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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorvaldr blǫnduskáld (Þblǫnd)

12th century; volume 3; ed. Vivian Busch;

2. Fragment (Frag) - 1

Skj info: Þórvaldr blǫnduskáld, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 492, BI, 464).

Skj poems:
1. Sigurðardrápa
2. Af et ubestemmeligt digt

According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 263, 276), Þorvaldr blǫnduskáld (Þblǫnd) was one of the poets of the Norwegian king Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ Magnússon (r. 1103-30, see ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to SkP II). Only fragments of his poetry are extant: two helmingar from an assumed Sigurðardrápa about Sigurðr jórsalafari (Þblǫnd Sigdr) and another fragment (Þblǫnd Frag) that cannot be assigned to a specific poem. Two stanzas of Þórarinn stuttfeldr’s ‘Short-cloak’ Stuttfeldardrápa (Þstf Stuttdr 2II, 3II) are erroneously attributed to Þorvaldr in Morkinskinna. The nickname blǫnduskáld cannot be explained with certainty. Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 72) thinks it possible that Þorvaldr composed about a man with the nickname blanda (ON blanda is a liquid mixture, usually of whey and water; cf. Finnur Jónsson 1907, 289). That nickname is attested in Sverris saga (Sv ch. 48, ÍF 30, 74), which mentions a Norwegian called Brynjólfr blanda Eindriðason. According to Finnur Jónsson (Skj), Þorvaldr was an Icelander, but his ethnicity cannot be ascertained.

Fragment — Þblǫnd FragIII

Vivian Busch 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Þorvaldr blǫnduskáld, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 489.


Skj: Þórvaldr blǫnduskáld: 2. Af et ubestemmeligt digt (AI, 492, BI, 464); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: III, 489

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þblǫnd Frag 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Vivian Busch (ed.) 2017, ‘Þorvaldr blǫnduskáld, Fragment 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. 489.

Nú hefk mart
í miði greipat
burar Bors
Búra arfa.

Nú hefk greipat mart í {miði {burar Bors}}, {arfa Búra}.

Now I have included many things in {the mead {of the son of Borr <mythical being>}} [= Óðinn > POEM], {the heir of Búri <mythical being>} [= Óðinn].

Mss: R(21r), Tˣ(21v), W(46), U(26v), B(4r) (SnE); 2368ˣ(82), 743ˣ(65r) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] hefk (‘hefi ec’): hefir B    [2] greipat: greipar W, U, B, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ    [3] burar: brúar Tˣ, ‘bvkar’ U, ‘barar’ B;    Bors: ‘bærs’ U    [4] Búra: burar U, um búra B

Editions: Skj: Þórvaldr blǫnduskáld, 2. Af et ubestemmeligt digt: AI, 492, BI, 464, Skald I, 228; SnE 1848-87, I, 244-5, II, 305, 520, III, 10, SnE 1931, 92, SnE 1998, I, 11; LaufE 1979, 332.

Context: In SnE (Skm) and LaufE, the stanza is cited in a collection of stanzas illustrating poetic expressions (mostly kennings) for Óðinn.

Notes: [All]: The helmingr’s statement that many things have been included in the poem shows that it is likely to be one of the final stanzas of a longer poem. — [1, 2] hefk greipat mart ‘I have included many things’: The weak verb greipa is a hap. leg. derived from the f. noun greip ‘grip’. Literally it means ‘grasp, encompass with the hand’ (see AEW: greip and LP: greipa). — [3] burar Bors ‘of the son of Borr <mythical being> [= Óðinn]’: A similar kenning for Óðinn, niðr Bors ‘son of Borr’, appears in Egill Lv 23/7V (Eg 30). Otherwise the name Borr is not attested in skaldic poetry, but two further kennings with this name as determinant are recorded in the eddic poems Vsp and Hyndl (in Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda the name is spelled Burr, with the variant Borr in the Hauksbók version of Vsp): synir Burs ‘the sons of Burr [= Æsir?]’ in Vsp 4/1 (NK 1) and arfþegi Burs ‘the heir of Burr [= Óðinn]’ in Hyndl 30/2 (NK 293). In Gylf (SnE 2005, 11), Borr is the father of Óðinn, and of Vili and Vé; their mother is the giantess Bestla. — [4] Búra ‘of Búri <mythical being>’: Father of Borr, paternal grandfather of Óðinn. Jón Þorkelsson (1890, 3) points out that the mss’ bura must be read as Búra (with a long syllable) for metrical reasons. Gylf (SnE 2005, 11) reports how the mythical cow Auðhumla licks at salty ice-blocks and exposes a man called Búri, who is described as fagr álitum, mikill ok máttugr ‘beautiful in appearance, big and powerful’ and has a son, Borr. As a dwarf-name Búri is recorded in the Hauksbók version of Vsp 13/4 (see NK 3, notes). See also Note to Þul Dverga 1/5 (Burinn).

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