet may be particularly thinking of specifically Norse traditions of satire (níð), namely satire directed against kings and other rulers, to which was attributed ‘biting’, i.e. physically injurious, powers (see especially Þjsk JarlI), or against a woman’s male protector, normally her husband. The latter type of satire is the more obviously relevant to Ormr’s subject matter. — [1] ugg (m. acc. sg.) ‘anxiety’: This word also occurs in Hhárf Snædr 1/1I. — [2] snýk ‘I incorporate’: The reading snýr may be merely a later form of sný, the expected 1st pers. sg. pres. indic. of the verb snúa (SnE 1998, I, 136; ANG §531.1). — [3-4]: For a similar expression, also in hálfhnept, of the poet’s confidence in his skill, see Ótt Óldr 1/3-4I. — [4] brag (m. acc. sg.) ‘poem’: This word also occurs in Hhárf Snædr 1/8I.

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