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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, 1187

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

76 — SnSt Ht 76III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 76’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1187.

Hrannir strýkva hlaðinn bekk;
haflauðr skeflir;
kasta náir kjalar stíg
kalt hlýr sǫltum.
Svǫrtum hleypir svana fjǫll
snjallmæltr stillir
hlunna of Haka veg
hríðfeld skíðum.

Hrannir strýkva hlaðinn bekk; haflauðr skeflir; kalt hlýr náir kasta {sǫltum stíg kjalar}. Snjallmæltr stillir hleypir {svǫrtum skíðum hlunna} {hríðfeld fjǫll svana} of {veg Haka}.

Waves stroke the loaded ship; sea-foam piles up breakers; the cold prow throws aside {the salty path of the keel} [SEA]. The wise-spoken ruler makes {the black skis of rollers} [SHIPS] run {along the stormy mountains of swans} [WAVES] across {the road of Haki <sea-king>} [SEA].

Mss: R(51v), W(149-150) (SnE)

Readings: [1] strýkva: strýkja W;    bekk: borð W    [7] of: á W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 76: AII, 72, BII, 82, Skald II, 45; SnE 1848-87, I, 692-3, III, 130, SnE 1879-81, I, 12, 83, II, 28, SnE 1931, 246, SnE 2007, 32; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 48-9.

Context: The metre is hnugghent ‘deprived-rhymed’. According to the commentary, the odd lines consist of seven syllables and have no internal rhymes. The difference between these odd lines and the odd lines in the previous stanza (st. 75) is that the penultimate word is a disyllabic short-stemmed word. If we assume resolution under primary stress (as indicated by the alliteration), these lines, too, can be treated as hexasyllabic, except l. 7 (barring emendation). The structure of the even lines is similar to those of sts 74-5 above, except that the internal rhyme, which here falls in positions 1 and 3, is skothent rather than aðalhent, except in l. 8 (and l. 4, if we assume aðalhending on a : ǫ, which is unlikely given the time of composition). All even lines have alliteration in position 1, and the odd lines have two alliterating staves: in position 1 and on the short-stemmed disyllabic word in penultimate position.

Notes: [All]: This metre is not attested elsewhere. — [All]: The rubric in R is lxviiii. — [1] bekk ‘ship’: Lit. ‘bench’. Taken here as pars pro toto for ‘ship’ (see LP: 2. bekkr 2; Falk 1912, 87; Meissner 96). Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, Skj B and Skald adopt the W variant hlaðin borð ‘stacked boards’ to avoid an apparent skothending (-ýk- : ‑ekk). — [7]: The line contains only six syllables, and Rask (SnE 1818, 262) added the adv. fram ‘forwards’ after hlunna ‘rollers’, which has been adopted by subsequent eds (aside from SnE 1848-87, SnE 1931 and SnE 2007). — [8]: Hríð- : skíð- form aðalhending rather than skothending, and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) suggested the reading stóðum ‘stud-horses’ (svǫrtum stóðum hlunna ‘the black stud-horses of the rollers,’ i.e. ‘the black ships’; adopted in Skj B and Skald).

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