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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

VIII. Lausavísur from Sturlaugs saga starfsama (StSt) - 2

not in Skj

Lausavísur from Sturlaugs saga starfsama — Anon (StSt)VIII (StSt)

Margaret Clunies Ross (forthcoming), ‘ Anonymous, Lausavísur from Sturlaugs saga starfsama’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 22 September 2021)

 1   2 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 17. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Sturlaugs saga starfsama (AII, 341-34, BII, 364)

SkP info: VIII, 784

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Anon (StSt) 2VIII (StSt 2)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Sturlaugs saga starfsama 2 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Sturlaugs saga starfsama 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 784.

Skal hann í helju         hvíldar njóta
ok margskonar         meina kenna.
Þá mun Sturlaugr         inn starfsami
með góma kvern         grafinn í stykki.

Hann skal njóta hvíldar í helju ok kenna margskonar meina. Sturlaugr inn starfsami mun þá grafinn í stykki með {kvern góma}.

He shall enjoy rest in Hel and experience many kinds of injuries. Then Sturlaugr inn starfsami (‘the Industrious’) will be torn to shreds with {the hand-mill of the gums} [TEETH].

Mss: 335(7v), 589f(9r) (StSt)

Readings: [1] hann: so 589f, om. 335

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 17. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Sturlaugs saga starfsama 2: AII, 342, BII, 364, Skald II, 197; StSt 1694, 51, FSN III, 628, FSGJ 142, StSt 1969, 21-2, 207, 349.

Context: After the thirty women have declaimed st. 1, the temple priestess (hofgyðja) responds, claiming that Sturlaugr will never escape with his life if she can prevent it, and recites the following stanza.

Notes: [All]: In some mss, such as 30ˣ, the priestess’s introduction to this stanza is turned into verse, which is not, however, metrical, and attached at the beginning of the stanza: Hann skal aldri | með heilu lífi | á burt komaz | ef ek má ráða | ‘He shall never escape with his life unscathed if I am able to decide’. StSt 1694 adopts this practice. — [1] í helju ‘in Hel’: As the priestess is a pagan, the Hel referred to here is probably that of Old Norse myth, though a connection with the punishments of the Christian Hell would have likely been in the poet’s and audience’s minds. The rest (hvíld) she speaks of is doubtless ironically meant. Some eds (e.g. StSt 1694) follow 30ˣ and 56ˣ in reading í hömlu ‘in a strap, oar-loop’ instead of í helju. — [3-4]: Mss 30ˣ and 56ˣ have a different text here too, also found in StSt 1694: ok með konu armi | knýttr um verða ‘and be crippled by a woman’s arm’(?). — [4] kenna ‘experience’: Some mss, like 1006ˣ, and some eds, like FSN and FSGJ, have the reading bíða, with the same meaning. — [7] með kvern góma ‘with the hand-mill of the gums [TEETH]’: One of a relatively small number of skaldic kennings for the teeth (Meissner 133), often found with the determinant gómr ‘roof or floor of the mouth, gums’; cf. VSt Erf 1/3III sker góma ‘skerries of the gums’, Sturl Hákkv 29/3II gómsker ‘the gum-skerries’. Ms. 1006ˣ substitutes knífum ‘knives’ for kvern, and this is followed by FSN and FSGJ, although it makes the line unmetrical. — [8] grafinn ‘torn’: Generally the verb grafa means ‘dig, bury’ but the context here suggests a meaning like ‘torn, ground [into small pieces]’; Skj B translates reven i stykker med tænderne ‘torn into pieces with the teeth’. Mss 30ˣ and 56ˣ have gripinn í stokk ‘seized in the stocks’ (followed in StSt 1694) but this does not fit well with the teeth-kenning of l. 7.

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