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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Málsháttakvæði (Mhkv) - 30

not in Skj

5: Málsháttakvæði (‘Proverb poem’) — Anon MhkvIII

Roberta Frank 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði, Et orknøsk(?) digt, omkr. 1200. (AII, 130-6, BII, 138-45)

SkP info: III, 1236

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

22 — Anon Mhkv 22III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 22’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1236.

Grandvarr skyldi inn góði maðr;
Gizurr varð at rógi saðr;
etja vildi jǫfrum saman;
ekki er mér at stúru gaman.
Kunna vildak sjá við snǫrum;
sjaldan, hykk, at gyggvi vǫrum;
vel hefr hinn, er sitr of sitt;
svartflekkótt er kvæði mitt.

Inn góði maðr skyldi grandvarr; Gizurr varð saðr at rógi; vildi etja jǫfrum saman; ekki er mér gaman at stúru. Vildak kunna sjá við snǫrum; hykk, at gyggvi sjaldan vǫrum; vel hefr hinn, er sitr of sitt; svartflekkótt er kvæði mitt.

The good man should be circumspect; Gizurr <= Óðinn> proved true in slander; he wanted to incite kings against each other; I have no delight in gloom. I would like to be able to avoid snares; I think the wary man is seldom startled; he comes off well who tends his own; black-flecked is my poem.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [1] Grandvarr: ‘[...]randvarr’ R, Grandvarr RFJ    [8] ‑flekkótt: ‘‑flecko[…]’ R, ‘‑fleckott’ RFJ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 22: AII, 135, BII, 143, Skald II, 77; Möbius 1874, 10, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75-6.

Notes: [2] Gizurr ‘Gizurr <= Óðinn>’: For this heiti for Óðinn, see also Notes to Refr Giz 3/2 and Þul Óðins 1/5. — [3]: On Óðinn’s self-described role as whetter, using the same formula as here, see Hárb 24/3 (NK 82): atta ec iǫfrom ‘I incited the chieftains’. See also RvHbreiðm Hl 45/8. — [6]: Cf. Hávm 6/6 (NK 18): sialdan verðr víti vorom ‘seldom does woe befall the wary’. — [6] gyggvi ‘is … startled’: This is 3rd pers. sg. pres. subj. of gyggva which, when construed impersonally with a dat. obj. (here, vǫrum ‘the wary man’) means ‘be startled, startles’. The word is attested in poetry only here and in ÞjJ Lv 1/8VIII (ÞJ 1) but occurs in religious prose where it collocates, as here, with the adj. varr ‘wary, cautious’. — [8] svartflekkótt ‘black-flecked’: Looking like a cow- or sheep-skin with unsightly dark spots; only here in poetry. This trisyllabic metrical heavyweight was no doubt intended by the poet to illustrate his rude art. See ONP: bláflekkóttr ‘black-flecked’.

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