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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, 1142

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

35 — SnSt Ht 35III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 35’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1142.

Reist at Vágsbrú vestan
— varrsíma bar fjarri —
heitfastr hávar rastir
hjálm-Týr svǫlu stýri.
Stǫkkr óx, es bar blakka
brims fyr jǫrð it grimma
herfjǫlð — húfar svǫlðu —
hrannláð, búandmanna.

{Heitfastr hjálm-Týr} reist hávar rastir svǫlu stýri vestan at Vágsbrú; varrsíma bar fjarri. Stǫkkr búandmanna óx, es {it grimma hrannláð} bar {herfjǫlð blakka brims} fyr jǫrð; húfar svǫlðu.

{The pledge-firm helmet-Týr <god>} [WARRIOR] carved deep currents with the cool rudder from the west towards Vágsbrú; the wake-line stretched far. The flight of the farmers grew as {the grim wave-land} [SEA] carried {a great number of steeds of the surf} [SHIPS] along the coast; the hulls became cool.

Mss: R(48v), Tˣ(50v), W(144), U(52v-53r) (SnE)

Readings: [2] varr‑: var W, U    [4] svǫlu: svǫru Tˣ    [5] Stǫkkr: stǫkk W;    es (‘er’): en W;    blakka: bakka U    [8] ‑láð: so Tˣ, U, ráð R, lið W;    búand‑: ‘bond‑’ U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 35: AII, 61-2, BII, 70, Skald II, 40; SnE 1848-87, I, 646-7, II, 388, III, 119-20, SnE 1879-81, I, 6, 78, II, 16, SnE 1931, 231, SnE 2007, 18; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 22-3.

Context: The dróttkvætt variant is in forna skjálfhenda ‘the ancient tremble-rhyme’. It resembles tvískelft ‘twice-trembled’ (st. 28 above), but unlike that variant, the ‘tremble-rhymes’ do not occur in every odd line (only in ll. 3 and 7), and the heavy syllable in position 2 carries internal rhyme (here aðalhending).

Notes: [All]: There is no heading in U for this variant, and gives 28. For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 81-2. According to Snorri, the metre was invented by a poet called Veili (SnE 2007, 18): Þenna hátt fann fyrst Veili. Þá lá hann í útskeri nokkvoru, kominn af skipsbroti, ok hǫfðu þeir illt til klæða ok veðr kalt. Þá orti hann kvæði er kallat er kviðan skjálfhenda eða drápan steflausa, ok kveðit eptir Sigurðar sǫgu ‘Veili was the first to invent this verse-form. Then he was lying on an outer skerry after a shipwreck, and they had poor clothing and cold weather. Then he composed the poem which is called the tremble-rhymed poem or the drápa without a stef, and it was modelled on the saga of Sigurðr’. Veili is likely to be the poet Þorvaldr veili ‘the Miserable’ (ÞveilV), but the only stanza attributed to him (Þveil LvV (Nj 7)) does not contain this particular metrical feature (for this dróttkvætt variant, see also Kuhn 1983, 105, 289, 333-4; SnE 2007, 58-9; Gade 1995a, 56-9, 72, 226, 260 n. 1, 262 n. 3). — [All]: For this journey, see Note to st. 34 [All] above. — [1] reist … at ‘carved … towards’: Originally written as one word in R, but altered to ‘Réist/at’ (R*). — [1] Vágsbrú: This p. n. in Innherad, Trøndelag, has not been identified. — [2] varrsíma bar fjarri ‘the wake-line stretched far’: An impersonal construction with varrsíma ‘the wake-line’ as the acc. object. — [3] hávar ‘deep’: Lit. ‘high’. This adj. must refer to the waves within the currents, hence ‘deep’. — [8] -láð ‘-land’: So and U. Ráð ‘counsel’, which makes no sense in the context, has been altered in R to láð (R*).

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