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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Snorri Sturluson (SnSt)

13th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Háttatal (Ht) - 102

Skj info: Snorri Sturluson, Islandsk höfding og skjald, 1178-1241. (AII, 52-79, BII, 60-90).

Skj poems:
1. En drape om Skule jarl
2. Háttatal
3. Af et religiøst digt (?)
4. Lausavísur
4. Lausavísur

prose works

Háttatal — SnSt HtIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1094.

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Skj: Snorri Sturluson: 2. Háttatal, 1222-23 (AII, 52-77, BII, 61-88)

SkP info: III, 1121

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — SnSt Ht 17III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 17’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1121.

Síks glóðar verr sœkir
slétt skarð hafi jarðar;
hlífgranda rekr hendir
heit kǫld loga ǫldu.
Fljótt válkat skilr fylkir
frið(rǫðuls sævar
ránsið ræsir stǫðvar)
reiðr (glaðr frǫmum meiðum).

 

{The attacker {of the ember of the brook}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Hákon] defends {the clefts of the earth}, [FJORDS] smoothed by the ocean; {the distributor {of the flame of the wave}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] drives away the cold threat {of defence-damagers}. [WEAPONS] The angry leader quickly understands {pondered peace-destruction}; [BATTLE] the cheerful ruler puts an end to the practice of plundering {for outstanding trees {of the sun of the sea}}. [GOLD > GENEROUS MEN]

context: The structural peculiarity that characterises this stanza is refhvǫrf ‘fox-turns, fox-tricks’, that is, antitheses. Two pairs of words with opposite meaning are juxtaposed at the onset and at the end of each line. The antitheses often depend on puns, i.e. homonyms having a different sense and grammar for the purposes of the antitheses than the ones they have in the poetic context (see also sts 19-23 below). The stanza is paraphrased and explained in the accompanying prose, which calls the variant in mestu refhvǫrf ‘the greatest fox-turns’.

notes: The headings are refhvǫrf x. háttr ‘fox-turns, the tenth verse-form’ () and refhvǫrf  (U(47r)). For this variant, see also refrún ‘fox-secret’, RvHbreiðm Hl 39-40, 55-6, 69-70. Snorri apparently did not conceive of this metrical variant in the same way as the poets of Hl (see Notes to RvHbreiðm Hl 39 [All] and 55 [All]). — The words that constitute the antitheses are the following: síks (n. gen. sg.) ‘brook’ : glóðar (f. gen. sg.) ‘ember’; verr ‘defends’ : sœkir ‘attacks’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of sœkja ‘attack’ rather than as the noun sœkir ‘attacker’) (l. 1); slétt (n. acc. sg.) ‘smoothed’ : skarð ‘cleft’ (n. acc. sg.; taken as an adj. rather than as a noun); hafi (n. dat. sg.) ‘ocean’ : jarðar (f. gen. sg.) ‘earth’ (l. 2); hlíf- ‘protect’ (taken as imp. sg. of hlífa ‘protect’ rather than as the first element of the cpd hlífgranda ‘of defence-damagers’) : ‑granda ‘damage’ (taken as imp. sg. of granda ‘damage’ rather than as the second element of the previous cpd); rekr ‘drives away’ : hendir ‘catches’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of henda ‘catch’ rather than as the agent noun hendir ‘distributor’) (l. 3); heit ‘hot’ (taken as an adj. rather than as the noun heit ‘threat’) : kǫld ‘cold’; loga (m. gen. sg.) ‘flame’ : ǫldu (f. gen. sg.) ‘wave’ (l. 4); fljótt ‘quickly’ : válkat ‘pondered’; skilr ‘divides’ : fylkir ‘marshals’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of fylkja ‘marshal’ rather than as the agent noun fylkir ‘leader’) (l. 5); frið ‘peace’ : ‘destruction’; rǫðuls (m. gen. sg.) ‘sun’ : sævar (m. gen. sg.) ‘sea’ (l. 6); rán ‘plundering’ : sið ‘accepted practice’; ræsir ‘puts in motion’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of ræsa ‘put in motion’ rather than as the agent noun ræsir ‘ruler’) : stǫðvar ‘puts an end to’ (l. 7); reiðr ‘angry’ : glaðr ‘merry’; frǫmum ‘(we) advance’ (taken as 1st pers. pl. pres. indic. of fremja ‘advance’ rather than as the adj. frǫmum m. dat. pl. ‘outstanding’) : meiðum ‘(we) damage’ (taken as 1st pers. pl. pres. indic. of meiða ‘damage’ rather than as the noun meiðum m. dat. pl. ‘trees’) (l. 8).

texts: Ht 19, SnE 611

editions: Skj Snorri Sturluson: 2. Háttatal 17 (AII, 57; BII, 65); Skald II, 37, NN §1297; SnE 1848-87, I, 622-3, II, 370, 381, III, 115, SnE 1879-81, I, 3, 76, II, 10, SnE 1931, 223, SnE 2007, 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 11-12.

sources

GKS 2367 4° (R) 46v, 33 - 46v, 35 (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 49r, 12 - 49r, 12 (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 141, 12 - 141, 15 (SnE)  image  image  image  
DG 11 (U) 47r, 9 - 47r, 9 [1-1] (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U) 50r, 13 - 50r, 15 (SnE)  image  
AMAcc 18x (Acc18x) 209, 23 - 210, 1  
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