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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, 1125

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — SnSt Ht 20III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 20’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1125.

Hélir hlýr at stáli;
hafit fellr, en svífr þelli
— ferð dvǫl firrisk — harða
framm mót lagar glammi.
Vindr réttr váðir bendir;
vefr rekr á haf snekkjur;
— veðr þyrr — vísa iðjur
— varar fýsir skip — lýsa.

Hlýr hélir at stáli; hafit fellr, en þelli svífr harða framm mót glammi lagar; ferð firrisk dvǫl. Réttr vindr bendir váðir; vefr rekr snekkjur á haf; veðr þyrr; skip fýsir varar; iðjur lýsa vísa.

The prow becomes rime-covered at the stem; the ocean falls, and the fir-ship glides powerfully forwards against the roar of the sea; the crew is deprived of rest. The straight wind curves the sails; the sail-cloth drives the warships out to sea; the storm rushes along; the ship longs for the landing place; his actions glorify the leader.

Mss: R(47v), Tˣ(49v), W(142), U(47r) (ll. 1-2), U(51v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Hélir: Hælir W;    at: fyrir U(47r), U(51v)    [2] fellr en svífr þelli: om. U(47r)    [3] ferð: ferr U(51v);    dvǫl: ‘[…]vol’ U(51v);    harða: hǫrða W    [5] réttr: rekr U(51v)    [6] rekr: rekkr U(51v)    [7] þyrr: þurr R, Tˣ, U(51v), ‘þy[…]’ W;    iðjur: íðnir U(51v)    [8] skip: ‘ski[…]’ U(51v);    lýsa: lýða U(51v)

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 20: AII, 57, BII, 66, Skald II, 38, NN §2571; SnE 1848-87, I, 630-1, II, 370, 383, III, 115-16, SnE 1879-81, I, 3, 76, II, 12, SnE 1931, 226, SnE 2007, 13-14; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 13-14.

Context: Stanzas 20-2 are examples of in minni refhvǫrf ‘the lesser fox-turns’. In st. 20 the antitheses that characterise this type are found in the juxtaposition of the first two words in each line.

Notes: [All]: The heading is xiij. háttr ‘the thirteenth verse-form’ (). — [All]: The words that constitute the antitheses are the following: hélir ‘becomes rime-covered’ : hlýr ‘heats’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of hlýja ‘heat’ rather than as the noun hlýr ‘prow’) (l. 1); hafit ‘lifted’ (taken as p. p. of hefja ‘lift’ rather than as the noun haf ‘ocean’ with a cliticised def. art.) : fellr ‘falls’ (l. 2); ferð ‘travel’ (rather than ferð ‘crew’) : dvǫl ‘rest’ (l. 3); framm ‘forwards’ : mót ‘against’ (l. 4); réttr ‘straight’ : bendir ‘curved’ (adjectival, m. nom. pl., p. p. of benda ‘curve, bend’ rather than 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of the same verb) (l. 5); vefr ‘wraps’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of vefja ‘wrap’ rather than as the noun vefr ‘sail-cloth’) : rekr ‘unwraps’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of rekja ‘unwrap’ rather than as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of the verb reka ‘drive’) (l. 6); veðr ‘wades’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of vaða ‘wade’ rather than as the noun veðr ‘storm’) : þyrr ‘rushes along’ (l. 7); varar ‘warns’ (taken as 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of vara ‘warn’ rather than as the noun varar f. gen. sg. ‘landing place’) : fýsir ‘urges’ (l. 8). — [2] þelli svífr ‘the fir-ship glides’: It is unclear whether this is a personal or impersonal construction, since the collective noun þelli n. ‘fir-ship’ can be either nom. or dat. and svífa ‘glide, swing’ can occur in both types of construction. — [3] ferð firrisk dvǫl ‘the crew is deprived of rest’: Or ‘the crew shuns delay’. — [4] mót ‘against’: Originally written ‘mot’ in R, but later altered to ‘mót’ (R*). — [5] réttr ‘straight’: Rekr ‘drives’ (so U and, by correction, R (R*)) is possible syntactically (vindr rekr; váðir bendir ‘the wind drives; the sail is curved’ (if the latter clause is taken as impersonal)), but it fails to provide the antithesis that characterises refhvǫrf. The reading appears to be the result of syntactic simplification. — [6] snekkjur ‘the warships’: It is not clear exactly what type of ship the snekkja was, but it appears to be a warship with twenty to thirty rowing benches (see Falk 1912, 102, Jesch 2001a, 126-7 and Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3II). — [7] þyrr ‘rushes along’: None of the mss contains this form (the end of the word is damaged in W). — [7] vísa ‘the leader’: The noun is taken here as the object of the verb lýsa lit. ‘light up, illuminate’ (l. 8). It could also be a gen. with iðjur ‘actions’ (l. 7): iðjur vísa lýsa ‘the actions of the leader shine’ (see SnE 1879-81, I, 76 and NN §2571). — [8] fýsir ‘longs for’: Impersonal, with skip ‘ship’ (or ‘ships’, pl.) as the acc. object.

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