Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (Þorm)
11th century; volume 5; ed. R. D. Fulk;
Þorgeirsdrápa (Þorgdr) - 15
I. Lausavísur (Lv) - 33
This edition is currently in preparation.
The biography below may represent a superseded edition, notes and/or
an interim or draft version. Do not cite this material without
consulting the volume and skald editors.
Þormóðr Bersason’s (Þorm) story is told in Fóstbrœðra saga ‘Saga of the Sworn Brothers’ (Fbr), and on its witness he may be supposed to have been born c. 998 and to have died of a wound received in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. The saga, however, is untrustworthy as to particulars, as the author seems to have derived most of his information about the poet from the poetry available to him. According to the saga, in childhood he and his friend Þorgeirr Hávarsson each swore that he would avenge the killing of the other if he lived. The latter, at the age of fifteen, avenged the killing of his father, initiating a string of thirteen killings commemorated in Þormóðr’s poem celebrating his sworn brother, Þorgeirsdrápa ‘Drápa about Þorgeirr’ (Þorgdr). Even though their friendship ended when Þormóðr was about fifteen, Þormóðr travelled to Greenland after Þorgeirr was killed (c. 1024), to take vengeance on the perpetrator Þorgrímr trolli (‘Troll’? see Note to Fbr 29/1) and three of his sons. The poet earned his nickname kolbrúnarskáld ‘Coal-brow’s Poet’ for having composed poetry in praise of Þórbjǫrg kolbrún Glúmsdóttir, though none of these survive (probably for reasons of a moral nature; see Boyer 1990, 80). According to Þormóðar þáttr (Þorm; see Þorm Lv 10-11I) he served King Knútr inn ríki Sveinsson (Cnut the Great) in Denmark before returning to Norway, where he spent the last part of his short life in the service of the king, Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr). According to a memorable passage in Hkr, on the morning of the battle of Stiklestad he recited Bjarkamál in fornu (Anon Bjark 1-2III) to rouse the king’s troops. For further biographical information, see Finnur Jónsson (1932-3, 31-3), ÍF 6, lii-lxx and Schach (1993).
Þorm LvV (Fbr)
R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 820.
cross-references: 17 = Anon (Vǫlsa) 11I
for reference only: 18x
Skj: Þórmóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld: 2. Lausavísur (AI, 281-8, BI, 260-6)
This edition is currently in preparation and
will be published in a forthcoming volume of the series.
The text below is from a superseded edition (Skj
where relevant). Do not refer to this site when using the text below.
7 — Þorm Lv 7V (Fbr 25)
The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).
Strengði þess á þingi
þarflyndr, ef mik fyndi,
hǫldr, at hǫggva skyldi,
heit, lofgerðar veiti;
nær stóðk randa rýri,
rekkr lézkat mik þekkja;
gótt's þats hulðar hetti
hefr faldit smiðr stefja.
texts: ‹Fbr 25› (ch. 23),
editions: Skj Þórmóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld: 2. Lausavísur 7 (AI, 283; BI, 261-2); Skald I, 134; Flat 1860-8, II, 212 (Fbr (ÓH ch. 157)), Fbr 1925-7, 165 (ch. 23), ÍF 6, 236 n. (Fbr ch. 23); Gaertner 1907, 311, 336, Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 60.